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Is Bill English’s ‘big data’, Big Brother & privatisation of govt?

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, June 30th, 2014 - 135 comments
Categories: benefits, bill english, business, capitalism, child welfare, class war, democratic participation, election 2014, families, john key, poverty, privatisation, slippery - Tags:

vto has been drawing attention to some comments made by Bill English, about how a third term Key government would majorly reform the government’s budgeting and spending.

English’s comments on this does raise some serious concerns that deserve to be examined in depth.  The way English framed the planned reforms makes it sound like the ability to aggregate data will result in a Big brother type governance.

john_key_bill_english

He also refers to a competitive approach that sounds a little like the further outsourcing of public sector provisions to non-government entities.

On 15th June of this year, Rod Oram reported on some of the results of the Key government so far, and on the new goals being flagged for a third term:

… the government has improved fiscal discipline, initiated its Better Public Services programme, and set itself 10 big challenges such as reducing long-term welfare dependency and boosting skills and employment.

If National wins the election, English says his next budget will be the most radical restructuring of government spending in 50 years as he seeks to take an investment-led, performance-driven approach to programmes.

This is fleshed out a bit more by a couple of posts by Bernard Hickey on Hive News. On 9 June 2014, Hickey posted about,

… Bill English ‘s comments about how a third-term National Government might use big data to change the way it organises itself and reports its spending in future Budgets. I attended a Data Futures Forum at Telecom’s conference centre in Auckland on Friday.

English spoke at length about how Treasury’s new Data Analytics Unit is beginning to pull together the Government’s disparate sets of data to better measure the performance of spending in hitting the Government’s targets. He emphasised the Government’s investment-led approach and flagged the biggest changes in 50 years in the way Budgets were written if the Government was re-elected. See the full report below.

In the wake of Snowden’s revelations, this resort to the power of the government’s capabilities to use ‘Big Data’, is worrying.

DunedinGCSB-5

Hickey explains further in another post of the previous day (8 June 2014):

“We’re now starting to adopt an investment approach. Where you would say we invest now for income later, we’re saying we invest now for cost reduction later, such as in our sole parents under 20,” English said, referring to how the Government had reduced the number of single mothers under the age of 20 by 2,600 or 40% over the last three years, thus reducing future liabilities by hundreds of millions of dollars.

English referred to the development by Statistics NZ of its Integrated Data Infrastructure, which allowed various Government departments to link the names and birth-dates of the recipients of health, welfare and education spending over 35 years to better track and understand the performance of that spending.

The Government had opened up these data sets to the research community to better understand these trends, “so they can chew on our mountains of data.”

“We’ve got a data analytics unit at the Treasury and in the next Budget round, should we have the privilege of being able to be the Government, we’ll probably reshape how we do the Budget – the most significant change in about 50 years – because we want to go direct to the customer,” English said.

I’m not sure how the government has used Big Data, and budget allocations to “reduce the numbers of single mothers under 20 years old.  It does sound a little like eugenics, and (the dread of the right) “social engineering”.   Is this a reference to the social obligations aspects of Bennett’s reforms that have been particularly nasty in their impacts of single mothers.

Gordon Campbell’s post in February 2012, highlights the same kind of language being used by English now in talking about Big Data: the “investment approach”.

Underpinning the reforms, Bennett explained, was ‘an investment approach’ – more details promised next year – “that will change long term, who we work with, and who we spend money on”.

the real beneficiaries_aaap_bene_online

Adding to these worries, Michael Fletcher reports that the government won’t tell us how they are evaluating their welfare reforms. [h/t veutopviper]

As reported by Hickey in his second post linked above, English -speaks loudly of Big Brother monitoring of individuals, especially those receiving government spending. English speaks of aggregating data about individuals who have received funding for health, welfare and education.

English goes on to identify a shift away from government to private provisions of such “health, welfare and education spending,” as quoted in Hickey’s post of June 8th:

That’s the power the data gives us, and over time that’s going to mean quite dramatic shifts for the way Government does its business,” he said.

“(That’s) simply because the decision makers called ministers can know a hell of a lot more and understanding of what we’re trying to do is not controlled by the entities between us and the customers.”

English gave examples of how Government and business could work together to better understand or help people in need of help. He pointed to how the Government often struggled to find young single mothers or children who had been through many schools, or former students who were living overseas and not repaying their loans.

