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Herald launches democracy under attack campaign

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, July 13th, 2013 - 142 comments
Categories: democracy under attack - Tags:

Five and a half years ago, Labour’s Electoral Finance Bill was subject to strong criticism, including from the Human Rights Commission, which said it was an unwarranted impingement on freedom of expression. The Herald launched its ‘Democracy Under Attack‘ campaign to drive Labour from office.

Now, the same voices, are coming out against Key’s GCSB law including the Human Rights commission, which says it is an unwarranted impingement on freedom of expression . I assume the Herald has launched a new ‘Democracy Under Attack’ campaign, they can even use the same front page again.

Of course, we won’t see the country’s principle paper ignore that John Key is creating a ‘turn-key totalitarian state’ and, instead, focus on self-referential rumours about the opposition leader, eh?

142 comments on “Herald launches democracy under attack campaign”

  1. rosy 1

    “. I assume the Herald has launched a new ‘Democracy Under Attack’ campaign, they can even use the same front page again.”

    It might not be an editorial, but the Herald has published Anne Salmond’s piece that is very strong about democracy under attack. Now for the Herald to wholly own it …

    In 2007, John Key, then Leader of the Opposition, gave a powerful speech to the New Zealand Press Club against the Electoral Finance Bill. He declared: “Here in New Zealand we often take our democratic freedoms for granted. We think they will always be there. We have a Bill of Rights which is supposed to protect our right to freedom of expression. What on earth could go wrong?…

    …Who could have imagined that in 2013, this same political leader would be presiding over an assault upon the democratic rights of New Zealanders? This is a matter of such gravity that last month, the Law Society felt impelled to report to the United Nations that in New Zealand “a number of recent legislative measures are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law”.

    • burt 1.1

      …Who could have imagined that in 2013, this same political leader would be presiding over an assault upon the democratic rights of New Zealanders?

      It was only ever a matter of time. NZ.. the fastest law makers in the west…

      Parliament needs some constraint, it needed it under the last Labour government and it needs it now. Nothing will change while the political activists continue wasting all their energy on partisan politics supporting and defending this shit depending on the party flag colour.

      So we flip this government and elect a red one.. yeah… they behave for a term, perhaps 2… then they just turn self serving again and we biff them and elect a blue team… either way we still just get the fastest law makers in the west, real change is require.

      • rosy 1.1.1

        ” either way we still just get the fastest law makers in the west, real change is require.”

        So what is a ‘real change’ you would suggest/support? You complain an awful lot (especially about Labour, but I guess National is finally hitting the high notes for you) but I can’t recall you mentioning anything that should/could be done to strengthen our democracy.

        As for the EFA I think I recall that is was based on the Canadian electoral finance model – Labour didn’t just make it up.

        • burt 1.1.1.1

          There needs to be an upper house to constrain the fastest law makers in the west. Ironically the lovers of absolute power have no trouble convincing us w don’t need mor politicians ( to constrain them ) so we’ll probably be stuck with a half Westminster system for a while longer.

          • Matthew Whitehead 1.1.1.1.1

            I’d also settle for the Bill of Rights being sovereign over parliament, and some constraints on the ability to constantly skip select commitee hearings under urgency.

            • Tim 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Re the ‘urgency’ thing … I noticed a commenter on here come up with a brilliant idea – can’t remember who it was.
              Any legislation passed under urgency should have an 18 month expiry date on it.
              I’d actually prefer 12 months, but the idea is a good one.

              I reckon some sort of upper house formed from regional government areas and elected at local body election time might be in order – at least worth a try.
              This trend towards centralisation of power and trashing of grass roots democracy has to be reversed somehow.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2

            There needs to be an upper house to constrain the fastest law makers in the west.

            Doesn’t work as the upper-houses in the US and UK prove. All we’d end up with is two partisan houses.

          • rosy 1.1.1.1.3

            “There needs to be an upper house to constrain the fastest law makers in the west”

            I agree with Draco on that. I can’t see, for example, that the UK or US system have much to recommend them over our single house.

            I’d go for what Matthew said – Bill of Rights being sovereign over parliament. That, and beefing up the select committee process and severely restricting the justification for urgency would do the job, I reckon.

            Also controlled state funding of political parties, with no private slush funds.

            And parties that promote candidates that are more representative of the people they say they represent would help too. I do wonder if the pay increases to attract ‘quality’ candidates has led to ‘quality’ equating to rich and/or university-educated candidates pushing out other quality candidates. It could be a decent investigation to see if community stalwarts and activists who might do the job are pushed out by careerists and elitists.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      But they do have an editorial about the government intrusions into law abiding kiwis doing cyber shopping !

      Apparently they think its not a good idea – but they have to tread carefully as of course , big advertisers will be lauding the governments proposals

    • weka 1.3

      “Dame Anne Salmond says it is imperative that New Zealanders stand up for democratic freedoms”

      Ae, but she doesn’t say how. No-one seems to know what to do.

      • Chooky 1.3.1

        Well at least it is a start, her speaking out.!…You seem to be Big on the idea of Plans Weka. ( a Weka bird plan collector?) Wekas are great collectors and they snuck out of the bushes and surprise you with what they scamper away with.

        Why always the interest in individuals’ plans when they speak out ?…..Would you support a plan if she suggested one?…or would you ‘dis’ it or her?…and shut her down?…..What is your plan exactly?…I would be interested to know…Is it to know other peoples plans?…and what then?…what do you plan to do with their plans?

        If people speak out, that is enough ( maybe they don’t have a plan)….If enough people speak out then a plan will evolve naturally…….And it will be the will of the people.

        Top down planning , imposed planning…..the need for planning and planning…..this is a male syndrome…. It stifles creativity and speaking from the heart…..which is real life and real democratic politics….

        • McFlock 1.3.1.1

          Plans are important.

          A realistic plan is the difference between wooing and just plain stalking.

