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Highlighting the income gap

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, March 31st, 2014 - 84 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, democratic participation, poverty, unemployment, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

There’s significant information available about the destructive impact of high levels of income inequalities, on people’s lives and democratic processes.  Many Kiwis feel its impact.  How can the public be better informed about the causes of, and remedies for income inequalities and related differences in access to power.

child poverty a national disgrace

Auckland Action Against Poverty are planning a well targeted and creative bit of action next Saturday. Meanwhile a Herald Digipoll tells us what too many Kiwis already know:

Nearly three-quarters of New Zealanders believe the gap between rich and poor has increased under six years of National Government and almost two-thirds feel they are no better off or have gone backwards, a Herald-DigiPoll survey suggests.

Forty four per cent of the 750 New Zealanders surveyed this month said the gap between the rich and poor had got a lot bigger over the past six years.

Bill English hilariously tries a glass-half-full response to the poll:

Through a spokesman, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said the fact the poll showed most New Zealanders felt better off or the same about their situation “is encouraging given they have been through a large recession and the global financial crisis in the past six years”.

Auckland Action Against Poverty has a piece of action planned for next Saturday evening outside the Young Nats’ Ball in Auckland:

John Key & Paula Bennett are preparing to have a ball with their Young Nats. We’re hosting an alternative party for those left out in the cold by Nationals war on the poor.
[…]
Beneficiaries, low paid workers and young New Zealanders see little reason to celebrate after 6 years under National.

Let’s remind the Nats their champagne celebrations will not go unchallenged while so many of us are pushed further into poverty as a result of their policies.

6.30pm Saturday 5th April outside Rendezvous Hotel, 71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland

Key young nats ball

It is good that there is some coverage in the mainstream media of the issue of the inequality gap.  However, far more needs to be done politically and in policy development and public discourse.  This is needed in order to identify specific problems and causal factors, and to develop effective policies to improve the situation.

Statistics NZ provides useful data

Statistics NZ provides some useful background on the last few decades of income inequality in NZ, and how NZ compares internationally.  Basically, inequality in NZ rose markedly in the late 1980s, started to decrease under the last Labour led government, then began to increase again under the current National led government.  It is still well above the early to mid 1980s level.

The NZ Income surveys show things are not that great for young people, with a relative drop in income for those aged between 15 and 24 years.

 

Sociological research & public knowledge & understanding

For those interested in gaining a more in depth grasp of the issues of income inequalities and social class differences, a special issue of The Journal the Sociological Association of New Zealand, 2013 (v28:3) is worth a look.  The editorial outlines the various ways of understanding the linkages between class and income inequality.  It argues that these linkages are overdue an up-dating for the current NZ context.  Factors that need to be considered are the impact on people’s lives of the interaction between income inequality and social and cultural capital.  These also interact with other inequalities like those of gender and ethnicity

The editorial by Charles Crothers mentions that a more Marxist approach takes into account issues of power and domination (an important factor not to be overlooked).  There is reference to Erik Olin Wright’s (2009) discussion of this and other approaches.  Crothers then provides a general outline of the US context (but relevant to NZ) arising from various sociological approaches:

- At the top, an extremely rich capitalist class and corporate managerial class,[…]

– An historically large and relatively stable middle class, […]

– A working class which once was characterised by a relatively large unionized segment […]

– A poor and precarious segment of the working class, […]

– A marginalised, impoverished part of the population, […]

Brian Easton analyses Bryan Perry and Max Rashbrooke’s books on income inequalities, which he finds useful, but limited in scope, and with some flawed elements. He ends by concluding that policies require a considered mix of redistribution and predistribution.

Peter Skilling argues that argues that many of the claims in books by Rashbrooke and Stiglitz are not very new (e.g. “that a meaningful policy response to inequality might not be compatible with the continuation of free markets”).

Economic power & the media

More importantly Skilling concludes that neither book provides strategies to counter the wider understandings and values that currently dominate the public sphere – and particularly that there is a need to look more in depth at the ways that economic power, and the MSM dominate general discourse.

In this more practical vein, both Stiglitz and (in the Rashbrooke volume) Wade call for greater control over the financing of politicians and political parties. But it is worth recalling that the last attempt in New Zealand to regulate political party electoral financing resulted in a media outcry, led by the New Zealand Herald’s ‘Democracy under Attack’ campaign (New Zealand Herald, 2007).

Skilling notes that there has been no similar campaign in the MSM against the way inequalities undermine democracy.  He ends by saying that there needs to be more consideration of the ways the mass media and social media networks can contribute towards “developing a public consensus to address inequality. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

84 comments on “Highlighting the income gap”

  1. Tracey 1

    And the national crosby tdexter sideshow is revved up to tell us the second most important issue to nzers is law and order… its not, but thats what they are spouting starting with key on tv this morning…

    below is a short extract but gives a taster into how poverty in the usa and loss of welfare led to credit which got the poor caught up in the market forces
    http://m.sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/25/sf.sot122.extract

  2. Tracey 2

    below is a short extract but gives a taster into how poverty in the usa and loss of income to fund welfare led to credit which got the govt caught up in trying to fund so eventually the finance sector convinced goct to loosen therules… which they did
    http://m.sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/25/sf.sot122.extract

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Anyone who watched the well researched TV mini-series on Packer and Murdoch will have finally had confirmation that what they were told for years by the media was a ‘lefty conspiracy theory’ was actually true. Crony capitalism as the standard operating procedure, with media complicity an essential foundation, kept the right in charge for decades in Aussie. And over here too.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      An efficient economy requires a larger pool of capable people able to take up societies jobs, for many reasons, but simplest is that not having enough people capable means they can ask whatever they like. Now we do have enough bankers, yet their asking wages kept rising despite this The only explanation for this was ideological, that the power think they are irreplaceable and so gave each other high remunerations. The danger though was what happen, first it was just enough that capable individuals were also deeply imbued with the ideology of individual supremacy, but over time there was no need to hire capable (i.e. law abiding, or those with integrity. Or worse those who pushed the ideology further into society morphing the economy out of any efficiency. Welcome to 2014, building roads as petrol peaks, impressively backwards.

      However we have turned, or are turning. Moro points out how the rich aren’t letting their kids inherit their fortunes. Not the royal though. But its impressively bad news for those societies that do this, since the young and capable few who also inherit great wealth and are capable (there are some) are eradicated from society, leaving their skills to be picked up by Arabs and other societies that don’t excise their inferior children from inheritance. You see an efficient economy isn’t necessary a uniform one, that’s the mistake of the communists and now the neoliberals, as both have a commonality, their own supremacy of intellect and righteousness.