Here the Big Data shift is identified as a shift away from government provisions to bringing”business” more into the centre of decision-making.  People in communities are described as “customers” not citizens, or members of the public. And again the example used is that of single mothers on benefits.  These women are the ones that have been the main targets of the Team Key’s nasty beneficiary-bashing programme.

corporat welfare social welfare

Vote for the people, against Big Brother and Privatisation of the public sector!  Vote left!

vote left 2014

 

 

 

135 comments on “Is Bill English’s ‘big data’, Big Brother & privatisation of govt?”

  1. dimebag russell 1

    oh well.
    they will discuss it for half an hour on 9-noone one morning and then thats that.
    isn’t it?

  2. Chooky 2

    Another great post karol…and scarey!

    …another reason why the Cunliffe Labour Left coalition MUST win this election!…to prevent the further erosion of democracy and a John Edgar Hoover Key and English big brother spy society…where New Zealanders are regarded as the problem!… and the enemy

  3. dimebag russell 3

    yeah key and co are off their fucking heads trying to do this sort of shit.
    whats wrong with them?
    is it guilt or paranoia that makes them want to spy on everybody.
    brave new world bulldust.
    they just creeps.

    • karol 3.1

      It is Brave New World-ish.

      They are bloody sneaky with it, in the way they use language to seem like one thing, while almost being the opposite.

      English’s language is all framed in positive corporate-style jargon, while actually being about bennie-bashing, and repressing the least powerful people. It’s necessary to concentrate and focus on what he actually means.

      e.g. the use of the term “investment” approach – which also has been used by Bennett with her bennie-bashing welfare reforms.

      • Once was Tim 3.1.1

        Don’t be surprised if they trot out “Kaizen” soon – as in continuous (corporatised) improvement. It’s due for a recycle.

  4. Tracey 4

    Surely it is easy for the Government to show precisely where the 2,600 mothers under 20 have gone? And why wouldn’t they want to proudly show us?

    Into work?
    Into marriage?
    Into de facto partnerships?
    Back home to parents?
    To education moving them to student allowance/loan rather than DPB?

    • ianmac 4.1

      Terrifying Tracey that they have reduced the under 20 pregnant mothers by 2,600. How on earth can a Government do that? Have they refused to acknowledge their existence and therefore “disappeared them” off the data?

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        I forgot the other possibility for a few of them…

        Adoption
        Child now cared for by family
        Child fostered

        • ianmac 4.1.1.1

          But those possibilities have always been there Tracey. 2600 is too big to explain that drop. Perhaps teens are no longer eligible for help?

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            That is what i am getting at. The breakdown would be easy to get if the govt wanted it and if it backed their rhetoric. 2600 into employment. But they havent got the breakdown to hand… I shouldnt have to do an OIA. The press should be demanding the brwakdown from the minister or no story.

  5. Mike the Savage One 5

    This is interesting and worrying stuff, and I would expect the worst.

    Also did I come across this new post under ‘Speaker’ at Public Address last night, which shows that in regards to welfare reforms and evaluation of their success, there is an immense degree of secrecy in what the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are doing:

    “How is Government evaluating its welfare reforms, and why aren’t we allowed to know?”
    (by Michael Fletcher)

    See the article found via this link:
    http://publicaddress.net/speaker/how-is-government-evaluating-its-welfare/

    So they seem to intend to gather more data, as they are to my knowledge already doing, whether it is for taxation, immigration, education and social security policies, but they are highly reluctant to let anyone in the public get the slightest idea, what their policy formation and evaluation of implemented policies are all about.

    With so much that this present government has changed and brought in having been ideologically driven, we will have to expect more of the same, should National get a third term.

    This all deserves further research and study, I may suggest.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      So they seem to intend to gather more data, as they are to my knowledge already doing, whether it is for taxation, immigration, education and social security policies, but they are highly reluctant to let anyone in the public get the slightest idea, what their policy formation and evaluation of implemented policies are all about.

      Well, it’s like John (the fraud) Banks said: if they wore their policies on their sleeve they’d never get elected. (paraphrased)

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    I think the answers to the questions posed in the title are ‘no’ and ‘yes’.

    Big Brother represents a totalitarian state – Big Bruv and King Kong would applaud, but few others.