        • RedLogix 1.3.1.2

          Wekas are great collectors and they snuck out of the bushes and surprise you with what they scamper away with.

          Hehe … very surprised on several occasions.

        • weka 1.3.1.3

          A plan, or a series of plans, well-thought out and developped would be a boon for the left, and NZ.

          But I wasn’t being nearly so ambitious (and bear in mind it’s you who brought up the idea of a plan). My plan for today, such as it is, is to decide if I should put a fair amount of effort into defrosting the pipes to get running water again, or wait for the weather to change and do it for me.

          Beyond that, I suppose I’m poking the ts community a bit to look beyond analysis to action. I’m feeling a fair amount of frustration at the amount of energy expended here talking about shit, but nothing being done. I think the posts and analyses here are valuable in and of themselves, educationally, making people think, challenging dominant narratives, etc and I’m sure that has some effect outside of this space. But it’s not enough given what we are facing.

          I wonder if it would be possible for some of the energy (knoweldge, experience, skill) on ts to be used to create action. For instance, the idea that people need to be engaged with democracy is well supported here. So can we use our commenting time here to develop actual strategies on how that could happen and even take them back to our communities?

          Draco suggested local bodies as one important focus. Given there are local body elections this year, how about brainstorming real world actions that will get more people voting from a well informed place.

          What other ways can NZers engage with democracy right now? Ideas like teaching civics in schools are great and should be developed, but we need to take actions now. The crisis is happening now.

          btw, my comments here are aimed at commenters, because I acknowledge that authors will write what they feel drawn to write. But I also see the potential for using blogging (here or elsewhere) and social media to initiate discussions that lead to concrete outcomes. The question here is given the shift in the last decade from face to face activism to being online, how can we mobilise and engage people in activism using internet spaces? (I’m not talking about things like signing online petitions in case that’s not clear).

          • lurgee 1.3.1.3.1

            What, you want people to stop engaging in endless internal factionalist strife and rather than complain about the lack of direction from above actually start telling those above what they want and how to go about making it happen?

            Behave like a movement of passionate, committed, intelligent, independent minds united by a common goal of improving our society?

            It’ll never catch on.

            • yeshe 1.3.1.3.1.1

              Good to remember our nuclear-free status began with some of us in Devonport posting simple A4 pages in our windows saying NO! to nuclear ships.

              Ripples are the promises the waves make to the flood.

      • Huginn 1.3.2

        a commitment to privacy and some awareness of the concept of data sovereignty, for a start

  2. Gruntie 2

    “He’s not the Messiah – he’s just a very naughty boy” – John Key’s mum

  3. burt 3

    Now, the same voices, are coming out against Key’s GCSB law including the Human Rights commission

    How incredibly frustrating it will be when the PM says – ‘Move on’ and all his partisan supporters agree the objectors just don’t know what they are talking about… call them full of shit and defend their team riding rough shod over democracy.

    This site was on the defending side when the Herald last did this, the attacking side this time. It’s like Kiwiblog and the standard just change chairs when the government changes…. nothing in government behaviours actually changes… the defenders become attackers, the attackers defenders and the same bullshit goes on.

    Just once… if you really want it to change… if you actually care about democracy rather than your team winning at any cost… evaluate the other teams position. If they are right then bite down on it and join them against your out of control party. Rather than put the partisan hat on and sell out defending this sort of shit because it’s your team in charge.

    All those who denigrated the Herald running this kind of thing during the EFA hang your heads in shame !

    • karol 3.1

      Burt, the EFA changes do not undermine democracy, but aimed to improve it.

      Now, when democracy is truly under attack, the Herald is lame, give or take an op ed piece or 2.

      • burt 3.1.1

        karol

        Burt, the EFA changes do not undermine democracy, but aimed to improve it.

        What sort of re-write is that.
        a) The EFA was happily dispatched by Labour once they were in opposition.
        b) Many of the same parties criticised it for being anti democratic.
        c) The best intentions of keeping Labour in power are not necessarily one in the same with the best intentions of democracy.

        Sure democracy is under attack now. Yes… It’s not the first time… perhaps it’s the first time you agree with the same people you have obviously written off if you can say “but aimed to improve it.”

        • mikesh 3.1.1.1

          The EFA was actually pretty innocuous. Allegations that it inhibited freedom of speech were grossly exaggerated, probably for political reasons.

          • Tigger 3.1.1.1.1

            +1 – it was anti-Left PR at its best.

            • burt 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Right, the human rights commission got it really wrong last time, so did the Herald I guess because Labour is good and they were jus being sensalationlist last time. But but but … They are correct and credible this time – right.

              • RedLogix

                The main reason why the anti-EFA sentiments got so much oxygen was that the big media players didn’t like the implicit restrictions on their election advertising income stream.

                The main reason why unrestrained govt collection and analysis of data, and the GCSB Bill has suddenly become news … is that the journos suddenly woke up to how it might impact their own lives.

                But otherwise as ak below has said…

              • Draco T Bastard

                burt, you’re bullshitting again.

              • The HRC was welcome to disagree with the EFA, but honestly their objections didn’t make a lot of sense to me, despite them usually having strong points on most anything they object to. There was probably a better way to implement some of the stuff the EFA tried to do, but it wouldn’t have turned us into the sort of totalitarian regime that right-wingers thought it would.

                • burt

                  The HRC was welcome to disagree with the EFA, but honestly their objections didn’t make a lot of sense to me…

                  That’s right dear… the silly HRC was just being naughty about a very fine law the Labour party wanted to pass so they could stay in power – tilting the playing field for the incumbent government isn’t anti-democratic when Labour do it…. Labour are good and they know what’s best for NZ – so much so that they can use urgency to kill off a court case against Dear Leader and that is good because it lets glorious Labour get on with running the show how they want to.