      Yes we need to fix the macro linkages that is propelling the wealthy few to great massive wealth, but no we don’t need to do it by making us less diverse and unequal. We need to shift the trends, not organize the people better. The threat is from those in wealth, too stupid to admit the error of Thatcherism, and too stupid to admit their own vanity, and even stupid enough to impose their beliefs on their offspring.

      At its core I believe every generation up to the boomers believed children were the future, but with the boomers they were told they were the future, cultural time stopped, all aspect of society is given over to boomers, and even in retirement boomers will rule tax policy. We stopped living for our children.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Also, anyone tried to ‘vote’ or ‘view results’ on the National Herald on-line poll today? They ask ‘what do you think of National’s handling of income inequality’ and neither ‘button’ seems to work, despite boasting 4650 votes?

    • karol 4.1

      The Poll worked for me. 48% say National’s handling of it has been bad.

      • Belladonna 4.1.1

        Poll still says the same percentage which is a little strange. Hasn’t moved since the middle of the day seemingly.

  5. Ad 5

    Motivation enough for me to go once more into a campaign.
    No more needed.

  6. whatever next? 6

    but will we be pummeled with this poll, as we are by all “who’s winning” polls released ad nauseum?
    I doubt it
    (that picture says it all)

  7. McFlock 7

    I reckon the dialogue around inequality and particularly children facing deprivation has changed over the last 5 or 10 years. That didn’t happen by accident – while there isn’t so much in the coordination as such, academics have been working harder to communicate their research to advocates and activists on the ground, while activists and advocates have worked hard to match the research to real stories of individuals.

    IMO, that’s one of the more significant factors in stories about child maltreatment being viewed as more of a systemic, community problem, rather than the only voice being along the lines of Lhaws saying things like ‘lock up the ferals’.

    Not won, by any means, but I reckon that that’s a fairly solid model for expanding the different issues facing the non-luxury classes

    • karol 7.1

      That’s interesting, McFlock, because that was a major impetus for the Skilliing article that I referred to. I mentioned the academic-non-academia interaction in an earlier draft of my post, but the post got too long. So that was one of the bits I edited out.

      Skilling said at the start of his article:

      One thing that might be noted about the strictly academic literature in this area is that it has been strikingly unsuccessful (thus far, at least) in effecting policy change, or even attitudinal change. In this context it is understandable and – in my view – admirable that many of the academics listed above have sought to engage a broader audience. My interest here is on this specific sub-genre of the recent inequality literature: books on the issue written by academics but written for an audience beyond academia.

      Skilling also mentions “The Spirit Level” as the most well known example, near the beginning of his article. He chose to focus mostly on the Rashbrooke & Stiglitz books to make his article manageable.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        It strikes me as also being one common factor that some of the successful campaigns on what one or two Waitakere Men like to call “boutique identity politics” share.

        And also something that “the left” was once adept at: activists acting as an enthusiastic bridge of communication between the populace and the researcher (generally Marx), if you will.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.2

        The Spirit Level is hardly an academic tretise – it’s journalistic pop soc sci that privileges economic inequality over all other kinds of inequality and fudges the distiction between whether less economic inequality means all society does better or just better on average. Nor does health and income offer a robust enough correlation for a thesis and the book is riddled with western-centric cultural perspectives and assumptions. It’s certainly not enough to build policy around.

        • felix 7.1.2.1

          Have you seen this recent comment from karol where she refers to Skilling describing The Spirit Level?

        • karol 7.1.2.2

          Did you read the articles in the journal cited in my post, pop? They include an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of such books. They also point to where more research is needed. Too much to cover in detail in a post.

    • Ergo Robertina 7.2

      Yes, our social ills are now a rich source of academic funding and kudos for our cash strapped universities.
      I suppose it’s good if you earn your living from it.
      But most of this boils down to the mundane stuff of every day life; reducing alcohol intake, eating healthy food, living in a warm insulated house, accessing healthcare, and having a reasonable distribution of income.
      We don’t need screeds of ‘evidence’ or a fancy academic title to know how to live well, or that poverty is a bad thing.
      And this Chris Trotter column suggests a more sinister agenda at play.

      • Ergo Robertina 7.2.1

        The link to the Chris Trotter piece is here

      • McFlock 7.2.2

        And maybe someone once said to Hillary that climbing Everest boiled down to the mundane stuff of avoiding hypothermia, taking oxygen and putting one foot in front of another /sarc

        Oh, and for some reason it’s not quite that rich a source of funding. But then you already know everything, no evidence required – unfortunately the rest of us need to choose between A)quoting the latest research to demonstrate systemic problems; or B)saying that tories are wrong because, well, um, a youtube link with cool sound track said so…

        • Ergo Robertina 7.2.2.1

          Well, I accept it’s still not that rich; which is why academia is so vulnerable to the political preoccupations of the day.
          And that is dangerous, because we need universities to be the conscience of society, without fear or favour.
          Sometimes the political agenda includes delaying action, which academia serves well because there is always more evidence to be garnered, results are seldom conclusive.
          Read Donna Chisholm’s latest piece in North and South for some indication of how things are going wrong, as the agendas of big business and government are actually imperilling the economic aims they hope to drive with research. Academic Rod Jackson – I don’t have the article here to cite with me unfortunately, was quoted saying he was frequently invited to speak at academic conferences about his research indicating alcohol consumption reduced heart disease risk. And then his subsequent findings suggested the reverse, and the invitations stopped, which made him question the influence of vested interests.
          Although you probably believe such an article is meaningless trivia, because it is full of unscientific anecdotes like the one cited above.
          As stated above, universities should be the conscience of society, but I do not believe that is enhanced by being harnessed to produce social policy on everyday matters, and being tied too closely with commercial research.

          • McFlock 7.2.2.1.1

            Everything you said about the issue of academic freedom and research in that comment was pretty much reasonable and true.

            But it’s still a key ingredient to implementing policies that reduce inequality. Because to win the fight capitalists we need something more than some youtube propaganda clips and a belief in the divinity of our own intuition.

            • Ergo Robertina 7.2.2.1.1.1

              ‘… a belief in the divinity of our own intuition.’