    As for the privatisation agenda it’s obvious. The Left has to be prepared to dismantle it entirely: render its advocates unemployable, and return public service to public servants rather than ideologically handicapped sycophants.

  7. dimebag russell 7

    Yes well where is the parliamentary press gallery on this one?
    Go to parliament at 2pm and the gallery is packed but none of them has the nous to investigate this story.
    they all too busy trying to get themselves on the 6o’clock news in their finery for their skite reels.
    what a bloody sham.

  8. Tracey 8

    More data sharing proposed. ostensibly to catch money launderers. We will have to trust that is all it’s used for, right? I feel particularly trusting of the Minister introducing these measures, don’t you?

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/307181/collins-acts-money-laundering

  9. Ennui 9

    Karol, good post. Sitting right in front of me now is an insidious Request fro Information from the Dept Internal Affairs which illustrates another “privatisation” by stealth. It is for government network services.

    The jist of this document is to enable “easier” information flow between all government funded entities, not just the core ministries. It is being pushed out to Health Boards, Education etc etc. The methodology is to build a supply chain that precludes independent action, a unitary procurement and controlling body over which government information will flow.

    The next move (once the information can be captured and become aggregated) is to start consolidating meta data, et voila, all those little bits of information given in confidence etc (should some government body, or maybe even private “provider” wish to) can be pasted together, manipulated, utilised. And where it “can”, it will.

    As an aside the commercial deal on All of Government procurement is to make it bloody hard for the smaller players to get listed as suppliers, the corporate players get the business because they can afford to bid, they then set higher prices, we the taxpayer pay more and the profits leave the country. Its a double whammy, the corporate mates of the National Party get fed handsomely for enabling “Big Brother” to become a reality.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    In the wake of Snowden’s revelations, this resort to the power of the government’s capabilities to use ‘Big Data’, is worrying.

    Whereas I’d say that it was a great idea. Still, it is National proposing this so I suspect we need to look for the way that they’d use it to keep information from us rather using it to keep us informed.

    English said, referring to how the Government had reduced the number of single mothers under the age of 20 by 2,600 or 40% over the last three years

    See, government can’t actually do that. Those mothers are still mothers and probably still require support – support that they’re probably no longer getting.

    English referred to the development by Statistics NZ of its Integrated Data Infrastructure, which allowed various Government departments to link the names and birth-dates of the recipients of health, welfare and education spending over 35 years to better track and understand the performance of that spending.

    Nothing wrong with that per sè but National will use that information to make cuts rather than to fix what’s actually going wrong which would cost more but be more effective.

    English goes on to identify a shift away from government to private provisions of such “health, welfare and education spending,” as quoted in Hickey’s post of June 8th:

    Yep, the problem is National who will use their position in government to enrich the already rich at everyone else’s expense.

    “(That’s) simply because the decision makers called ministers can know a hell of a lot more and understanding of what we’re trying to do is not controlled by the entities between us and the customers.”

    A promise of more dictatorship from National.

  11. vto 11

    BM the other day referred to John Key as “the CEO of New Zealand”. We subsequently swapped some comments on how New Zealand is a community of people and not a business. Bill English’s approach here smacks of the same absolute ignorance.

    New Zealand is not a bloody business ffs. People live here, they get married and raise families here, they get educated and grow from babies to young people, they retire and play bowls, walk on the beach. People argue and fight, relax and play, chase each other in circles. They also buy plastic buckets at The Warehouse…….. now really … how much of that life in NZ is about business ?….. the plastic buckets is about it.

    ….. for those actually in business I imagine about 40% of their life is about business and the rest is about, well, life. For everyone else business is probably about 20% of their life. So across the board business would make up maybe 25% of life…

    This idea that every component of life can be made into a business is just flawed. Fundamentally flawed. Life is not business. New Zealand is a community not a business.

    These people have bloody rocks in their heads and it is no wonder that so many components of our community are failing when the approach to them is so fundamentally flawed.

    This is the meme that needs highlighting and attacking as part of the opposition approach.

    New Zealand is a community not a business.

    • Tracey 11.1

      Those on the right have no concept of “social contract”, this is why their drive to turn NZ into a business model must fail. MOST businesses do not have any form of social contract to adhere to or implement, being able to focus almost entirely on a financial bottom line shown in a spreadsheet.