                  Nothing wrong with the government using parliament for it’s own best interests – it’s not like parliament and politicians are elected and employed to serve the people – hell no – they are there for themselves and it’s great when the RED team abuse their power in their own best interests.

      • r0b 3.1.2

        Burt is, as usual, the only one re-writing history here.

        When the HRC and other criticsed Labour’s Electoral Finance Act Labour’s response was to revise the Act to address the criticisms. (When National got in to power they tinkered with the Act, but left it largely intact, so much for democracy under attack).

        Compare and contrast with Key’s response to HRC criticism of his spying bill, which is to threaten the funding of the HRC.

        • burt 3.1.2.1

          Revise the act to address the criticism…. Right… Passing it under urgency with dozens of amendments denied the oxygen of another select committee… It had to be in place before election year because Labour needed as much help as it could get….

            • burt 3.1.2.1.1.1

              The EFA was passed under urgency with lots of protest from opposition parties and the public – you do remember this little point don’t you ?

              I kind of respect that from your perspective that democracy can only be under attack when it feels like it’s under attack to you personally – but really you need to separate your own opinion from the facts – tough for a non thinking supporter of a failed ideology who can’t seem to notice the ideology they follow has never ever worked anywhere ever – but give it a go… just think about what it might be like to actually look at things objectively rather than through the rose coloured lens of partisan stupidity. Try it – it might change your life.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, there was a lot of opposition from the opposition parties and newspapers but I don’t recall a lot of opposition from the people. Of course, what the people actually thought of it wasn’t reported upon – only what National and the newspapers thought of it.

                tough for a non thinking supporter of a failed ideology who can’t seem to notice the ideology they follow has never ever worked anywhere ever

                Actually, I think too much and the ideas I’ve put forward from that thinking worked fine in the 1930s when Labour did it. The problems came after when the capitalists took over the creation of money again.

                just think about what it might be like to actually look at things objectively rather than through the rose coloured lens of partisan stupidity.

                That’s what I do but it’s not what you do so I suggest you follow your own advice.

  4. Mary 4

    That bullish testosterone-filled voice Key has at times in the House – the same one he had when telling Dotcom, twice, “I know you don’t know”, really does it for me.

    • burt 4.1

      Your slip is showing.

      • Mary 4.1.1

        Ooh, say it to me again, big boy.

        • burt 4.1.1.1

          Only big for you Mary….

        • North 4.1.1.2

          Mary @ 4. – “That bullish testosterone-filled voice Key has at times in the House – ”

          I see what you’re getting at but I wouldn’t characterise that way. That implies a successfully delivered, pointed, naturally possessed, machismo.

          ShonKey Python is actually somewhat effete in his totality and if anything Dotcom came over as the big fulla in the select committee exchange…….ShonKey Python somewhat simpering and weak in response. Too chicken to engage maybe…….wonder why ?

          I watch Mr Akshully and I’m virtually never not reminded of the oft-expressed words of a friend whose first language is not English – “Dat Mitta Key tork lyka pit uva kerl…..”

          His antics in the House remind me rather of the guy who tries too, too hard to appear the big, natural leader type who’s also a bit of a joker. Assisted in that charade by the Colgate sparkles and thigh-slapping clamour of the delightedly squealing and posterior squiggling likes of Amy Adams and Tremain is it, seated directly behind him.

          In the same vein Lindsay Tisch. If ever there was such a thing as a massive yet silent, beetroot-faced, wobbling-jelly, suppressed orgasm, that poor wee man defines it.

          I grant that all of the above, while being truly Monty Pythonesque and psychedelically coloured, is of course quite irrelevant………except in one telling regard – ShonKey Python is a cynical, unmitigated fraud on everything he purports to portray.

          I reckon there’s some pathology there somewhere. Shit ! NZ pays the price.

      • tricledrown 4.1.2

        Burt your face is red goes with the neck.
        Looks like you have slipped up again it can’t be easy being sexist neanderthal

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2

      All Key has said about the timing of ‘hearing about Dotcom’ is that they have scoured his files and cant ‘find any evidence’ that he knew-

      A pretty big escape clause if you ask me. He could have been told- and most likely was given a briefing, but he will blame his officials -again.

      Funnily enough in parliament he remembers all sorts of silly details about opposition MPs careers and statements

      • burt 4.2.1

        Absolutely an escape clause. … You won’t find any evidence that I had….

        Crap eh. Hurry hurry, elect a leader who can’t even remember his own off shore bank accounts – he’s clearly an honest and principled man to lead this country.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1.1

          Its not an ‘offshore’ bank account that has to be declared- its any bank account over a certain amount.
          Expect a few National Mps to suddenly have declared bank accounts in the next register of assets

          • burt 4.2.1.1.1

            Nit pick the details… I know like when Winston didn’t declare $100,000 donations to the Vella family and gave the racing industry a tax cut – he did nothing wrong but … But but Banks … He’s a criminal and must stand in court.

            • georgecom 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Burt. You are essentially saying “they are doing it too”.

              Shearer has done it so that justifies Key doing it. Maybe, maybe not. In some occasions the damn both houses is likely correct.

              However, major difference, Shearer didn’t deny knowing about the bank account. Key has denied knowing Dotcom and stated so strongly on a number of occasions.

              Should it come out that Key knew, he has dug himself a huge hole. You can of course try the ‘look at shearer’ line but it will be Keys integrity on the line.

              • burt

                No I’m not saying that. I’m just taking the piss out of the partisan hacks who denigrated all the opponents of the EFA (including the HRC) as being full of shit. Now of course they fully respect and agree with the same people they bagged… See these people know not what they are doing – they are supporters of a party – not thinking people who actually care about what is happening.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  burt, the EFA was changed in accordance with what the HRC said so it’s disingenuous to say that the HRC was “denigrated” in relation to it. All the others trashing the EFA were and are partisan hacks.

                  I’m going to stop responding to you now because I really can’t be bothered banging my head against the brick wall that is your head.