              Did the first Labour Government draw upon the divinity of its intuition, or reams of academic research, to marshal the political will to build state houses, set up the welfare system, the health system?
              No, it simply put in place systems and facilities to cater for people’s physical needs because it was the right thing to do.
              As Bill said, the academic model endlessly diagnoses and mulls over the minutiae of the malaise rather than curing it. There is a vital role for reflection, study, and challenge to the status quo, but academia itself does not propel political action.

              • karol

                You underestimate how widely read and knowledgable the early twentieth cnetury socialist/labour movement people were.

                Look at Michael J Savage’s bio on Te Ara:

                In his early years he was into Henry George (a political economist) and Edward Bellamy.

                The Te Ara bio also says this:

                During this time Savage became involved with the WEA and was particularly influenced by the monetary reform views of Irving Fisher, professor of political economy at Yale University. The writings of Fisher reinforced Savage’s belief, derived from his earlier reading of Henry George, Edward Bellamy and Karl Marx, that gross under-consumption, economic deprivation and social misery existed in the midst of plenty because the means of distribution and exchange were unsatisfactory. The state alone should have the right to issue money and regulate its value and to control credit through a government-directed banking system.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  Of course reading was seminal to these mostly autodidact politicians, like John A Lee for whom encountering Jack London was a turning point. The social realism of the likes of London, Sinclair Upton, George Orwell, the syndicalist writers, Marx, and so on, formed their intellectual, social, and political bedrock.
                  It awakened and fed an anger too; these writings aren’t characterised by dry and dispassionate academic jargon, and quantitative findings.

                  • karol

                    these writings aren’t characterised by dry and dispassionate academic jargon, and quantitative findings.

                    Ah, but academics research doesn’t need to always be written that way.

                    And that is precisely what Peter Skilling was on about in the article I referred to in my post – making academic writing that is more accessible and useful to the general public.

                    I’ve been reading bit of The Making the English Working Class lately – inspiring stuff.

                    Sometimes quantitative data is useful in showing the bigger picture.

                    And that sort of information is important in showing how things like income inequality have changed over time. And scientific data is essential to provide evidence of things like climate change.

                    Without being backed with such evidence, how do you expect to convince the general population that change is needed, or that they have nothing to lose but their chains?

                    BTW, Bryan Bruce’s documentary on poverty used academic material well in a way that was associated with images and explanations that could be communicated well pretty widely. Part of the reason I think that the inequality gap, and poverty have become an election issues.

          • karol 7.2.2.1.2

            Do you know think that books like The Spirit Level, and The Rashbrrooke book re inequality in NZ, have helped raise the profile of income inequality publicly? these are books by academics, for general public consumption.

            Indeed, we do need universities to have academic freedom. Too much has been whittled away during neoliberal times.

            I’m more concerned about universities being appropriated by business (think Owen Glenn) and less concerned about the work done on social policy (Sue Bradford is now a lecturer at UNITEC on social practice/ community development, and the work done by many people in sociology.

            • Ergo Robertina 7.2.2.1.2.1

              It’s an interesting question regarding the impact of The Spirit Level and its New Zealand offshoot.
              I would say the impact is positive – but limited.
              Outside the more engaged end of the chattering class, how many have read the books?
              Inequality is on the radar politically, but that’s to a large extent a symptom of the problem, rather than the books per se. That’s not to say they are not a useful resource.
              In Britain, there was certainly an impact. The TSL had an exciting moment, especially given the timing of its release soon after the financial crisis.
              Britain has an intellectual and serious media infrastructure that New Zealand does not have, and the author academics had a bit of charisma, and are quite strident. Whereas here, at a talk I attended, Rashbrooke declined to prescribe specific remedies to reduce inequality, and it all seemed a bit mealy mouthed.
              Anyway, I don’t need 30 years of evidence about the worsening of the gini coefficient to know trickle-down doesn’t work. And neither did two of the ignored and derided politicians of the 1980s, Tony Benn and Jim Anderton.
              In one of your links, Brian Easton said there was a surprising amount of NZ research on inequality. Do you think this substantial body of research has lessoned the problem?
              Good post by the way.

              • karol

                It doesn’t need for everyone to read the books for the ideas in them to become widely circulated. Some read them, some provide quotes and explanations, the ideas get discussed, etc.

                Peter Skilling, in his article that I cited in my post, said exactly that about the research on inequality – he said there needs to be more academic work on the topic that has an impact on staretgies, and that is done in such a way as to be communicated to, and understood by the general public.

                Bryan Bruce puts some of this academic ideas into an award winning and very watchable documentary. It includes reference to The Spirit Level.

                Tony Benn was excellent at being able to communicate socialist ideas in a very easily understandable way. But where did he get those ideas from?

                He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford Uni

                • Ergo Robertina

                  I’m not denying a role for academia, I am though sceptical of whether it can effect the desired change politically and socially.
                  Of course, academia also gave us the Chicago boys and the Washington consensus, providing the intellectual underpinning to deregulate the financial sector, and helped enable shocking political violence and thuggery in South America.
                  It’s not an either-or dichotomy in the black and white terms favoured by McFlock, around intuition versus evidence.
                  I agree with you that academic writing can be a powerful force for good, and need not be written in inaccessible language, although much of it is.
                  As an aside, I believe Benn did not consider himself an intellectual, and was influenced by the family tradition of nonconformist religion, which is dealt with in this article:
                  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/22/tony-benn-peter-wilby-reads-diaries

                  • McFlock

                    It’s not an either-or dichotomy in the black and white terms favoured by McFlock, around intuition versus evidence.

                    cf my previous comment (emphasis added):

                    But it’s still a key ingredient to implementing policies that reduce inequality. Because to win the fight capitalists we need something more than some youtube propaganda clips and a belief in the divinity of our own intuition

                    “autodidactic” you ain’t.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      I’m sorry if you feel I oversimplified your point.
                      However, the strawman of ‘a belief in the divinity of our own intuition’ is hyperbolic and derogatory. It places intuition in the realm of faith, the supernatural, and the irrational, by using the words ‘belief’ and ‘divinity’ for description.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t feel you oversimplified it. I know that portraying something as a black&white dichotomy is not the same as saying that one thing is necessary and the other thing is insufficient. Even if you confuse the two, your non-apology was completely unnecessary.