      Undoubtedly some aspects of business can be applied to aspects of government operations but not in tot.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        MOST businesses do not have any form of social contract to adhere to or implement

        In this regard it is crucial to differentiate between local small businesses and trans-national corporates. Those sitting in New York or Sydney board rooms are the ones who find it easiest to treat us like a mine and a sweatshop.

      • srylands 11.1.2

        “MOST businesses do not have any form of social contract.”

        That is because such a concept is most profoundly stupid. It impedes markets and reduces prosperity, ultimately hurting the poor the most.

        Friedman had it right: “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”.

        This issue of business and social responsibilities emerged in the 1990s. I thought it had gone away until I spotted your post.

        In 1996 Roger Kerr wrote an excellent and detailed essay debunking the desirability of business having a social contract. I suggest you read it. It has not dated.

        http://nzinitiative.org.nz/site/nzbr/files/speeches/speeches-96-97/aiesec.pdf

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.2.1

          Friedman had it wrong (in this as in everything else, cf: the evidence), and Kerr should be disinterred then reburied in an unmarked grave after suitable indignities have been performed upon his corpse.

          I’ll settle for evidence-based policy though, it would have much the same effect, with the added bonus that ideological policy maggots end up on the scrapheap.

        • dimebag russell 11.1.2.2

          @sryland
          friedman was fool and so are you.
          any examination of an enterprsie shows that the primary goal is to maintain the life of the peculium.
          any attempt to maximise profits and to obtain total market share is a sure sign of a rapid decline and eventual demise of any enterprise that only has these goals.
          Roger Kerr was a freidmanite but he was a person who wanted more than his share without working for it and all profits transferred to him.
          ie. he was just a greedy pig and he followed a doctrine that was barbaric and short term solely to provide for himself.
          and it should be noted he never started a business himself.
          nor did friedman

          • Murray Olsen 11.1.2.2.1

            I don’t think we can write Friedman off as a fool. He was very able and effective in his services to big business. This made him a dangerous enemy. On the other hand, SSlands, who worships at the Rand/Friedman altar, is a complete fool. More so if he expects us to believe that Friedman gave a shit about the poor. Pinochet was the first to follow the Milton prescription, and about all it got the poor was torture and extrajudicial executions. Friedman economics are for the filthy rich who need an excuse to feel superior as they run over people in the streets, evict communities from their houses, and rape the environment.

        • vto 11.1.2.3

          srylands: “Friedman had it right: “The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits”.”

          And that is why the application of business processes to community structures is so very very wrong. In a complete and total nutshell.

          Ffs srylands, you have the entire fatal flaw in your idea of running NZ and all its myriad components as a business right in front of your eyes, and in your very own words no less, yet you still cannot appreciate the gigantic gaping hole ?………

          you are lost in space man …….. completely and totally lost in space

          This has to be absolute high point of your inverse understanding.

          • srylands 11.1.2.3.1

            Where did I say state that business processes should be applied to all New Zealand institutions? They should not.

            I stated that businesses should have no social obligations. Their obligation is to maximise their return to shareholders and to act lawfully.

            Individuals have such obligations. So do a range of institutions. or are you saying you know better than Friedman?!

            You have very poor comprehension.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2.3.1.1

              So do a range of institutions. or are you saying you know better than Friedman?!

              The average, run of the mill, cockroach knows better than Friedman.

            • dimebag russell 11.1.2.3.1.2

              you are still a fool and yes I know more than friedman. I have read all his books and discussed them with the professors.
              milton thought he was in posession of a higher truth.
              so did roger kerr.
              but it was only compound interest..
              howzat chump.

            • framu 11.1.2.3.1.3

              friedman aye?

              you mean the guy whos ideas were so repugnant that they have never been openly voted for by anyone, ever. Have always been enacted by force or stealth. And never saw any implementation till a murderous rightwing dictator opened the door for his underlings, to work hand in glove with him to screw a countries economy to make them and theirs wealthy, while the dictator killed a large chunk of the populace?

              that friedman?

              thats part of his legacy – and youve just pinned your colours to it

            • vto 11.1.2.3.1.4

              Don’t be so disingenuous again, it is painful. Debate the issue.

              You implied agreement with Friedman that business has no social obligation other than making profit. I did not disagree with that but furthered the point by saying this….

              “that is why the application of business processes to community structures is so very very wrong. In a complete and total nutshell.”