            • RedLogix 4.2.1.1.1.2

              And of course burt is being selective as usual with his details. The critical point he deliberately omits is that it was Shearer himself who made public the error.

              The simplest explanation for the mistake is that Shearer knew perfectly well that the account existed, but as an overseas account he incorrectly imagined it was not required to be declared. The kind of simple (and inconsequential) mistake busy people can easily make.

              Unfortunate and embarrassing yes, but ultimately of no more real significance that the idiotic brouhaha over Clark signing that damn painting.

        • ak 4.2.1.2

          Heh heh dear wee burt. Ah well, I guess another ten years of “they’re both equally bad as each other – but Labour is worse” is a narrow escape from a decade of GCSB retrospective validation

          • burt 4.2.1.2.1

            Imagine it – rOb defending the retrospective validation because it was expedient for the ruling party to stay in power. Oh hang on… the ruling party is blue – No no – it’s bad … this thing we defended is now something we need to fight against…

            Principles based on the colour of a party logo – the lowest form of intelligence.

      • Mary 4.2.2

        Yes, Key’s behaviour in the past suggests this too will play out in a similar way. There is a tiny bit of hope, though, that this time what Dotcom has is so strong it leaves Key with absolutely no wriggle room. That’s the hope.

    • Follow-the-money 4.3

      As a guy, it’s difficult to understand the ‘John Key, does it for me’ thing that women have, but surely wouldn’t you rather hear Kim Dotcom say “Ail be baack”?

      • Chooky 4.3.1

        Blame the ‘NZ Woman’s Weekly’ and other puerile NZ womens magazines for hyping up John Key as Mr Sexy pants with $50 million in his money bags and a mansion with a swimming pool and a gorgeous slim loving wife in designer clothes…These magazines on the supermarket stands used to make me want to puke !…such drivel.

        Personally I find Mr Dot Com in his baggy clothes and rather overweight , with his lightning fast brain, a way more sexy !…..Where are you NZ ‘Woman’s Weekly’?…How about an in depth article on cloud computing and democracy and privacy?..and Mr Dot Com beaming from the front page in his baggies.

        • Chris 4.3.1.1

          @ chooky…”!…..Where are you NZ ‘Woman’s Weekly’?…How about an in depth article on cloud computing and democracy and privacy?..and Mr Dot Com beaming from the front page in his baggies”.

          You are kidding aren’t you? NZ Womens Weekly to publish anything that requires a little thought… great TUI ad

          • Chooky 4.3.1.1.1

            Agreed!…but I reckon they did a lot for Key by hyping up his image to their silly readership

      • Mary 4.3.2

        What it “does” for me is remind me what an idiot Keys is. Attraction towards Keys of any kind was the last thing on my mind, let alone sexual attraction.

        • RedLogix 4.3.2.1

          Never ever underestimate John Key. He is the very greatest political salesman this country has ever seen.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.1.1

            +1

          • Rosetinted 4.3.2.1.2

            Keys – our Silvio Berlusconi (Italy – been to Court about corruption, having sex with older teenage girl – in his 70’s I think. Owner of tv stations, able to get control of cross-media by a soft parliament.)

        • Chooky 4.3.2.2

          Answer to Mary: Agreed…”idiot Keys”….and “sexual attraction” puke!….but I dont think that this was what these magazines had in mind, quite the opposite for their silly readership….they were being promoted as the New Zealand equivalent of American tycoons and film stars , people to be watched and admired and emulated….and envied

    • rob 4.4

      Yes but we know how bad his memory is
      It’s incredible he was able to remember anything when he was
      making all that money!

  5. Ad 5

    - Stripping of local government functions
    – Takeover of Environment Canterbury
    – Crushing of Christchurch Council
    – Radical depletion of democracy in Auckland through restructure
    – Selling out DotCom to the CIA
    – Crushing unions as a democratic force

    Dame Ann is one elegant writer, turning his own words against him.

    Anyone else here prepared to write into the NZHerald with articles?

    • Wyndham 5.1

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10897497

      Dame Anne Salmond’s article in today’s Herald. Brilliant!

      • weka 5.1.1

        Where are the solutions?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          The bit about participation. Having people participate in their democracy ensures that they keep it and also helps restrain the anti-democratic authoritarianism that we’re seeing from this government. Unfortunately, people have become divorced from the political process and see no way to reconnect.

          How to reconnect them?
          Well, my suggestion there is a more grass roots democratic party where the policies of the party are decided by the members and not by the leaders. Also, get better participation in council wards and other local communities.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            Interesting ideas Draco, but none of them are available as solutions to the general public.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              They’re actually the only ones that the general public have. Do you really think that leaders of the status quo going to change the status quo? Not going to happen and so we need to be the ones that change things and the only way to do that is to communicate with each other.

              • weka

                I think you have misunderstood me Draco. A grassroots democracratic party is a great idea. But it’s simply an idea at this stage unless someone takes some action. At the moment it’s too abstract. I don’t see it as a solution to what is happening this week or month, in terms of getting people re-engaged with democracy.

                • weka

                  Let me put it another way. I think people on ts are generally more interested in arguing about issues than coming up with solutions that we can use now (I’m including myself in this). I don’t want to minimise what people do elsewhere in their lives, but I think there is a wasted opportunity here on ts to shift from understanding what the problems are (we’re good at that), to doing something about them.

                  • karol

                    <a href='http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/07/13/ikaroa-rawhiti-by-election-autopsy-the-future-of-mana/'Mana?

                    They and groups like Auckland Poverty Action have been doing practical stuff on the ground.

                    This may help to politically engage the disengaged (if we are talking about the need to become more democratic).

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Doing something about them is long term, ongoing job. What we can do now is inform people of what is wrong and suggestion on what to do to fix those things. Further to that we can suggest joining a political party that resonates with them and joining a political party ourselves so that we and they are in a position to work long term.

