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How far right is John Key’s “centre”?

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 pm, May 26th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, families, greens, human rights, john key, labour, same old national, slippery, spin - Tags:

Once again the MSM reports John Key’s assessment of his party’s place on the political spectrum without any critique.  This time Adam Bennett in the NZ Herald quotes John Key as saying:

“Normally elections are fought between the centre left and the centre right. That is not what’s going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman.

“But that now becomes an election between the centre right and the far left.”

He cited the Green Party’s policy proposal to increase the money supply and the two parties’ plan to regulate wholesale power prices as examples of their shared “far left” policies.

If those are far left policies, how far right are John Key’s asset sales, or the passing of a law to remove the democratic rights of the carers of disabled family members to challenge their payments.  Here’s what Andrew Geddis posted on the Pundit blog about Key’s government’s latest abuse of urgency in his post, I think National just broke our constitution:

By passing this law, Parliament is telling the judicial branch that it is not allowed to look at a Government policy (not, note, an Act of Parliament) in order to decide whether it is in breach of another piece of legislation enacted by Parliament (the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990). In other words, the judiciary’s primary function – to declare the meaning of law and its application in particular cases – has been nullified. Furthermore, the judiciary’s role as protector of individual citizens in terms of ensuring that they are being treated in accordance with the laws of the land has been removed. While the stakes may be small in the immediate case, this is about as big a deal as it gets in terms of our constitution.

Pundit is pretty centre left.  It’s not a blog that gets branded “far left”.  And yet, also recently on the Pundit, Anne Salmond began a post:

Increasingly, our Government is behaving like a playground bully. If Ministers will not restrain themselves from abuses of power, others need to stand up and speak out

Then, after mentioning the above case of the disabled carers, she goes on to outline some other abuses of democracy by John Key’s government:

Add to this the way in which the Government has stated in advance that it will ignore any outcome of a referendum on asset sales; its dismissal of the referendum in which more than a million New Zealanders supported a review of MMP; and the Sky City deal that tries to bind future New Zealand governments for the next 35 years, and it’s obvious that democratic processes in this country are in trouble.

As Claire Browning points out on Pundit, there seems to be no internal restraint within the Government against such abuses of democratic principle.  On the contrary, there was the unedifying spectacle in the House recently of the Attorney-General, no less, mounting a highly personal attack on those who had criticised another legislative debacle.

This was the clause in the Crown Minerals Act (also rammed through without due process) that threatens New Zealanders who protest at sea against deep sea mining with imprisonment or very heavy fines.  It has been criticised by barrister Catriona McLennanin the Dominion Post as a major blow to human rights.

And from Tim Watkin recently, also on Pundit:

A week of poor process continues for the government as it side-steps consultation with its decision to approve mining on the Denniston Plateau …

But this week’s urgencies and unwillingness to listen to the people is part of a damaging narrative. New Zealanders don’t like being taken for granted.

To the examples laid out in this week’s other posts, you can add today’s Denniston Plateau mining decision. …

From early concerns about its use of urgency, through the SkyCity deal and various brain fades, and on to the Ian Fletcher phone call and handling of the GCSB, the disregard for good process have been there in flashes.

But what we’ve seen this week raises the concern that this disregard has become the new normal for National; that no-one in Cabinet seems willing to question how it’s doing its business.

The blatant undermining of democratic process is becoming “business as usual” for John Key’s government.  It’s increasing dictatorial behaviour is not something I would associate with a “centre right” government.  It is far further to the right of the political spectrum.

When are the MSM going to call John Key on his bullshit line about his government being “centre right”, and the Greens being “far left”?  The Greens follow democratic process as part of their underlying values.  John Key thumbs his nose at democratic process.

When is the New Zealand Herald going to challenge the Key government with banner headlines that say:

democracy under attack thumb

68 comments on “How far right is John Key’s “centre”?”

  1. Blue 1

    Um, never? Unless it threatens their ad revenue, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for them to ever use that one again.

    The Herald is inherently right wing, and right wing ideology seems moderate, sensible and centrist to them. Anything ‘left’ is scary and radical and akin to communism. They occasionally take little pot shots at their own side with a pea shooter, but that’s as energetic as they ever get when National is in power.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      They occasionally take little pot shots at their own side with a pea shooter

      Sound effects stage right, carefully aimed to cause no harm.

    • xtasy 1.2

      A pea shooter that shoots peas wrapped in cotton, I would say!

  2. Tanz 2

    I find Key and National very left wing, they just pretend to be right of centre.

    • felix 2.1

      Interesting, do go on…

    • xtasy 2.2

      Tanz: By your logic Labour and Greens must then possibly be Leninists or that kind of leftists, right? And where will this assessment leave you then, one criticising National, I presume, so that they are too left. In that case this seems to make you a right wing extremist of whatever conviction.