                      I’ve looked at the divinity line again, and can’t decide if it’s hyperbole or not:
                      If “intuition” isn’t perfect, surely it’s a profound arrogance to want to change society (through either revolution or election) according only to one’s personal intuition?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Well, it’s clearly not hyperbole to you, because in this context you view intuition in regards to politics as ‘profound arrogance’.
                      I said elsewhere on this thread that some of us didn’t need 30 years of gini coefficient data to have known at the outset that trickledown economics was rubbish. Perhaps that is an example of ‘profound arrogance’. If so, I don’t care.

                    • McFlock

                      I said elsewhere on this thread that some of us didn’t need 30 years of gini coefficient data to have known at the outset that trickledown economics was rubbish.

                      Really? Wow, that’s amazing. What about everyone else, how were they supposed to know? And: how did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      When a Government flogs off assets overseas, removes import barriers, and creates a trade imbalance, the result is a tiny elite and huge social problems and poverty domestically. A widening gap between the rich and the poor is inevitable.
                      You don’t need a university degree to grasp it, just a basic understanding of history and human nature.
                      And the Keynesian economists in our universities were swept away by this tide; they had no ability to shape the agenda.

                    • McFlock

                      The questions were:
                      how were people without your “intuition” supposed to know?
                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      that keynesian etc academics failed to stop it is not the issue. Maybe they were wrong. How do you know that the tories aren’t correct, that everyone except the people you personally encountered aren’t better off?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘how were people without your “intuition” supposed to know?’

                      Wow, that’s some intellectually dishonest use of inverted commas there. You introduced the notion of ‘intuition’ to this thread. I agreed it had a place, but elaborated on the historical, social, political, economic factors (mostly just cause and effect) that militate against free markets delivering equal distribution of income. I can see you’re not interested in the actual topic.

                      ‘How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?’
                      ‘that keynesian etc academics failed to stop it is not the issue.’
                      ‘ Maybe they were wrong. How do you know that the tories aren’t correct, that everyone except the people you personally encountered aren’t better off?

                      Your questions are predicated on the odd notion that we need a quantitative data set about every human endeavour in order to make decisions, predictions, or assertions. Which is obviously quite bizarre.

                    • McFlock

                      Your questions are predicated on the odd notion that we need a quantitative data set about every human endeavour in order to make decisions, predictions, or assertions. Which is obviously quite bizarre.

                      nope. They’re pretty simple.
                      You made a specific claim about how your predictive powers made academic research redundant.

                      how were people without [your predictive powers] supposed to know?
                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      Because the objective is to stop those bastards (neolibs) being re-elected, preferably over the long term. It would be awesome if the majority of the populace could, like, just know somehow that the neolibs are full of shit.

                      Apparently research demonstrating increasing inequality and hardship for our poorest is a waste of resources. So how is everyone else supposed to come to your conclusion, and how are we supposed to know that conclusion is correct?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      False premise. Why would academic research be ‘redundant’? Had we followed a different social and economic path, there would simply be a different set of data to analyse.

                    • McFlock

                      Why would academic research be ‘redundant’?

                      cf:

                      some of us didn’t need 30 years of gini coefficient data to have known at the outset that trickledown economics was rubbish

                      Seems you think at least one bit of academic research has a function that was already fulfilled by your predictive powers.

                      Had we followed a different social and economic path, there would simply be a different set of data to analyse.

                      Yes. But the weight of the evidence would have pointed in the same direction. Neolibs = high inequality, high unemployment, and falling living standards relative to less-neolib societies.

                      how were people without [your predictive powers] supposed to know?
                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      What is your view of trickle-down economics?
                      At what point in time was the evidence sufficient (if indeed it is) for you to hold a view?
                      If research and data analysis is framed in a way that seems biased or slanted (like the focus on child poverty, rather than poverty) does that affect how you see the findings?
                      What if research parameters are defined by politicians and NGOs? Does it matter?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      how were people without [your predictive powers] supposed to know?

                      I’m not the only person who thought Rogernomics wasn’t a good idea. Perhaps you missed the mass redundancies, the virtual closure of some small towns, and the electorate’s decision to change the voting system in response.

                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      I have already answered that in cause and effect economic terms. Market economies are nothing new, have been in vogue many times before, and caused huge health and social ills.

                    • McFlock

                      “hold a view” or “know”? Because the two are very different things.

                      But obviously I like data. And I have a bit of an advantage because I was still in school in the 80s, so my opinion was formed equally by personal experience, learning about economics and political history, and of course seeing the broad data. The assurances neolibs give of improvement aren’t matched by the reality of most people. I think their portrayals of markets and human interactions are simplistic, and I think there’s more than enough data now to say that it quacks like a duck.

                      Of course biased data or narrow samples affect how I regard finndings, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. As long as the bias is known, that’s cool, it has value. If we suspect it’s biased, but not how it’s biased, it approaches worthlessness. Like a herald or reid poll.

                      That’s how I reached my conclusion, and why I think it’s correct.
                      You?

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not the only person who thought Rogernomics wasn’t a good idea.

                      Thought? You said you knew.

                      Perhaps you missed the mass redundancies, the virtual closure of some small towns, and the electorate’s decision to change the voting system in response.

                      I also saw many new businesses start up, conspicuous consumption, building booms in other towns, and a media targeted squarely at the comfortable middle classes.

                      Macroeconomic data certainly helped demonstrate whether there was more “boom” than “bust”. Bust has been winning for three decades, but the only reason I can be sure of that is data, research, and formal education.

                      How did you know your predictions 30 years ago were correct?

                      I have already answered that in cause and effect economic terms. Market economies are nothing new, have been in vogue many times before, and caused huge health and social ills.

                      Where did you pick that up from? I’m sure they haven’t been in vogue “many times before” in your lifetime.

                    • whatever next?

                      But how to force the moment to a crisis? it took a war to raise “the spirit of 45″, and people finally realising there was another way, and if they could beat Hitler, and run an empire, why not have a decent life aswell?
                      what will it take now? how do we get the 1,000,000 who didn’t vote in the last election to vote in September? hopefully not a war.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘I also saw many new businesses start up, conspicuous consumption, building booms in other towns, and a media targeted squarely at the comfortable middle classes.’

                      Creative destruction eh?
                      You’ve given quite an insight into why you’re sanguine about us wasting 30 years in order to study your beloved ‘data’. Now, I don’t expect you to be able to incorporate this in your dismal and banal mindset, but the ‘data’ you put on some kind of pedestal is human lives, humans thrown on the scrapheap of history.
                      You did not seem to understand the point about opportunity cost, that if we didn’t have this data set, we would have another set of figures, telling a different story.
                      Locked in a reactive knee-jerk ‘evidence based’ paradigm, you appear to think it’s fine if as a society we do stupid, destructive things, as long as it’s measured afterwards.