          • AmaKiwi 5.1.1.1.2

            @ Draco “my suggestion is a more grass roots democratic party where the policies of the party are decided by the members and not by the leaders.”

            One of the five planks of Italy’s “Five Star Movement” was binding referendums.

            Three years after their founding Five Star won 25% of the seats in Parliament.

            That’s what WE can do.

      • UglyTruth 5.1.2

        When governments go feral, citizens of all political persuasions and from all backgrounds must stand up and demand that their representatives in Parliament – from whatever political party – do their job, and uphold democratic freedoms in New Zealand.

        Citizens are in no position to make demands of civil government. Repudiation of citizenship is the an essential part of curbing the power of a lawless body politic. The point that people like Dame Salmon do not address is the civil system itself is inherently a predatory system like mob rule.

        The law always provides a remedy. To understand the nature of the remedy one must first understand the nature of the law, in particular the differences between the civil law and the common law.

      • Paul 5.1.3

        “A quiet, obedient, and docile population; a culture of passivity and apathy; a meek acceptance of what politicians say and do – these things are not consistent with democracy.”

        Brilliant summary of the problem facing NZ democracy.
        An apathetic, distracted population, focused on rugby and reality TV.

    • unicus 5.2

      “Stopping Local Government Functions ”

      Exactly – lets hear the Herald call for the sacking of Mackay and Blakely for illegally refusing to release critical information to Auckland Councillors .

      Both of these individuals were appointed by the odious Rodney Hide – they were intended to act as Government stooges and that’s how they are behaving . Its the government who want to plant another million people in Auckland – not its citizens -and they will go through hell and high water to get their way .

      Not only has Cr Coney unmasked Mackay and Blakely – she’s also put the blow torch on the whole Government appointed senior executive team at AKC – not to mention the spineless pack of dimwits who make up the majority of her co-councillors

    • Sosoo 5.3

      Nothing will happen. It’s the same everywhere: increasing state authoritarianism meets with civic apathy. Even when things do kick off, the cops shut it down and it ends with a whimper.

      Fuck it. There’s no point in trying to make a meal out of this when hardly anyone is hungry.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        I understand your point of view. Why bother throwing John Key out of office when it appears that Labour would support 95% of the same legislation. This is another example of National and Labour in near-lockstep again and another reason that people have become so apathetic.

        • weka 5.3.1.1

          Why bother doing anything when we can sit on the internet and compain about it?

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1.1

            Good point. Why indeed.

          • UglyTruth 5.3.1.1.2

            Why bother doing anything when we can sit on the internet and compain about it?

            Because complaining does not solve the problem, and without solving the problem the future consequences of a dysfunctional society only become more entrenched.

        • Because Labour might actually be swayed by the Greens more than once? :)

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.2.1

            Yes, the Greens are well on their way to becoming an “acceptable, responsible mainstream party”. Good on them.

      • David H 5.3.2

        “Fuck it. There’s no point in trying to make a meal out of this when hardly anyone is hungry.”

        Don’t you cook???

        It’s the smells from the Kitchen that makes the saliva flow and the taste buds come to life as you inhale the aroma’s. And all of a sudden your not hungry, you are Ravenous!

  6. Follow-the-money 6

    It will be strange to be in New Zealand, soon, where buying a bus ticket will be little different to going through the airport departure gate, bringing home a loaf of bread will be like registering a new birth, and sending an email to a friend will be like lodging a passport application. As far as the government’s ability to know about you.

    John Key’s family won’t be able to give him a surprise party, if he didn’t want one.

    And, there must be a lot of ACT supporters (proportionally, I mean – I read the polls, too) who wonder why their man, Banks, supports even a modified version of the bill & why Rodney Hide wrote in support of it.

    But what I want to know is where it suddenly came from. Why does the government think we need it? Is it only because they want another chance to legally spy on Kim Dotcom, or is there a deeper motive? We’re not exactly the most terrorist-risky country.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Dont be caught up in the spin about terrorists, after all Kim Dotcoms crime was to run a file sharing service, and yet he was under surveillance.

      The latest catch phrase is ‘ weapons of mass destruction’ which is defined as what ever you want it to be. After all a bag of flour- as a fine powder dispersed in the atmosphere can create a mighty big explosion in the right circumstances

      • Zorr 6.1.1

        Never forget. One of the biggest acts of terrorism on US soil was a van loaded with fertiliser and diesel.

        Big ‘splodey doesn’t require much think think.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1.1

          The surveillance of reporters in the US had increased, with the FBI using some tricks to get secret access to journalists records.

          NY Times:
          “Justice Department’s investigative guidelines that would prevent the Federal Bureau of Investigation from portraying a reporter as a co-conspirator in a criminal leak as a way to get around a legal bar on secret search warrants for reporting materials”

      • AmaKiwi 6.1.2

        John Key is a weapon of mass destruction!

        • rob 6.1.2.1

          John Key is a flake with no memory
          He has plenty of stooges who shall follow him eh Steven

    • Sosoo 6.2

      Because they can get away within and hardly anyone cares…

    • Chooky 6.3

      Reply to: Follow the Money ”

      “But what I want to know is where it suddenly came from. Why does the government think we need it? Is it only because they want another chance to legally spy on Kim Dotcom, or is there a deeper motive? We’re not exactly the most terrorist-risky country.”

      I have wondered this too…..

      Conjecture: Maybe ‘they’ Mr Key and friends have plans for NZ we don’t know about yet ….

      ie..Follow-the -money…..who are John Keys friends/interests /tribes ?…What are their interests? ….What interest could they have in NZ?.. a friendly island refuge ?….and in …charter schools? …oil?… safe haven?…Kiwi Bank? ( Goldman Sachs)?…Many would have better ideas than me on possible plans for our NZ……..Maybe John Keys friends/interests will make us a far less safe , democratic , happy NZ .