  3. Tanz 3

    they embrace all of Labour’s policies, making them their own, of course.

    • Mary 3.1

      No, Labour adopts National’s policies, changes their names, calls them left-wing, but they’re really right-wing.

  4. xtasy 4

    The New Zealand Herald is owned by APN. That Australian media corporation is not doing so well, due to drops in advertising revenue. The advertisers are businesses selling goods and services. Most business owners and operators tend to be leaning towards the kind of policies that the National Party and John Key stand for.

    Desperate for advertising revenue and competing with other media players now focusing more on catchy headlines for blood and gut stories, about scandals, about celebrity misdeeds, about sports and weather, the New Zealand Herald is highly unlikely to change their journalistic direction.

    Indeed they seem to be quite happy with Key and NatACT, apart from the odd journalist still writing for them. I have almost given up on reading the Herald, as it has dropped in quality and standard over recent years, and as I am struggling to find worthy articles to read these days.

    And in a small country like New Zealand, the smallish media outlets here rub shoulders frequently with business and political leaders or representatives at many functions. So stepping on the toes of the paymasters and bread givers, that is something most journalists will avoid to do.

    As for Key, I don’t think he is “right”, he is in my view very often wrong!

    His riduculous comments on Greens and Labour being far left is like calling most of Europe “socialist” then. As Key deals and meets with leaders from those countries, does he criticise them for being “far left”? New Zealand politics has moved so far to the right, so that Key can get away with the absurdest of comments now.

    • Suitably Clueless 4.1

      Key gets away with it because the beltway is one big happy family, and no-one really wants to rock the boat all that much. That is the only reason why Hone Harawira is vilified every time he opens his mouth, sure he may be racist and so on, but do you think any of the others don’t have some form of racism in their system? The only answer to get these pillocks off the treasury benches and relegated to the rubbish bin of history is for my generation Y to get off there asses, put down the cellphone and think… Alas I feel like a pariah for bringing this up around people, ideology has set in, even at my relatively young age. Key pointedly avoids anywhere where people call bullshit on him.

      Edit. If National are centre right, what the hell is far right to them? Has the world seen it yet? I think they’re defining kleptocracy quite well. PS, wasn’t supposed to reply to the comment above

      • ghostrider888 4.1.1

        Interesting comment though.

        and at the risk of hyperbole, this government appear to be straying into the fields of oligarchic totalitarianism, with strainers supporting the fence at both ends of the generational range.

      • xtasy 4.1.2

        Suitably Clueless: After spending a few years in Europe, and returning to NZ in 2005, I got a fair shock about what this country had turned into over just a few years. That was in the midst of the Clark led Labour and support parties government.

        Yes, NZ did then appear to me as a land where many traditional rules had been abandoned, to allow employers to make staff work endless hours, pay them pittance in many cases, and on going to WINZ for some initial assistance (only for a couple of weeks), I was swiftly chased into a “seminar”, where they told people to get stuffed, if they would not make at least 5 job applications a day, and presented proof of it.

        Benefits were not sufficient to live off, and any extra allowance needed had to be fought for with huge effort.

        The treatment was rude and cold. That much for “social services” in NZ Aotearoa then.

        We all know that under Labour benefits were never returned to what they once were, and that the Employment Contracts Act was replaced by an only moderately changed Employment Relations Act, still giving employers much more clout than their employees.

        Many businesses would have preferred another government, but they could live with Clark and Labour, as they mostly left them alone.

        So since the Nats took over government, we now have even more right wing capitalist policies, a kind of “assault” on welfare recipients, a “war” on workers and their rights, an “assault” on environmentalists and the environment as such, and an “asset selling” and “deal making with crony corporate business” system.

        In Europe things change, but not as fast and radically as in New Zealand. I am sure that those Kiwis that spend a bit of time outside of their country will soon enough realise this. New Zealand is a paradise for such right wing, opportunistic, laissez faire, self serving propagators as John Key, as here you can pass almost any law you want, when you have just one vote in majority.

        They can ram through laws like bullets fired from a machine gun, and the public tend to be over stressed, indifferent or simply cannot bother to inform themselves. The media do as I described above, and so it is easy to turn this into a country so far to the right, that few actually fully realise this. No wonder New Zealand is looked upon as the ideal place for social and economic experiements to test out.

        Only the people can make a difference, that is provided they do want so, and have the courage to do so.