                    • McFlock

                      aaaaaaand we talk past each other once again.

                      My point was that you somehow knew that the new jobs and wealth would not come close to outweighing the damage of destroyed towns and industries, when lots of other people apparently didn’t.

                      And you still haven’t explained how you know for a fact that you were right 30 years ago. I assume it didn’t involve formal education and actual data.

                      It’s all very well that you can pull this shit out of your arse, but how do you prove it to people who don’t have your perceptive gifts?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘And you still haven’t explained how you know for a fact that you were right 30 years ago. I assume it didn’t involve formal education and actual data.’

                      This implies only academics or researchers in the pertinent subject area can hold opinions on politics and economics. You do appear to hold some rather eccentric views.
                      I was at primary school at the time, but was opposed to Roger Douglas et al, and distressed at the upheaval in our community. It’s not particularly relevant, although children certainly have an innate sense of fairness, and more sensitivity to the suffering of others than most adults.
                      My point was more around the value of the data, in terms of convincing or persuading people. Either you want to see the injustice, or do not, and facts and figures won’t change that.
                      In general terms if you introduce monetarism and austerity etc the result is widening gaps between rich and poor. I’m surprised you find that a contentious statement.
                      If you believe in the power of data to convince, then why hasn’t more progress been made? Can you quantify how many more yearly data sets we need to engender change?
                      And you say you’re fine with bias, because you can see and account for it, but what about people without your perceptive gifts?
                      The focus on child poverty tilts attention away from structural issues and the health and wellbeing of older people. Do you believe everyone is equipped to account for the bias?

                    • McFlock

                      ‘And you still haven’t explained how you know for a fact that you were right 30 years ago. I assume it didn’t involve formal education and actual data.’

                      This implies only academics or researchers in the pertinent subject area can hold opinions on politics and economics.

                      It does no such thing. You just made the inference because we seem to have a failure to communicate.

                      I was at primary school at the time, but was opposed to Roger Douglas et al, and distressed at the upheaval in our community.

                      What about my community? How much upheaval was there? Or the community of random person X?

                      What you don’t get is that businesses are always going under or making people redundant. The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.

                      My point was more around the value of the data, in terms of convincing or persuading people. Either you want to see the injustice, or do not, and facts and figures won’t change that.

                      I have never been to northland. I would have no way of knowing what is happening there without long-term data like unemployments rates, GINI, and healthcare issues. Even a roadtrip around the country wouldn’t really expose all the issues that only one or two data sources might.

                      In general terms if you introduce monetarism and austerity etc the result is widening gaps between rich and poor. I’m surprised you find that a contentious statement.

                      :roll: I don’t.
                      I just think that demonstrating it based on … whatever … is contentious.

                      If you believe in the power of data to convince, then why hasn’t more progress been made? Can you quantify how many more yearly data sets we need to engender change?

                      Personally, I think that progress has been made, but only since real effort has been made by various academics and advocacy groups to get together and coordinate their approaches in the last ten years or so. I think previous efforts were fragmented and siloed.

                      contrast with SUDI/SIDS: down by >90% in 30-odd years. Based on data and primary research leading into public health communication and direct contact with new parents, feeding back into primary research to tailor interventions.

                      And you say you’re fine with bias, because you can see and account for it, but what about people without your perceptive gifts?

                      ahahahaha, I see what you did there. But I have no special powers. I did have a formal education, though. Taught me to do high falutin’ things like “reading the methodology”.

                      The focus on child poverty tilts attention away from structural issues and the health and wellbeing of older people. Do you believe everyone is equipped to account for the bias?

                      Investment in child poverty means many future older people won’t have as many issues. But it’s also the “low hanging fruit” in the wider argument, because even some tories might accept that public money should be spent on preventing pertussis or rheumatic fever, or extra services to keep kids in school or clothed. Adults aren’t so cuddly. Same reason WWF has a panda on its logo, not an endangered dung beetle.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘I was at primary school at the time, but was opposed to Roger Douglas et al, and distressed at the upheaval in our community.’
                      McFlock: What about my community? How much upheaval was there? Or the community of random person X?’

                      I am filtering my early experience through a wider macro view, with the benefit of hindsight. I wouldn’t be talking about it here otherwise.

                      ‘What you don’t get is that businesses are always going under or making people redundant.’

                      This line is straight out of the Paula Bennett playbook that chaos and uncertainty in the economy is normal (‘the employment market is bouncy, like me!’ etc)

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more
                      stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.
                      Those with a dissenting view are irrational (true belief) and must be discounted. This mirrors the residual denial in Labour to accept the cruelty inflicted on people, as well as the tendency to patronise the victims.

                      ‘I have never been to northland. I would have no way of knowing what is happening there without long-term data like unemployments rates, GINI, and healthcare issues. Even a roadtrip around the country wouldn’t really expose all the issues that only one or two data sources might.’

                      It isn’t hard to work out that a programme like Rogernomics will be disproportionately cruel in a place like Northland, with low levels of education and so on. It is cold and psychopathic to claim this has to be studied to figure it out.

                      ‘I just think that demonstrating [widening gaps between rich and poor] it based on … whatever … is contentious.’

                      I didn’t say ‘whatever’, I pointed to macroeconomic and historical factors that you either don’t understand or are determined to ignore.

                      ‘Personally, I think that progress has been made, but only since real effort has been made by various academics and advocacy groups to get together and coordinate their approaches in the last ten years or so. I think previous efforts were fragmented and siloed.’

                      Considering you don’t really accept there’s a problem in the first place, your assurance that progress is being made is not credible.

                      ‘ahahahaha, I see what you did there. But I have no special powers. I did have a formal education, though. Taught me to do high falutin’ things like “reading the methodology”.

                      You didn’t address the issue of how people who have no such education fare.

                      ‘Investment in child poverty means many future older people won’t have as many issues. But it’s also the “low hanging fruit” in the wider argument, because even some tories might accept that public money should be spent on preventing pertussis or rheumatic fever, or extra services to keep kids in school or clothed. Adults aren’t so cuddly. Same reason WWF has a panda on its logo, not an endangered dung beetle.’

                      So you’re happy for us to just treat the symptoms, making no structural adjustments.

