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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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    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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