        • Suitably Clueless 4.1.2.1

          +1

          We need a lion, not a bunch of dormice. That is all I am seeing myself lately, even from the right, there tiny little consciences are slowly working against them, so now all you hear are slogans (more than ever before) to me, it honestly feels like the 2011 election never ended, we have spent most of this cycle chasing our tails while the top 2% chortle into their Dom Perignon.

          I have found at Winz, if you walk in with your head held high, be assertive and knowledgeable about what you need, and if you don’t agree with a bit of policy, walk over and grab the paper about their standards and put it under the case managers nose. I really feel sorry for a majority of MSD employees, they are trying their best, but with austerity measures and a minister that is about as sophisticated as a flying dog shit, it must be a tough job.

          • xtasy 4.1.2.1.1

            “..and a minister that is about as sophisticated as a flying dog shit, it must be a tough job.”

            Poor leadership and lack of true, constructive, innovative ideas clearly show within MSD and WINZ! Maybe it is due to “flying dog shit” trickling down and clogging up the nerve centres within their lower ranked staff. What is left is mean spirited treatment, and WINZ frontline staff struggling with changing rules and growing performance expectations every week.

            That “big” woman at the top, she has a lot to answer for. But in reality, she is only such an egocentric up herself person now, because she has a manipulative right wing caucus behind her, who march and hold the lines, all directed by a few commandos who really pull the strings.

            Without that she would probably not even be capable of running an ordinary lunch bar.

    • Murray Olsen 4.2

      I bet Key complains about socialist Europe when he’s chatting with the American ambassador. Key’s politics are basically American, so he does in fact see what we have long regarded as centrist to be far left. He’s not just a right wing Kiwi politician, he’s a different breed altogether. His paradigm is one where the state plays an absolutely minimalist role in everything except shovelling money into the pockets of his mates. As unbelievable as it seems, I think the National Party actually acts as a moderating influence on him.

    • karol 4.3

      For me the NZ Herald online is visual and mental assault. It mostly entertainment, diversionary sensationalist, anti-news fluff at the top of the main page. Then way down the page, where probably few venture, it puts any gritty, thoughtful, challenging political news. And amongst the wee bits of barely left wing articles, are loads of articles, cheer-leading Key’s demolition gang.

  5. Rhinocrates 5

    Well, I think the deeper question here is not about using callipers to determine the rightness or leftness of whomever, but how a supposed “depoliticisation” of the appearance politics has taken place and how that has facilitated a drift to the right.

    It’s allowed the right to call itself centrist and dragged a weak left along with it so as not to appear “mainstream”.

    That’s insidious.

    There’s an old proverb, supposedly (lots of things are “old proverbs”) that goes “Who defines the terms wins the argument.”

    Who what and how have defined the argument in terms of right-wing neoliberalism and whether it should be naughty or nice, but not whether it should exist in the first place?

    Why are we even wondering how far right Key is? Why have we allowed the discourse to drift into that zone of uncertainty?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      There’s an old proverb, supposedly (lots of things are “old proverbs”) that goes “Who defines the terms wins the argument.”

      Similarly, politics is not a competition over providing alternative answers to the same question; it is a fight over the very meaning of the question itself.

  6. Rhinocrates 6

    In practice, it’s often a perpetual attempt to change the subject.

    That’s the thing to watch with the likes of spin doctors like Hoots or the Penguin (Farrar by another name). Hit and run abuse, drop some buzzwords, then run away before you can be challenged is their method. That’s why their sort should be challenged fast quick and dirty rather than letting their abuse pass. They can let their bullshit get by in a time-based medium like radio by changing the subject in a second, but on the net, they can be caught because their words remain hanging for all to see.

    • ghostrider888 6.1

      always safer (in the long game) to write from the soul than the purse. For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world yet…

    • xtasy 6.2

      Yep, and that “Hooton” or “hoot off” guy is even allowed to present himself as “political commentator” every Monday morning on Radio NZ National!

      David Farrar is also a regular guest on the afternoon program of that station, invided happily by Jim Mora, and so he can deliver his spin free to air, supporting the government.

      This is the best opportunity for National’s spin wizards to spread the propaganda of the government, freely and effectively, to the wider public.

      Add Sean Plunket on Radio Live up to midday, who admitted on radio not long ago, that he only got the job he once held with Radio New Zealand, because Jim Bolger as then PM wanted him to get that job on Morning Report, and you have another effective media personality that is favouring Key and the Nats.

      Have a Duncan Garner tell people what he thinks, not surprisingly mostly in line with what Key and the government also see as fit and right, and it stops being funny. We also know the Nat friendly moderators and presenters on other radio stations, on the leading television channels and programs, and yes, the media personalities of the MSM are in their majority Nat friendly.

      Garner can even promote his afternoon “Drive Show” on television, to get more audience, given the fact that TV3 and Radio Live seem to have the same owners.