                    • McFlock
                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more
                      stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.
                      Those with a dissenting view are irrational (true belief) and must be discounted. This mirrors the residual denial in Labour to accept the cruelty inflicted on people, as well as the tendency to patronise the victims.

                      You got all that from the above quote?
                      None of it was there.

                      In fact, from:

                      You had a true belief that lab4 was bad.’

                      (emphasis added for the person who doesn’t bother reading before commenting), you got:

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.

                      How about you try reading and responding to my previous comment again, otherwise I can’t be bothered feeding your massive confirmation bias.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      A pathetic attempt to deflect through petulance.
                      How about using the whole quote?

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more
                      stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      ‘But for you knew it wasn’t lab4. . . ‘
                      This discounts what you term a ‘belief’, which was prefaced with the facetious intensifier ‘true’.

                      ‘How about you try reading and responding to my previous comment again, otherwise I can’t be bothered feeding your massive confirmation bias.’

                      And I can’t be bothered feeding your intellectual dishonesty, so don’t bother responding unless it is with something constructive.

                    • McFlock

                      I didn’t bother with the rest of the quote, because it quite obviously and clearly and explicitly dealt with what you could have known about how lab4 affected the country as a whole versus your direct experience in your community. Because you said you don’t need the things like GINI to “know” that stuff.

                      In smaller words, the rest of that quote has nothing to do with what I believe about lab4, could not conceivably have anything to do with what I believe about lab4, and completely breaks the english language to suggest that it does.

                      The only reason I even included the first bit was because when I described your belief (that lab4 was bad – that is your belief, yes?) as “true”, that is obviously a value judgement on my part that your belief is true and that lab4 was, indeed, bad.

                      Learn to read.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Learn to write.
                      The term ‘true belief’ suggests a belief fervently held, perhaps in a hostile environment. It does not indicate that that belief is justified.
                      Given the context of this discussion regarding experience/knowledge versus data, your construction is sloppy at best.

                    • McFlock

                      The term ‘true belief’ suggests a belief fervently held, perhaps in a hostile environment. It does not indicate that that belief is justified.
                      Given the context of this discussion regarding experience/knowledge versus data, your construction is sloppy at best.

                      To you. In the context of the discussion about whether you had any basis for believing what you had claimed to know, no it doesn’t.
                      You claimed to “know” rogernomics was/is bad. I agreed that it was/is bad (“true”), but my entire theme in this has been that your belief was not justified. Because you rely on, at best, a subjective interpretation of your immediate experience, plus whatever else you happen to already agree with.

                      This is the upteenth time you’ve accused me of suggesting or implying something that I never did. The inference is completely inside your head. At least this time it doesn’t completely break the english language to make that inference. But fuck it, I’ve had enough.

                      You wanted to know how those without formal education fare? If you’re anything to go by, many of them would have a greater likelihood of holding beliefs about the real world that are completely unjustified, even down to what they believe other people wrote in teeny tiny words. They are also apparently more likely to have a confirmation bias that completely filters out any information that is not exactly what they expect. Their beliefs might or might not be coincidentally true, and they are perfectly entitled to hold them.

                      Without any capability of demonstrating that their beliefs are anything other than marsh gas, however, I also am perfectly entitled to think that they’re idiots.

                      This does require further research, however, as it is based on a sample size of 1.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Amid your histrionics in that response, you’ve confirmed the use of the term ‘true belief’ did imply irrational belief on my part.
                      You are entitled to hold that view, of course, but you denied my correct interpretation of it initially, and attacked my ability to read on that basis.

                    • McFlock

                      Amid your histrionics in that response, you’ve confirmed the use of the term ‘true belief’ did imply irrational belief on my part

                      No, I didn’t. Learn the difference between “imply” and “infer”. And also think amount that the role context has in communication.

                      And your interpretation makes it even worse, because it means that your response has nothing to do with my comment. As previously discussed, the second part clearly dealt with your grounds for believing whatever it is you believe, and according to you the first part simply caricatures your level of belief. And from that you drew a conclusion (“Right, so[…]”) that I support rogernomics and think “dissenting” views must be “discounted”.

                      ‘The problem in lab4 was that many more were made redundant than were employed again. You had a true belief that lab4 was bad. But for all you knew, it wasn’t lab4, it was simply the fact that the main employer in your community was archaic and simply replaced by other employers, in other communities, employing more people to make more stuff than was lost when your employers shut down.’

                      Right, so you believe Rogernomics was in essence OK, perhaps even inevitable (TINA) but maybe it could have been managed better.
                      Those with a dissenting view are irrational (true belief) and must be discounted. This mirrors the residual denial in Labour to accept the cruelty inflicted on people, as well as the tendency to patronise the victims.

                      For the record, I discount idiot views, not dissenting views. And rogernomics was bad, m’kay?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Semantics aside, I don’t accept we need an evidence base to prove the desirability of equality of income and opportunity, decent homes and food, a progressive taxation system. It just depends on society’s desired outcomes, and I think you apply the wrong lens.
                      In medicine itself, even the BMJ is acknowledging flaws in the evidence-based paradigm, which has after all only been around a couple of decades.
                      This from Bill Hicks (since youtube is more my metier) encapsulates it for me.

                    • McFlock

                      Fair enough.

                      I think that most of those things are uncontroversial objectives even for tories. The question is how we get there, and how do we persuade people that rogernomics is completely counterproductive to those objectives.

                      Maybe some people don’t need an evidence base to reach that conclusion. However, although the people who reached the opposite conclusion without an evidence base will probably not be persuaded by evidence, I think a lot of people do actually look at real-world evidence when they come to their conclusions.

                      Because like it or not, some people haven’t been persuaded by the non-evidence approaches that have been taken over the last 30 years. And as the BMJ editorial said: “evidence based medicine may be the worst system for clinical decision making, except for all those other systems that have been tried from time to time.”

                  • Tracey

                    ” to deregulate the financial sector,”

                    research did not cause the deregulation of the financial sector it was used to justify it. The policy decision was made before the research was acknowledged per se.