              You have claimed countless times that business processes should be applied to countless institutions (and I did not claim you said all institution – you being disingenuous again), the example just above being electricity supply… now, if you can keep up with the line of reasoning here ….

              Electricity supply is not like plastic bucket supply. Electricity is needed for absolute survival – people die earlier or simply die mid-winter when they have insufficient heating. As such the electricity supply has a very very large social obligation on it. A social obligation that you have just admitted business does not have.

              The gap in your philosophy is laid bare for all to see, including yourself as you put it in your very own words no less.

              • Tracey

                plus 100 vto.very well said mate.

              • Gosman

                Similar arguments could be made for all sorts of services and goods. Food being a prime example. We can’t survive very long without it so it should be made available as a social good. You could even expand it to recent developments such as Internet access given how important it is to modern society. Taking such an approach leads to stagnated development and shortages generally.

                • Tracey

                  “Taking such an approach leads to stagnated development and shortages generally.”

                  Links? Sources?

                  Just because business is practiced as though social obligation and it are mutually exclusive doesn’t mean it is the only way business can “work”.

                  • Gosman

                    Ummm.. I have provided numerous links in the past to this sort of stuff both in relation to NZ and also to other countries where the State attempts to turn commercial enterprises in to social services. How about you provide a link to show that doing so brings about improved services and no shortages? I don’t think there are many real world examples of that. Hence why not even The Greens are calling for the Electricity companies to be nationalised and turned back in to a government department.

                    • Tracey

                      No Gosman, You are arguing, along with slylands, that businesses cannot operate with any social contract or obligation. I have already shown an example of where that is patently false.

                      Now re-read the posts in this line,get back on point and dont divert by making me prove things you state as fact.

                      I am asking you to prove that your statement (which I quoted) disproves what VTO and I have written (to which you were replying)

                      I stopped posting to you weeks ago, and ought to have stuck to it.

                    • Gosman

                      What obligation did businesses in the former Soviet Union have beyond the social? They certainly weren’t there to make profits or accumulate capital for the owners. How did that work out for them?

                    • Tracey

                      i see you did not re read mine and vtos statements or you didnt understand them, you couldnt have to come up with a soviet union example. You are answering things not asked.

            • Tracey 11.1.2.3.1.5

              you believe that electricity should be run by business. Ergo you do not believe there is a social obligation to provide people with affordable electricity.

              Friedman is wrong. Their is no “social” aspect to doing whatever it takes to return profit to shareholders.

              Businesses only exist by dint of law. A simple law change could bestow a social obligation and define it, on all companies. You seem to have this idea that a business/company is this animal that has always existed and cannot be altered. A change of companie rules and the companies act and hey presto a company can have any number of social obligations.

              • srylands

                “A change of companie [sic] rules and the companies act and hey presto a company can have any number of social obligations.”

                Which would make New Zealand a much poorer place. Also if you chnaged teh Companies Act companies operaing in New Zealand would seek to avoid the stupid rules by incorporating somewhere else. Is that what you want? Or are you going to pass a law to “ban” that? Is that consistent with our WTO obligations? So craziness just leads to more craziness. Which is what highly regulated economies tend to encounter.

                And of course electricity should be provided by business. It is a commodity. If the Government wants to make electricity “afordable” for some favoured goup, it can subsidise it for those groups. Othwerwise you are simply distorting markets.

                To reitarate, this is perfectly orthodox policy. It is not “right wing”.

                • McFlock

                  Who cares if they incorporate somewhere else? If they do business in NZ, they have to take account of their social responsibilities.

                  We might have less cash, but we’d be much better off. Although the distinction is no doubt lost on you, SSpylands.

                  • srylands

                    See this is what I mean – simply childish personal abuse like an 8 year old.

                  • srylands

                    It is “sylands”. You are simply incapable of adult exchanges. Shocking behaviour that is a very poor advertisement for your political ideals.

                    • McFlock

                      Wow.
                      You jumped on your high horse twice in the hope of avoiding the fact that country of incoporation is irrelevant.

                      Nice bunny-hopping, “sylands”. I like the way you added hypocrisy to your list of online contradictions.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      He’s a Tory maggot,
                      He don’t care,
                      He cuts down trees,
                      Privatises welfare,

                      I cut down trees,
                      I privatise lunch,
                      I add, more GST,
                      On facts I am complacent, no reality check, for me,

                      He’s a Tory maggot,
                      He don’t care,
                      He cuts down trees,
                      Privatises welfare,

                      etc etc.