      And yes, the subjects change all the time, infotainment style, from one second to the next. The message is, nothing is of duration, of much relevance, not worth focusing too much on, and just “move on with it”, and get a bloody life.

      So much for disemboweling the 4th estate and democracy.

      • Rhinocrates 6.2.1

        Noam Chomsky, in Manufacturing Consent said that radical or progressive ideas were automatically censored in the postmodern media environment because any idea that challenged the status quo needed to be explained and editing didn’t allow that.

        Hoots and his ilk have inverted that. Instead, any far right idea is presented but can’t be challenged because of that short attention span. They know that they have to get their ideas out quick and direct, and change the subject before they can be challenged, because their critics won’t have the time, and anyway, explaining is losing.

        Strike fast, strike often, never explain. Just get those memes out there. Say “stupid” and “maori” in the same short sentence and you’ve done your job linking the two.

        That’s how they work. Insipid press releases won’t combat them.

        You have to counter them immediately, fight fire with fire, call their bullshit as bullshit right away, but never on their own terms.

        • ghostrider888 6.2.1.1

          To know ten thousand things, know one well. Too much is the same as not enough. :-D

        • Mel 6.2.1.2

          Well said Rhinocrates!

          Counter them immediately – but we need to recapture the language.

          Using the language of the Neo-liberals merely demonstrates that their words a valid and allows them to retain the narrative. Further people ‘believe’ the language as it seeps into common usage especially in business, where it’s euphemisms shield inhuman, greedy and anti-societal actions.

        • xtasy 6.2.1.3

          “Say “stupid” and “maori” in the same short sentence and you’ve done your job linking the two.”

          Yep, switching between stations again this afternoon, Duncan Garner was caught out by me once again, just doing that, while speaking to the chap from Mangere Budgeting Service about loan sharks particularly hitting Polynesians or Maori!

          Garner does this all the time, and he seems to feel that he somehow belongs to a “superior breed”.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.4

          You have to counter them immediately, fight fire with fire, call their bullshit as bullshit right away, but never on their own terms.

          The rapid response Labour Leadership and PR team is certainly up to the task.

          • xtasy 6.2.1.4.1

            CV – Yes, I saw this once again, like it seems almost every second day now, when on the television news (TV3 I think it was) it was Russel Norman commenting quite confidently and effectively on Key and Nats considering to launch the next share issue slice by slice, rather than in one package, like with Mighty River Power.

            Norman ridiculed Key by saying, that the government is now basically holding back with further share floats for Meridian, as they know the public do not want it, and as they only had just over a hundred thousand (we know the true breakdown of those by now) buy shares in MRP.

            They would need over 200 thousand Kiwi “mum and dad” investors to successfully part privatise Meridian, but Norman hints, they won’t get enough Kiwis interested. So it was Norman again, “leading” the comments from the opposition.

            Shearer was only featuring briefly, stirring up a largle pot of porridge, as wannabe part time cook, when the news were covering the governments due “feed the school children” program to be announced tomorrow.

            Now they have shown an insecure looking David the Shearer two or three nights in the row, stirring up porridge, but not saying too much in his mubling lingo.

            Surely, very “effective” PR response, right on the target, I suppose.

            On National Radio’s political commentator discussion with Mike Williams and Hooton this late morning, I noticed for the first time, that Williams uttered some real criticism about Shearer, at the beginning of the talk they had on air.

            This is interesting, the former Labour Party president daring to publicly criticise the present leader, but he was later defending him again. Maybe the senior Labour people, including Williams, are slowly getting the message and getting cold feet?

            A challenge may perhaps be prepared in the background? Well, maybe I am too optimisitc?

      • Ennui 6.2.2

        The media are all fully paid up members of whoever pulls their strings…and thy are mostly all far too young and lacking in life experience to have anything real to say. So we get schmaltz and crap. Interestingly they have all fallen into the trap of believing their own bullshit.

        Then there are the paid courtiers, the carpet bagging roadsters like Hooten who act like inquisitors and believe their dogma. If they were from the left they would get no airtime, but it seems to suit the paymasters for obvious reasons.

      • kiwicommie 6.2.3

        As the election comes closer they will do more attacks in desperation to stop Labour and the Greens taking power, but in the end there is only so much propaganda can do. National supporters won’t change their vote, it is up to Labour and the Greens to appeal to voters that didn’t vote last time, fortunately National has made such a mess of the economy, and most people are sick of seeing John Key’s face; that will help a lot come the elections in 2014.