      Conjecture: Dot Com is a particular threat because he runs a cloud service which is an encrypted internet storage service ( unlike the likes of Google and Microsoft ) which can keep safe private /business information and communications (from spying ‘ USA Prism / 5 eyes’…etc )

      I may be wrong but to me it seems that in some ways Dot Com holds the keys to a future internet which retains personal privacy…..

  7. gobsmacked 7

    It’s only the Human Rights Commission. And the Law Society. Do they matter?

    Let’s ask John Key …

    http://johnkey.co.nz/archives/275-NEWS-National-will-dump-draconian-law.html

    “In its select committee submission, the Human Rights Commission called the Electoral Finance Bill a ‘dramatic assault’ on fundamental human rights.

    “The Law Society said the bill was complex and vague, and made it dangerous for anyone to participate in elections for fear of unknowingly breaking the law.

    “But Labour doesn’t care about these submissions – or any of the others pointing out the obvious dangers to our democracy.

  8. infused 8

    So many people still sticking up for Dotcom it’s mindblowing.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      Yes! First the verdict, then the trial.

      I note people are sticking up for their personal liberties, and that you seem to be an authoritarian nanny state loving wingnut.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      You shouldn’t be envious of wealth, envy is such an ugly trait, you should be happy for Dotcoms success.

  9. idlegus 9

    what a great and exciting article from dame anne salmond, wow, & in the herald, double wow. i found this in the comments which i thought was very relevant,

    “It was Nelson Mandela who said: “Even when a democratic Government is installed, no minority should be disadvantaged.” He went on to say: “There is always a danger that when there is no opposition, the governing party can become too arrogant, too confident.” “

  10. Steve 10

    Would Key dare create a terror incident within the next few weeks to steamroller his gcsb laws in? how far would he and his US mates go?

  11. BrucetheMoose 11

    They say that trends come back into fashion over time. My friends use to mock me buying that useless WW2 Nazi memorabilia that I have stashed in a box in the attic. Who’s laughing now.

  12. Blue 12

    “We won’t see the country’s principle paper ignore…”

    That should be principal paper. They don’t have any principles.

    The Herald’s only problem with the EFA was that it threatened their advertising revenue. See also their virulent attacks on teachers for their opposition to National Standards, because the Herald wants to publish league tables.

    Unless the Herald can think up a reason why the GCSB law is bad for them, there will be no opposition from them.

  13. Sable 13

    Don’t expect much from the blatantly right wing media. Sites like the right wing rag Stuff and no doubt the Herald will probably find some way of excusing the worst of Keys excesses. I know Stuff have done a great job of painting Keys as a “fun loving” dictator.

  14. SukieDamson 14

    Proof positive on the ever dropping journalistic standards

    http://youtu.be/rFwNfbsPny0

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Dame Anne Salmond: A warning to New Zealanders keep hold of democracy

    I agree with these sentiments, absolutely. New Zealanders must stand up for their democratic rights when they are threatened, or they’ll lose them.

    Who could have imagined that in 2013, this same political leader would be presiding over an assault upon the democratic rights of New Zealanders? This is a matter of such gravity that last month, the Law Society felt impelled to report to the United Nations that in New Zealand “a number of recent legislative measures are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law”.
    ———————————-
    A quiet, obedient, and docile population; a culture of passivity and apathy; a meek acceptance of what politicians say and do – these things are not consistent with democracy.

    A healthy democracy requires the active participation of citizens in public life and in public debates. Without this participation, democracy begins to wither and becomes the preserve of a small, select political elite.”

    So even the Law Society is now convinced that this government is acting against democracy and I agree with that last part. We need to be participants in our democracy for our democracy to survive. If we aren’t then the corporates will take over – exactly as we’re seeing under this government.

    • weka 15.1

      “We need to be participants in our democracy for our democracy to survive.”

      How? Concrete, accessible solutions would be good.

      • AmaKiwi 15.1.1

        @ weka

        See comment 5.1.1.1.2 above.

        It’s not hard in NZ.

        • weka 15.1.1.1

          “It’s not hard in NZ.”

          So why is it not happening?

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1

            You need backers with money and activists with time and energy.

            EDIT and you need a capable leadership team so the thing doesn’t turn into a vehicle for some monomaniac.

      • McFlock 15.1.2

        Talk about issues.
        Get interested in things beyond what we would normally encounter.
        Join a party or organisation.
        Circulate news stories and links.
        If something gets up your nose, picket.

        Because we can’t force other people to be interested or think like us, and no organisation, budget or leader will magically change things. We are in a three-way tug of war between two political paradigms and apathy, and it’s been going for centuries. All we, as individuals, can do is try to encourage people in our areas to pull hard in our direction.

      • Paul 15.1.3

        Forward Dame Anne Salmond’s article to all your contacts.
        That’s a start.
        Discuss issues with everyone.
        Don’t be quiet.

        • weka 15.1.3.1

          That’s good too, thanks.

        • Molly 15.1.3.2

          Start discussion groups for young people, similar to Generation Zero and Justspeak where political discussions take place.

          The usual adversarial techniques of debating are shunned, and true listening and discussion skills are taught. So, political views from all places on the spectrum feel invigorated by the process and all are encouraged to participate.

          Who knows – if it works for the younger amongst us – perhaps it could grow to include us all.

          • weka 15.1.3.2.1

            The justseak site seems to be down.

            Molly, what you say is interesting. Can you link to actual discussions?

  16. mouse 16

    Why is that that I can not “like” a comment to this article…> http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10897557#commentsList

    is anyone else here able to like a comment on this article… or has something been shut down ?

    • karol 16.1

      Yep. Clicked on “like” between “reply” & “report”

      • mouse 16.1.1

        Karol, Did the site register yr like ?

        • karol 16.1.1.1

          Hmm. Immediately it did. But it’s gone when I refresh.

          • mouse 16.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Karol… it’s not just me then… some other issue in play.