                • Tracey

                  “afordable (sic) “teh” (sic) “reitarate (sic) Slylands (sick)

                • Tracey

                  would that be Greek or Jewish?

              • srylands

                But I don’t expect you to change your view. Like most communists, you are immune to reason. You are also on the wrong side of history.

        • Tracey 11.1.2.4

          No slylands it is you who are ignorant. A very recent, and prominent example of a company which has incorporated a form of social contract has just won a worldwide award and is profitable.

          You are confusing a desire to have no form of social obligation with some kind of inherent, and unchangeable, mechanism preventing it.

          http://www.stoppress.co.nz/blog/2014/06/all-good

          • srylands 11.1.2.4.1

            Stop being so rude. It is “srylands”

            • vto 11.1.2.4.1.1

              It is you and your approach to the way that society should be run that is rude, given its negative effect on so many people.

              It aint tiddly winks srylands, grow up.

              • Gosman

                No apparently it is even more infantile than tiddly winks.

                I find the attitude expressed here and by others on the left as an example of the potential of the left to rapidly degenerate in to suppression of opposing views when in power. This can be justified because the policies put forward by the right are framed as being harmful to society.

                • dimebag russell

                  tough shit gosman. if you dont like it hten piss off. who do you think you are.
                  oh I know. you are a pre programmed computer feed giving off pre written lines as if they are rational responses when they are just the interjections of a bloody machine.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’ll settle for evidence-based policy thanks Gosman. That’ll be quite sufficient humiliation for right wing ‘thinkers’ everywhere.

                  • Gosman

                    The trouble is there is multiple ways to skin a cat so all this talk of evidence based policy is just wishful thinking largely. For every example of a left wing policy that seemingly works I am sure I can find examples of how it fails.

                    Take Labour laws as an example. If you look at countries with stricter protection of workers rights they generally have higher rates of unemployment than those that don’t. Southern European countries are a good example of that.

                    Policies generally have trade offs between benefits and negatives. It is a value judgment if the benefits outweigh the negatives and therefore it is a ‘good’ policy. Politics is the process of coming to a decision about this. This is why it will never be eliminated and we will continue to have a debate between the right and left so long as humans are around.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure, Gosman, when there’s legitimate evidence I expect you to bring it to your worldview.

                      cough Charter schools cough

                      cough National’s standards (which are neither) cough

                      cough RONS cough

                      cough Friedman cough

                      cough AGW cough

                      cough three strikes cough

                      cough privatised welfare cough

                      cough Max Bradford cough

                  • Gosman

                    The trouble is there is multiple ways to skin a cat so all this talk of evidence based policy is just wishful thinking largely. For every example of a left wing policy that seemingly works I am sure I can find examples of how it fails.

                    Take Labour laws as an example. If you look at countries with stricter protection of workers rights they generally have higher rates of unemployment than those that don’t. Southern European countries are a good example of that.

                    Policies generally have trade offs between benefits and negatives. It is a value judgment if the benefits outweigh the negatives and therefore it is a ‘good’ policy. Politics is the process of coming to a decision about this. This is why it will never be eliminated and we will continue to have a debate between the right and left so long as humans are around.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Debate ≠ ‘I can show you someone who’ll give you a counterview’

                      New Zealand needs better wingnuts, Gosman. Evidence-based wingnuts. Don’t take it personally.

                • Tracey

                  and yet it is slylands who is not answering those who suggest where he may be confused or wrong, and it is he who starts with the name calling. he calls people stupid simply because they disagree with him. When challenged he ignores the information and gets precious about a pseudonym he uses on a blog site. But because you agree with him, you manufacture a scenario where he is some kind of victim. Try keeping stock of yourself.

                  I look forward to reading your chastisement of him and his tendency toward abuse as a form of suppression of opposing ideas (sarc/).

                  • srylands

                    Suggesting I am confused because I point out:

                    • the obvious desirability of using data to guide social policy based on the highest returns (David Parker will do exactly the same if he becomes Finance Minister)
                    • the stupidity of “printing money” to build houses
                    • the questionable (at best) value of commercial social contracts and “fair trade” policies.
                    • the global benefits of removing trade and investment barriers.