        If National wins again, New Zealand’s fate will be sealed, meaning the welfare state will be crushed and dismantled, workers rights will be all but eliminated, pharmac will be dismantled, the public schools will be all sold off, and finally monopolistic business practices and cronyism will push New Zealand to semi-democracy status in the likes of Russia or Ukraine. Fortunately I doubt National will win, enough is enough of their BS, and most of the people probably feel the same way.

        • BM 6.2.3.1

          Not while the Greens and Labor are bonded at the hip.
          If the Greens want the left to win they should shut up and take a back seat.

          The Greens are either loved or loathed, there’s no in between and with their current support around 10% they’re severely in the loathed camp.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.3.1.1

            On current polling (assuming similar bias in the polls as at the 2011 election) they’ll be on the Treasury benches next year, and then everyone will get to see that the bogeyman you’ve been whining and whinging and cowering in fear of is nothing of the sort.

            And then I shall recall your feeble cry-baby posturing and laugh at you :)

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.3.1.1.1

              2014-2015 I expect a major global economic decline. Are we going to get austerity in NZ for real, regardless of who is in power.

  7. Paul 7

    This meme has just been repeated on Morning Report with no critique.
    Unbelievable for a public broadcaster to allow such clear party political statement to go unchecked!

  8. Tigger 8

    Key is an ACToid in Nat drag. The voters are so stupid as to have fallen for this cabaret.

  9. One Anonymous Knucklehead 9

    Far Left principles: the far Left won’t cancel elections. The far Left won’t spy on you. The far Left won’t sell our laws to money launderers. The far Left will keep our assets. The far Left protects the environment. The far Left believes in a living wage.

    Key’s desperate labels present a good opportunity to promote policy.

  10. Phil 10

    No need for all this rhetoric. Key’s explanation for his statement that Labour are “Far Left” was simple;
    “David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman”.
    Surely following the same logic would allow someone (anyone?) in the Labour party to identify the Nats as “Far Right” simply by paraphrasing Key’s words. Insert Banks/Hide/Sharples/Dunne/multi nationals/Peter Jackson. Oh the list is endless.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Ah decent PR team would have come up with that line in 10 mins and had it on air 10 mins after that.

      Maybe you should do this professionally?

  11. Wayne 11

    Well, I would regard most commentators here as “far left” in that none could be regarded as “centre left”. Most commentators here also want Labour to shift more to the Left, and at least when Labour is in opposition this is having an effect. Also Metiria Turei has had a lot more profile of late, and she seems instinctively more left than Russell Norman.

    But the polls should be a warning. Voters don’t actually regard the Nats as “hard right”. And they also see the Nats as safe on the economy. So for instance saying there has been an increase in unemployment since 2008 will not cut the mustard – voters know there has been a global recession.

    What matters is how things look ahead, and Labour has allowed itself to be caught up with the Greens in looking like they oppose every single thing that the Nats have done to increase growth and job opportunities. That might work for the Greens, but it won’t for Labour.

    I would also argue that the mixed ownership model is a centre right position; after a Queensland Labour govt did the same thing with the sale of Queensland Rail. A hard right govt would sell the lot. Similarly the 90 day bill is not a hard right position, but on OECD positioning is about as moderate as you can get. Look at what National has not done. It hasn’t introduced competition to ACC. It has not sold off State houses in bulk. It has protected public health. Sure it has done things differently to Labour, but that is what it was elected to do.

    In 2008 National sought to reassure voters, so that it would be able to take votes off Labour (essential to winning the election). And the Nats have essentially done what they said they would – they have been pretty true to their manifestos of both 2008 and 2011. A key point of political trust.

    What has Labour done that is intended to persuade existing National voters that they should change their vote, because that is where the votes are. Instead you seem to be pursuing the approach that there are a whole lot of stay at home left voters that are easier to get, rather than trying to actually appeal to centre voters.

    But if thats your choice, then that your choice.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      What matters is how things look ahead, and Labour has allowed itself to be caught up with the Greens in looking like they oppose every single thing that the Nats have done to increase growth and job opportunities.

      National hasn’t done anything to to increase jobs or growth. All they’ve done is hand our wealth to their rich mates.

      A hard right govt would sell the lot.

      And I’m pretty sure National actually wanted to but they knew that the populace didn’t want that so they went for the slightly more palatable selling of 49% but even then ~80% didn’t want that either.

      It has not sold off State houses in bulk.

      But it is selling them off.

      What has Labour done that is intended to persuade existing National voters that they should change their vote,

      Labour, if they were left wing, wouldn’t even be looking at the National voters.

      …rather than trying to actually appeal to centre voters.

      Fuck the centre, they’re the ones causing NZ and the world huge problems because they’re being led by the nose to the right.