            Is anyone else prohibited from liking a comment to this article ?

      • David H 16.1.2

        And clicking on Like, opened a blank page for me, and it’s got 165 likes.

        Edit: just tried commenting that seems to work.

  17. Tautoko Viper 17

    I can’t get my vote recorded also. Very frustrating

  18. Looking forward to seeing THIS ‘attack on democracy’ printed in the Herald!

    PROTEST!: Sunday 14 July 2013, from 12 noon – 1pm, outside the home of Judge Helen Winkelmann, 20 Audrey Street, Takapuna, where Vince Siemer will ‘surrender’ himself for
    6 weeks imprisonment at Mt Eden.

    https://maps.google.co.nz/maps?q=Map+20+Audrey+St+Takapuna&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x6d0d375fc7190a51:0x1be04919b4257c68,20+Audrey+Rd,+Takapuna,+Auckland+0620&gl=nz&ei=xyrhUaeANoboiAedx4CQCA&ved=0CCsQ8gEwAA

    This is a DISGRACE – when NZ Judges do not follow the RULE OF LAW – but just ‘make it up’?

    Vince Siemer is believed to be the first person in the free world to be sentenced to prison for reporting a criminal court judgment.

    In New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’?

    What a sick joke.

    This ongoing persecution of Vince Siemer, in my opinion, NZ’s foremost ‘whistleblower’ against judicial corruption, makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander.

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Don’t jail Siemer, says dissenting Chief Justice

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/dont-jail-siemer-says-chief-justice-gb-p-142808

    (Includes links to Supreme Court Judgment)

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    STATEMENT BY VINCE SIEMER:
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

    13 July 2013

    First they came for the trade unionists…

    I, Vince Siemer, am going to prison tomorrow after the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal ruling which in turn upheld two judges of the High Court decreeing I am in contempt of the Courts. I consider I can show no better respect for the rule of law than contempt for judges who pervert it. My “crime” is publishing the secret December 2010 judgment of Justice Helen Winkelmann which denied the Urewera 18 defendants their statutory right to trial by jury on the basis a jury “would likely use improper reasoning processes”. The Chief Justice strongly dissented, recognising I disobeyed an unlawful order yet was denied the lawful right to challenge it in order to preserve my liberty.

    I am believed to be the first person in the free world to be sentenced to prison for reporting a criminal court judgment. (Who says New Zealand does not lead the world?!) One reason I am the first is secret criminal court judgments are unlawful. In my case, the Courts roundly protected the unlawfulness of Winkelmann?s order by asserting they need not determine the lawfulness on the ground even unlawful orders need to be obeyed until overturned – the Crown claiming a message needed to be sent to the larger community of this. Interestingly, I invited the Attorney General to make submissions in the public interest regarding the lawfulness of Winkelmann’s orders and he responded that, if he made submissions at all, he would seek an increased order of costs against me.

    Where Winkelmann’s order gave no reasons for the secrecy, the High Court Judges tripped over each other to retrofit the reason that justice required the secrecy. The Crown conceded at my trial no prejudice or harm was alleged as a result of my publication, but they still wanted me imprisoned. In a page out of a George Orwell novel, the Court of Appeal censored Winkelmann’s reason for negating the statutory right of appeal when upholding my conviction out of fear the public would not take kindly to being called stupid in a secret judgment.

    First they steal the words; stealing the meanings only when required.

    New Zealand judges are out of control. We no longer have the instilling discipline of the Privy Council in England. The NZ Court of Appeal judges trounced by the Privy Council as law-breakers in Taito v R now comprise the Supreme Court which replaced the Privy Council.

    Do you see any mainstream media reporting any of this?

    We get what we deserve with our judges. The incestuous nature of judicial appointments being what it is, every judge in New Zealand signed on to submissions to Parliament opposing the passage of the pecuniary interest of judges bill currently before Parliament. Really? Not one judge in the whole of New Zealand not actively opposed to this bill which requires them to register their financial and business interests? While it seems impossible at times to get more than two Members of Parliament to completely agree, our 205 judges are in lock step with their independent view. It is evident “independent judge” is an oxymoron in New Zealand.

    We have forfeited much with the loss of the independent Privy Council. This should come as no surprise. Former Attorney General Margaret Wilson was undeterred when 82 percent of Auckland law practitioners voted against her new Supreme Court. When everyone’s back was turned it still happened. We built a $100 million palace for five elevated judges, most of whom were known to engage in breaches of due process. And, like sheep, this 82% fell into the fold even as this new court made mince out of established principles on judicial bias and essential legal rights, rolling over established legislation with all the finesse of a blitzkrieg. It is the law today that the “New Zealand independent and informed observer” is an endangered species and, where it does exist, does not consider a judge has a conflict of interest where he/she is business adversary or sibling to those who appear before him/her. You now have to be rich to get to a hearing in the courts – the Supreme Court ruling the requirement that plaintiffs pay the defendants’ anticipated legal costs into the Court as a condition to obtaining a hearing is “well-settled law” in New Zealand. Two years ago, in Atty General v Chapman, the Supreme Court ruled judges are exempt from the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 on the ground this statute that expressly bound them threatens their “independence” we all know so well.

    Maybe the diminishing numbers allowed to be heard in the courtrooms no longer care. But we could possibly survive without the legal necessity of independent judges if these judges had any respect for the rule of law and the courts they serve. But they have no respect for laws where their mates and critics are concerned, and the most powerful sheep lawyers in New Zealand, while silent about it publicly, make no secret about it privately. As retired Judge Sir Edward Thomas said in a 2007 email to the president of the New Zealand Bar, “I am not a keeper of the court’s conscience and am of the view that my primary obligation is to Alan, not just as a matter of professional obligation but by virtue of my deep friendship for him. There is a limit to how far I will go to uphold the integrity of the court if the judges themselves won’t.”