                    It was to do with difficulties get money in the 1970’s, so the financial institutions lobbied to make it easier for themselves… no doubt research played a part but self interest and greed of the financial sector itself (certain human beings) “underpinned” it.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Tracey, that’s not what I meant. The big driver of deregulation was the low return on capital in the post war period, because the social contract with workers meant higher wages and so on.
                      Milton Friedman et al provided intellectual impetus and legitimacy. Young economists from South America (and NZ) went to the USA to study, and were in many cases radicalised. My point is not that academia is ‘bad’. Of course not. But it is not necessarily an unalloyed force for good. It is vulnerable to the political agendas and policy directions of the time.
                      The film ‘Inside Job’ about the financial scandal culminating in 2008 provides insight into this problem, with interviews with the likes of Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard, about his advocacy of deregulation, and potential conflict of interest.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Hubbard_(economist)#Inside_Job_interview_and_aftermath

                    • karol

                      ER @ 8.34am

                      That is part of how the “neoliberals/neocons” gained so much dominance internationally. There’s was a multi-pronged campaign to restore the power to the tory elites, after the left had made a lot of in-roads.

                      This multi-pronged campaign was led in various areas of endeavour: academically, rightwing think tanks, culturally (from music videos to designer clothes, etc), in the media, in schools, in the financial sector, in politics, etc.

                      The acadmic/research aspect provided a rationale and (alleged) credibility.

                      That is why the left also needs to be multi-faceted in its struggle for a more equal and socially and economically just world: but based more in the collective apporaches of the left. Grass roots actions, cutural expressions (in music, videos, fiction, etc), in online and localised media,citizen journalism, investigative journalism, politics, unions, anti-poverty campaign groups, and also in harnessing scholarly relevant scholarly research intiatives.

        • Bill 7.2.2.2

          Nah McFlock. False comparison. To get to the top of Everest involves understanding and accounting for hypothermia, oxygen levels etc as well as developing a whole raft of skills. Master all that, and a desired goal can be achieved. Capitalism, on the other hand, can offer no ‘better’ future achievement or pinnacle. It is exactly what it is and has always been and is going precisely nowhere.

          • McFlock 7.2.2.2.1

            And Marx knew that to demonstrate the shortcomings of Capitalism, he needed primary research into the nature of money and, for example, the lives of factory workers in Britain.

            I don’t agree with his alternative, but by gum he proved capitalism was a system that inhibited human progression.

            • Bill 7.2.2.2.1.1

              Well okay, Marx offered some analytical insight into facets of Capitalism. Some would argue he mapped out economic exploitation. But did the factory or mill workers need his or any other persons analyses before they could understand that they were being ‘done over’ or before they could offer up resistance? Well…no. They didn’t.

              • karol

                Actually, Bill – yes I think they did.

                The working classes only gradually became aware of themselves as an exploited class. And a mix of writings (academic and popular), popular culture, activism, and specific circumstances led to that awareness.

                From infoplease encyclopedia:

                The first impact of Marxism was felt in continental Europe. By the late 19th cent., through the influence of the Internationals, it had permeated the European trade union movement, and the major socialist parties (see Socialist parties, in European history) were committed to it in theory if not in practice.

                Workers still need to be able to articulate their sense of individually being done over to others, in order to develop any solidairty. Marxism and other expressions of political practice and theory, provide people with the language, and the confidence to act on it.

                • Bill

                  Workers still need to be able to articulate their sense of individually being done over to others, in order to develop any solidairty. Marxism and other expressions of political practice and theory, provide people with the language, and the confidence to act on it

                  It’s very easy to articulate a sense of being fucked over and develop solidarity and act on it. It runs along the lines of “Fuck this for a game of soldiers. Who the fck does that wanker think he is? Fuck him”

                  And expressing that natural sense of injustice got countered by jailings and beatings and guns.

                  But true, to articulate that in terms of political theory requires…um, a theory. Then again, the downside of that (if the history of marxism is anything to go by) is that those who claim to understand the theory better become the new wanker masters.

                  • karol

                    Yes. But in order to develop the solidarity needed for effective action, the concepts need to be in currency – it doesn’t need to be expressed in fancy middleclass language. Otherwise the responses can be fragmented.

                    • Bill

                      What’s so ineffective about leaving a would be boss labourless and powerless? Or monkey-wrenching his production? In the 1800s, people simply did not want to be herded into factories. That’s not hard to understand and needs no theory whatsoever. That’s the beauty about being guided by a moral compass.

                      Anyway.

                      After the nascent working class had been better contained or cowed by the violence of the state, and enclosure more or less completed, the question (for Marx and others) became more about controlling the new industrial means of production than about denying it’s ascendency.

                      Point is, there was effective resistance during and after the period of enclosure, but yes, the states and industrialists etc behind enclosure won out in the end – though resistance to the whole concept of the ‘work ethic’ continued. Then somewhere in there, along comes Marx and others, make their analytical contribution and people build a vision on the basis of it and…capitalism and the market still triumph.

                      And now, today, most people have sunk so low as to have lost their moral compass and are happy to adopt the notion that having this work ethic and being a wage slave bestows dignity etc. It’s not too surprising that articulate political theory was unable to save us from that. It arguably shifted the goal posts and lost us our way.

                    • karol

                      I really think you’re being a bit free with your history, Bill.

                      I’ve been reading a bit around 18th and 19th century British history and other 18th-19th century writers like Robert Burns.

                      There were a lot of ideas circulating through various kinds of communications – art, literature, folk song, popular culture, festivals, etc., as well as from the more “learned” writings – Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Robert Owen and many others. And many drew on the Bible, etc.

                      I’m not talking about relying only on “scholarly” texts. Or that everyone needs to read them. But they are one of the ways ideas and plans for action, are developed and put into general circulation.

                    • Bill

                      I really think you’re being a bit free with your history, Bill.

                      Well, yeah – maybe. But I still think the basic outline holds. As you say, a lot of writers or communicators relied on a sense of moral right and wrong rather than on analysis and were active in one way or another. That analysis can lead to a more defined or nuanced understanding is a given. That the understandings can then be relayed to others in a straightforward manner is…well, if it’s going to be relayed, it’s absolutely necessary it’s done simply but intelligently as far as I’m concerned. Anyway. I do lament the apparently widespread loss in peoples’ ability to act from a simple moral cognisance of what is right and what is wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s critical not to underestimate the role of concrete ideas, writings and other communications in politicising individuals and sustaining political movements.

                      Whether you are looking at the role of American pamphleteers like Thomas Payne during the Revolution, the speech Martin Luther King gave at the Lincoln Memorial or the writings of Kate Sheppard during the NZ suffrage movement, the ability to conceptualise then communicate what about the current situation was unsatisfactory, and then move people to do something concrete about it, relies on something which often includes but must also finally be much more than “fuck the bosses.”