      • Wayne 11.1.1

        Felix, every single OECD country has a trial period. I chose 90 days as the shortest period of any country. Surely not very OECD country is governed by right wing extremists. Also are suggesting the Queensland Labor govt was a right wing extremist govt?

        However, I guess by your definition the Nats are all right wing extremists

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          You mean this “left wing” QLD Labour government?

          Just shows how much the “centre” has shifted rightwards.

          • Wayne 11.1.1.1.1

            That was exactly the example I had in mind. Anna Bligh’s privitisation model was partial sales. It might seem extreme to the commentators here, but is pretty conventional for Labour govts elsewhere.

            Hence the reason why I say the Nats are centre right. And I am not surprised that many commentators here are saying they don’t want to get votes from the centre. But that is precisely the position expected of a far left (as opposed to centre left) commentator.

            • karol 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Wayne – you seem to miss the point that “centre” is a movable feast.

              And Ann Bligh’s Labor government is not left wing at all – pre-1980s Labour parties, and even governments’ like Muldoon’s, were far more in favour of public services than many in the allegedly Labour/or parties of today.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1.1.1.1.2

              We can tell they are “far right” because of the increase in infectious disease admissions, Dr. Mapp. Moderate, pro-New Zealand governments don’t cancel elections, nor do they treat family care givers as sub-human, nor do they do favours for money-laundering organisations.

        • kiwicommie 11.1.1.2

          Queensland is widely known as the crazy right wing state of Australia, it is where Pauline Hanson (One Nation) comes from. Nats are all right-wing extremists, the sooner they fall off the cliff with Cameron the better. Most OECD countries are controlled by the pro-austerity crowd, hence why so many of them are near bankruptcy like Greece. As for trial periods, they have just been used to create a market where the only jobs available are part time or contract jobs; so employers can exploit workers on low wages or salaries, and deny them basic working rights.

          • Suitably Clueless 11.1.1.2.1

            Trial periods are good in some situations and industries, but they were present in the ERA 2001, you could include a trial period in any contract. National came along, and the only way their ideology functions is to have a low wage/ high unemployment economy to influence ‘competition’ and ‘growth.’ Well, for a majority of this country this just simply does not ring true, as they cannot compete and are certainly not growing… People like Wayne should have to do a logic test before they can vote. His brain seems to be acting like a puppy chasing it’s tail and can only stop to bark on command.

    • felix 11.2

      “So for instance saying there has been an increase in unemployment since 2008 will not cut the mustard – voters know there has been a global recession.”

      And as long as no-one notices that National’s philosophies and policies are the same ones that led to the global recession then everything’s fine.

      ps your comments on asset sales and workplace conditions label you as a right wing extremist.

    • lprent 11.3

      What has Labour done that is intended to persuade existing National voters that they should change their vote, because that is where the votes are. Instead you seem to be pursuing the approach that there are a whole lot of stay at home left voters that are easier to get, rather than trying to actually appeal to centre voters.

      In 2008, there were a lot of soft centre votes that went to that nice John Key and his “affordable” tax cuts.

      In 2011, there were a lot of Labour core votes who would usually vote who simply did not vote because there was nothing to vote for as Labour was trying to appeal to the centre & centre-right. There was literally nothing much for any leftish voter to vote for. So they either voted Green or stayed at home.

      Now I’m not exactly on the left side of Labours members or even it’s voters. But I had to restrain myself last election from voting Green because at least the Greens had an agenda that wasn’t more of the frigging same economic crap that simply isn’t working. We need something more in this country than land speculation, tourism, mining (not that there is much scope for that) and farming because otherwise there simply isn’t a future for substantive jobs for the kids to go into. It becomes a land of rentiers where most of the actual jobs wind up as being dependent directly or indirectly on fuel prices – aircraft kerosene, bunker fuel, or agricultural diesel. Hardly a brighter future, and a damn good reason to aussie where substantive jobs are still available.

      If Labour tries to go for the centre/centre-right, they will lose from the centre-left. Many of those simply won’t vote because many still don’t trust the Greens. But the Greens will get a boost from those who do. That was the clear lesson for Labour from the last election.

      The problem with a “centre” strategy like what was pursued last election is that it is relatively easy for National to claim that they are better for the economy (despite all of the evidence of the last 35 years showing exactly the opposite) because of the rentier business backgrounds of many National MPs (Joyce being a good example of such a business parasite). That messaging trend works and usually continues until the stench of hypocrisy and the evident failure of the National party to be effective on the general economy becomes apparent – as it always does – 1984 & 1999 being the prime examples. National are good for their cash supporters (look at the buyers of Mighty River selloff) but at the expense of everyone else.