    Where is the “independent bar” on this? Flocking behind the independent judges, either cowering in fear or cloaked in protective partisanship. This silent flock is hoping the perverse court judgments in my cases do not generally denigrate the rule of law in New Zealand. History finds this the safest place for lawyers to be. Look at Fiji.

    Those who see little comparison with Fiji fail to realise that Fijians do not feel oppressed. That is the insidious thing with erosion of the rule of law. It is frighteningly uneventful until the tipping point. In the Earthquake Commission contempt the Solicitor General filed against Marc Krieger this week, it was not the Bill of Rights or due process legislation which even featured in the SG’s application. The SG largely relies upon three of my court decisions to eventually bankrupt this poor citizen who had the audacity to expose the EQC’s attempt to write off $100 million which evaporated from the public coffers.

    Anyone who doesn’t believe a “deep friendship for Alan” is a more valuable commodity in a New Zealand Court than truth and law chooses to ignore the reality. For whistleblowers, one obvious problem is they do not have deep friendships with the perpetrators whose power and influence is the currency of the New Zealand courts. Partisanship and secrecy is endemic, and it is laying ruin to the rule of law in black robe and white collar New Zealand. It would be better if it was blood in the streets, if only to wake people up to the huge corruption occuring behind closed court doors. No one should need to go to prison to protect the rule of law but the sad reality is sitting in prison is often the best way to stand up for legal rights. While it is unfortunate this price must be paid, I consider my imprisonment a demonstration of my highest respect for the law.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Vince Siemer
    Editor
    Spartan News Limited
    on-line NZ news: http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz
    ______________________________________________________________________________

  19. KJT 19

    Democracy = “rule by the people”.

    WE DO NOT AND HAVE NEVER HAD, A DEMOCRACY.

    The Swiss have a democracy.

    At best we have a rotating dictatorship where they generously allow us to change the names of the dictators every three years. Who then go on to do whatever they like!

    Even basic democratic rights like BCIR, (with low enough thresholds so they actually happen), workers rights to withdraw their labour, freedom of speech and access to the courts, are denied.

    Where if we do not like the current lot the only option is to vote in the lot we did not like last time. (Nod to “No Right Turn”).

    Where Governments go into ideological fantasy worlds of their own with no real checks or balance.

    An upper house just perpetuates the removal of political power from the people.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/democracy-repris.html
    “You mean the largely self appointed old boys club of the marginally competent. Who examine all the papers and evidence and then do the opposite because of an irrational faith in free markets and other religions.
    The ones who totally ignore expert research, empirical evidence, overseas experiences and advice and follow the failed footsteps of the UK, Ireland, Greece and USA.”

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/06/democracy-recap.html
    “Like most people your objections are really. “We cannot have democracy because the decisions may not reflect the ones I would make”.
    Well. I am happy to test my ideas against the collective intelligence of the public. Are you?”

    If you object to allowing the majority to vote on policy, why then, allow them to vote on representation. The same objections apply.
    It seems way too many politicians, including, sadly, many on the left, are happy to have a dictatorship so long as they get a turn.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      +1

    • UglyTruth 19.2

      Democracy = lawful rule by the people.
      “rule by the people” = mob rule.

      • KJT 19.2.1

        So UT, you do not believe that people should have a say in their own future?

        Scratch as self styled libertarian and you almost always find a nasty little authoritarian fascist.
        Like Brash, Banks, Hide, Collins and Brownlee. (I think Key is just a “useful idiot”!).

        And that we should be ruled by 10 or 20 group thinking, self selected, marginally competent, people who have the arrogance to think they have the right to speak for all the rest of us.

        And you are disregarding all the evidence from business studies and elsewhere, including countries with more democratic Governments, that the more people involved in decision making the better the overall quality of the decisions.

        “Mob rule” in fact, has been proven to make for better run States, than those run by “representatives”.

        And. Ethically, “even if our decisions are wrong, it should be ours to make”.

        • UglyTruth 19.2.1.1

          Yes, of course people should have a say in their own future. I’m not arguing for representative democracy, I think that direct (participatory) democracy is better.

          “even if our decisions are wrong, it should be ours to make”.

          Not when your decisions affect the rights of others.

          • Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1.1

            Not when your decisions affect the rights of others.

            Everything you do affects others and their rights – should you therefore do nothing?

          • KJT 19.2.1.1.2

            All political decisions affect the rights of others in some way.

            Like the decision not to sell assets, which at least 70% of New Zealanders agree with.

            The majority decision of New Zealander’s in the referendum will most likely be against asset sales, affecting the rights of a few shareholders to make money from the rest of us.

            So. By your reckoning that is a decision we are not allowed to make because it stops a few peoples rights to steal from the rest of us?

            70% of those who voted in a referendum to keep Hamilton water fluoridated affected the rights of those who are against it. But should we let a lunatic minority dictate to the majority.

            You say you are for “participatory democracy” but against rule by majority vote. How else do we do it?

            We choose representatives by majority vote. Should we change to not voting at all?

            Having the politicians pick our representatives, like present day Labour, works SO well!

            The high quality of Green politicians is because they are voted in the list by a majority, almost consensus, of all party members.

            • UglyTruth 19.2.1.1.2.1

              By your reckoning that is a decision we are not allowed to make because it stops a few peoples rights to steal from the rest of us?

              Nobody has the right to steal anything. If a decision is made with the informed consent of all the affected parties then there shouldn’t be a problem.

              You say you are for “participatory democracy” but against rule by majority vote. How else do we do it?

              I suggest that you do it lawfully – that’s what sets democracy apart from mob rule. In practical terms this could mean applying the system of the common law hundred. The main difference between the hundred and representational democracy is that the hundred is apolitical – its purpose is only to resolve disputes. Also, the operation of the hundred is based on truth and reason rather than on the opinion of the majority. But if the hundred does it’s job of resolving the dispute then this point is moot.

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    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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