              • McFlock

                There I disagree.
                I suspect that some of them felt themselves lucky to have a job.
                Or that maybe the problem was just their boss or their colleagues, not the system.
                Or that maybe they were in the minority (even more so today – look at the lifestyles depicted as “normal” on TV).
                Or that maybe there was no way out (look at the comparative suicide rate between most and least deprived in NZ).
                Or that maybe they, individually, will probably not be better off from any change to the system.

                I suspect that all of those factors needed to be overcome before the barricades went up. And the way Marx did that was through exhaustive research – although he also took note of the need to widely communicate that research, hence The Capital, accompanied by the Communist Manifesto, and of course his articles and simpler, more persuasive works. The principle distilled later on into Mao’s little red book.

                • Bill

                  McFlock – resistance did not begin with Marx and was not absent in the time before Marx. I agree that he and others provided articulate political expression for some involved in resistance. My main problem with your approach is that it seem to assume a certain degree of a particular type of knowledge is necessary in order to recognise and resist that which is can be obviously identified as being morally wrong.

                  • McFlock

                    My main problem with your approach is that it seem to assume a certain degree of a particular type of knowledge is necessary in order to recognise and resist that which is can be obviously identified as being morally wrong.

                    I think it serves two functions:
                    the first is to increase the number of people who recognise what the situation is and that it is wrong, and provide impetus to push into action those who already knew it was wrong (what is obviously wrong to you or me might be invisible or acceptable to others. How many workers do you know have shrugged when soething shitty was done to them by a boss, just thinking that that’s the way the world works? More than a few, I guess – though you’d have put them straight :) ).

                    The second is to provide ammunition against the tories who wish to deny, minimise, and excuse the situation (essentially to defeat those tories who work the first function, but from the tory side).

                    Research isn’t sufficient to act as a catalyst for change by itself, but it is a powerful tool to help bring change about.

              • Tracey

                What about the manipulation of messages and propaganda. Do you think this had and has no impact? People flocked tot he cities for the awful jobs cos they believed they were less awful than the non job they were leaving in their villages and areas.

                WHY did they think they were better? Desperation? Nothing left to lose or the “make your fortune in the city meme.”

                John Key earlier this week and last week said what is important to NZers is

                the economy
                law and order

                He and his party will repeat that mantra. The day after he said it, out came a report stating crime was at an all time low. That is not accidentally. It is well organised and based on hot buttons.

                I think you under-estimate how brown beaten and manipulated by message and information people are, they actually believe this is the best system and this is the best it can be for them. It doesn’t matter that they are struggling… it’s the best it can be… until they can catch a break or work harder.

                People who are drowning under bills and work that doesn’t pay enough have little time to put their head above the parapet and scream “HELP ME!”

                Capitalists know this and its why they keep them down there and scared to raise their head above the parapet. They might do it in nicer suits than the 17 and 1800’s, but it’s the same underpinning.

      • Bill 7.2.3

        I’m basically, and not a little angrily, with you on this Ergo.

        The bottom line is that Capitalism sucks and you’re* fcked. We’ve* known this since some time in the 1800s.

        The ‘oh so intellectually edifying’ and ultimately useless unravelling of the minutiae of all that constitutes the obvious truth stated above is, well…. a waste of time, energy and resources in the big picture and merely a career for too many in the smaller picture.

        note – the * are for those academics and their fellow travelers, for who the penny hasn’t dropped, and who believe naively, or cynically insist by dint of self interest, that Capitalism contains some salvageable flaws that are best identified ( and magically fixed) via the application of research results. And when that fails, as it inevitably will, then the failure, of course, will be followed up by some more ‘in depth’ research.

      • karol 7.2.4

        The Skilling article particularly, is not just about academic research for academia. It’s about producing research that can have an impact on political strategies, and policies, and on the dominant values in the public sphere – including values that are peddled through the MSM.

        If it were that simple, the values you express would be the ones most foregrounded in te MSM, left wing parties would be foregrounding truly left wing policies, and be the most popular parties int he country.

  8. rob 8

    These perceptions are very interesting
    Because if people do not feel better off or that income equality is worsening then why are they supporting Key of off key during the rock star economy!
    Labour need to focus on the economy and hoe Joe blogs is not getting a fair go
    They need to make that their main point and avoid too many sideshows

  9. BrucetheMoose 9

    You have to give it to Bill for trying, even though he doesn’t have the balls to say it directly.
    John Key and the National Nasty Party – telling it like it is.
    Black is white
    Lies are true
    Shit has the perfume of roses.

  10. G.Hawke 10

    National are National. They run on a concept that market will provide to most, not to all, to most. They greet recessions with cuts for the poor and stability for those most able to take the struggle of a depressed market. They like the idea of a hounded poor as in their minds the poor are just people who don’t understand the national party ideals and are therefore handicapped in their ultimate participation in A national lead N.Z.

    We need a socialist voice with one mandate, 100% employment, we can’t run a poor account, it’s
    immoral on every level of what defines a free nation; and when the economy dips the poor need to be helped not ostracised. That is a moral politic that defines the difference between the N.Z conservative and 50% of the others. It’s morality, can you live with a clobbered poor or does it make you feel ashamed of this country.

    Also the filling up of Aucklands isthmus for immediate economic stimulation will only end in slums. Auckland is choked. Northland and the Waikato need to take populations.

  11. Philj 11

    Xox
    I used to be a proud Kiwi. I now feel sullied and abused by an immoral, inequitable, pseudo government. ( Big business in drag)

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    Left hand palm
  • Labour the winner on the day…
    After The Nation's Labour leadership debate in Hamilton a few weeks back, I said to some of my colleagues, 'if Little doesn't win this, he should be given the strategy job of making Labour relevant again, that's what he seems...
    Pundit
  • How to get rid of the State Services Commissioner
    Over the wekeend, Andrew Little effectively called for State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to resign over his mishandling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment claim. I'm inclined to agree. But as DPF points out, the SSC can't just be sacked,...
    No Right Turn
  • How British
    How corrupt is the British establishment? This corrupt:The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed. Two...
    No Right Turn
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    frogblog
  • Labour’s front bench: Demographics
    When he became Labour leader last week, Andrew Little promised a front bench that was representative of New Zealanders' background aspirations, and also promised a front bench that represented New Zealand's future aspirations. Here's how he did: The average age...
    Polity
  • Was Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations...
    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • #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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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