      When the rot of National’s policies become apparent, you get some centre switching of votes to Labour, the Nats suffering losses to peripheral parties like Act, NZ1, UF, or the Conservatives and even some not-voting on the right. But it has bugger all to do with Labour’s positioning to the centre or not. Labour went into the election in both 1984 and 1999 with quite left-leaning agendas.

      The trick for Labour is as always to keep their core constituencies voting, especially the people who show dissatisfaction by not voting. Because if they don’t have them and especially if they allow a trend to develop of the younger generations not voting then they cannot remain as a dominant party of the centre-left over the coming decades.

      But targeting the centre is a strategy that works when Labour is already in government and where they can point to actual existing policy wins for the left. It is not a strategy that works when they are trying to get into government. It is always easier for an existing government to appeal to the economic conservatism of the devil we know.

      In other words, your “strategy” for Labour is a way for them to lose the election.

      • Colonial Viper 11.3.1

        Given that, it’s odd that it’s the path that Labour has chosen for 2014.

      • Alanz 11.3.2

        “There was literally nothing much for any leftish voter to vote for. So they either voted Green or stayed at home.”

        + 100

    • ghostrider888 11.4

      re Mr Mapp,
      -privatization of State housing stock underway.
      -protection of Public Health arguable; diabetes epidemic, alcohol law reform recommendations ignored, rheumatic fever, weakened border bio-security protection, gambling opportunities further facilitated, dragging their feet on synthetic drug restraints, Food and Beverage lobby stacked with Rich, et al; river quality deterioration with emphasis on dairy, Occupational Health and Safety failings, emphasis on productivity influencing stress, heart disease, mental health statistics,children with other third world (respiratory) diseases…
      -there are the “stay at home voters” missing from the last election / s.
      (and you have a Doctorate, they say).

      As Lynn says!

    • xtasy 11.5

      Wayne –

      Privatisation of state assets does not necessarily go down well with voters, as this article in the Brisbane Times on former State Premier Anna Bligh, following the devastating defeat by Labour in Queensland in 2012, shows:
      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/was-she-really-that-bad-examining-anna-blighs-legacy-20120326-1vtt3.html

      Here is also a brief, summarised view on the rise and fall of the former QLD state premier:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Bligh

      You likely know all this, but are just trying to play on the ignorance of some readers here.

      Queensland Rail by the way was not fully privatised, it was split in two, and the coal and other freight business was separated from the passenger side of business. So the freight side was turned into Queensland Rail National, which was then turned into a publicly listed corporation with some remaining state ownership also.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queensland_Rail
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_float_of_QR_National

      After merging with another corporation and having purchased other operational business, this large corporation has since December been renamed Aurizon:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurizon

      Reports and presentations can be viewed and dowloaded here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurizon

      The passenger business remained in state ownership in Queensland.

      While National may have been rather open about their part privatisation agenda, it is still not really popular with most voters, and I would not count my bets re what next election will bring. There is some time for further developments in other areas also.

      Queensland Rail privatisation may have made a bit more sense than selling electricity generating operations, as the rail that was sold there was purely the freight side, largely benefiting the coal, iron-ore, farming and private enterprise logistics firms.

      Passenger services are of a more public importance, hence it made sense to keep them as state corporation under full state control.

      Power companies serve both domestic and business consumers, and it would be difficult to split them. In any case, Meridian will not be sold as easily as Mighty River Power (to the selected few hiding behind the fake “mum and dad” label).

      Apart from all this, “left” or “right”, governments nowadays are certainly more to the “right” in business, laissez faire market AND social terms, than any forms of governments before the 1980s in virtually all developed “western” countries.

    • xtasy 11.6

      Sorry, I doubled up a wikipedia link, instead of putting this one into my comment above:

      http://www.aurizon.com.au/investor/Pages/Presentations.aspx

      To be found are presentations and some reports for and by that new large corporation.

    • xtasy 11.7

      Wayne: “Look at what National has not done. It hasn’t introduced competition to ACC. It has not sold off State houses in bulk. It has protected public health.”

      Re that we are going to see some form of competition to ACC brought in, as far as I can remember comments from National ministers not long ago (last year). And they are going to hand over a fair few chunks of Housing NZ stock to private or NGO operators, as English clearly stated in the budget.

      “Public” health has their fair share of outsourcing of contracted services across many areas, and more is to come.

      Do not pull the wool over our eyes, thanks.

  12. Wayne 12

    Iprent, My point was not that Labour goes centre/centre right, but rather they don’t start to look like they are abandoning the centre/centre left. If they look like they do that then centre voters will be reluctant to switch votes.

    So for Labour in 1999 and for National in 2008, they both had to be able to appeal to centre voters to get them to switch – unless they did that, they could not become govt. They did that by having moderate policies.

    So why has this changed for 2014, which seems to be the view here – that appealing to the centre is to be avoided.

    By the way ghostrider88, not withstanding your list you will hard pressed to find a consistent pattern of headlines that the health system is in crisis. These headlines did exist in 1999, and were hugely damaging to the Shipley govt. But they are not there now.

    • ghostrider888 12.1

      and who controls the ‘headlines’. John Campbell reveals some interesting snap-shots of the miseries experienced in Christchurch and the Far North for example.
      appreciate the interaction with a humble gardener though, thankyou.

      Is it possible “appealing to the centre” is viewed as appealing to self-interest and the baser motives as opposed to the more pressing issues in the Greens sights and policy platforms; Labour acknowledging the role the Greens will play in coalition.

    • lprent 12.2

      Everyone needs some centre votes. But you don’t win by abandoning your core constituency. National found that out in 2002 when they seemed to lose touch with their supporters who didn’t want to be Act wannabes and arguably even in 2005. In 2011 Labour tried so hard for the group of center votes that they lost in 2008 that they lost core left support who didn’t vote, and also convinced many center and center left votes to switch to the greens.

      Contrary to most propaganda, when you look at who supports them, they tend towards being a center party quite orthogonal to the left right divide – but largely supported by middle to high income centerists for people 30+.

      It is pretty clear when you look at past NZES surveys and the like at which way people move their vote. Especially the group of voters now nearing their 40s who were young during the massive youth unemployment in the 90s, have had MMP for most of their voting life, and who have no fear of the greens but are suspicious of both major parties.

    • xtasy 12.3

      “By the way ghostrider88, not withstanding your list you will hard pressed to find a consistent pattern of headlines that the health system is in crisis. These headlines did exist in 1999, and were hugely damaging to the Shipley govt. But they are not there now.”

      The headlines are not there now in the media, because of Tony Ryall’s incessant propaganda press releases, well-rehearsed public announcements and much front stage performances, hiding the fact that funds are taken out of certain, supposedly not sufficiently “performing” or “non core” service areas, to be put into elective surgery, mental health support for youth and a few others of his “pet projects”.

      What we have is funding being circulated around, but little extra funding, the increases often going into replacing old or damaged health infrastructure in Christchurch and the likes.

      It is much window dressing, while mental health and addiction services, and also some other hospital based surgical and sundry services face cuts and caps, to allow the money to be put where it is more media effective.

      Also the headlines are not there, because the press has gradually been facing staffing and cost cuts, so only core skeleton journalist teams remain, sitting simply by computer screens and facsimile machines, to receive government press releases, which make for easy articles to write and publish, no scrutiny being applied anymore.

      Indeed most media have silently been taken over by Key and government friendly moderators, presenters and self styled news-media stars, who rather not rock the boat, as they themselves do not want to risk their careers or at least maintain a a good and “cosy” access to government ministers and staff, for the occasional, superficial tete a tete interview.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    [I wrote this to a comment which was subsequently deleted by someone else but I'll let it stand as an orphan]

    – Give him 6 more months to get traction
    – It’s not about the leader it’s about the party
    – It’s not about the leader, it’s about policy
    – Shearer’s doing better than Helen Clark, Jim Bolger, and John Key at the same stage
    – It’s not about Labour, it’s about the Greens
    – What are ya, a Cunliffe Cultist?

    etc.

    • Rhinocrates 13.1

      To anyone who makes any comparison with Helen Clark’s position in the early ’90s and that therefore “Labour” should never even consider thinking outside it’s mouldy straitjacket, I challenge them to make a comparison with Mickey Savage or Peter Fraser to show how nostalgic they are. 2013 is not 1990 or 1789 or whatever. The ’90’s are two decades ago now. The Internet barely existed, there were no blogs, there was no Twitter, no social media, no viral marketing – the whole media and the social environment was different.

      Cellphones aren’t the size of brick, shoulder pads and gelled mullets aren’t in fashion, nobody’s bought a Sheena Easton album in ages, and you can be absolutely sure that no-one wears walkshorts and sandals over socks and drives a Holden Kingswood any more unless they’re a hipster who’s being “ironic” in some pointless way.

      Forget the comparisons with a past decade. This is now.

      Guitars, mango skins and endless press releases just won’t cut it.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        You have to reach an awful long way back to find a Labour Government which believed in penal rates for overtime, a full employment policy, and free education. An awful long way back.

        • Rhinocrates 13.1.1.1

          Well, the spirit of the past, the methods of the present would be nice. Alas, the current bunch have it the other way around.

          You’re right, I remember as a child crying when I’d heard that Norman Kirk had died. Even then, I knew that something vital had gone. David Lange revived it for a while, but he was betrayed.

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    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.