                    I mean these are not radical, crazy ideas. They are perfectly orthodox.

                    Your ongoing problem is that New Zealand has a centre left government. New Zealanders will never elect a right wing Government. John Key knows that and has said as much.

                    So we have a government with left wing social policies that it is financing by market orthodoxy (or mostly).

                    That only leaves you and your fellow travellers one way to go, which is communism, aka The Green Party. So you get your “corporate evil neoliberal bla blah blah” rubbish, printing money, banks are evil, and on and on.

                    That is why National is going to win the election, and if you keep it up they will win in 2017 too.

                    • Gosman

                      Agreed. I can understand why the hard core lefties think Labour hasn’t adopted their proposals. This is because most if them think they are still captured by neoliberalism. I don’t get how they reconcile that The Greens are not calling for it though. Surely if it was such a no brainer set of policies it would form the basis of any left wing party’s platform in NZ. Strangely it is not.

                    • Tracey

                      Suggesting you are confused because you dont understand what has been written preferring to treat the words written as different to their form and then answering the question you have formed in your mind and then proclaiming yourself right. Having gosman come along and agree bolsters your view but does not address what people wrote to you. You mix several different posts, cherry picking and constructing a view you can challenge regardless of whether that view was espoused.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I mean these are not radical, crazy ideas. They are perfectly orthodox.

                      The orthodox just failed completely – as it has done for centuries. Continuing to believe those same ideas is completely insane.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.2.4.1.2

              Stop being such a hypocrite, policy maggot.

            • dimebag russell 11.1.2.4.1.3

              @slylands
              who gives a shit.

          • srylands 11.1.2.4.2

            No it is you who is still ignorant. I read your link. I stopped when it said the company won a “Fairtrade” award. Is that your measure of success?

            Fairtrade is a damaging ignorant concept which does nothing but distort markets and hurts the poor.

            The Economist recently discussed the damaging effects of “Fairtrade” coffee. I can send you a wide literature that expands on this.

            This company should maximise its profits. The worldwide award is not worth a pinch of shit, and worse will hurt the poor. But The Green Party will no doubt applaud it – the party with the most damaging policies for the poor.

            “http://www.economist.com/blogs/baobab/2014/05/agriculture-ethiopia-and-uganda

            • McFlock 11.1.2.4.2.1

              we had to exploit the village in order to save it, huh.

              • Tracey

                you can read the bits that slyland didnt. He stopped after the first paragrapgh.

                Purpose over profit: All Good Organics named world’s fairest trader

                As a story in Adweek noted recently, “purpose transcends business and product (the what) and delivers on human principles (the why).” A lot of companies tend to tack this purpose on to the marketing department, or make it part of a corporate social responsibility programme. But All Good Organics, as the name implies, has goodness running through its veins and its efforts have been rewarded with a global award as the fairest trader of them all, beating out 27,000 products from 120 countries that carry the Fairtrade mark.

                The Fairtrade Trader award, which takes place as part of Fairtrade International General Assembly in Bonn, Germany, recognises outstanding and special efforts from traders worldwide and takes into account innovation, ingredients, communication of its message and the tangible differences the company makes to the communities that supply it with products. Co-founder and director Simon Coley says a typical approach might be to put the Fairtrade logo and a picture of a smiling grower on the pack. But he thinks All Good has “gone a bit further than most do” by regularly visiting the growers, trying to understand the supply chain and using revenue from the sale of those products to create useful facilities.

                Coley, Chris Morrison, founder of Phoenix Organics, and his brother Matt Morrison conceived the idea for All Good on a West Auckland beach over five years ago. They started with bananas because they are the most consumed supermarket commodity and arguably one of the least ethical. And in 2010 they began importing New Zealand’s first Fairtrade bananas from the El Guabo Fairtrade cooperative in Ecuador.

                “There’s a 1950s song that goes, ‘if you want to be the top banana you have to start at the bottom of the bunch,'” says Coley. “It certainly applies to us. The banana industry is big, its history isn’t pretty, it’s littered with failed dreams and there have been many times we’ve wondered if we’d bitten off more than we could chew. When we launched New Zealand’s first Fairtrade bananas just over four years ago we were told that no one would want to pay $1 more a bunch. But we’ve shown Kiwis where their bananas come from and why it’s a good idea to buy the ones that directly support growers,

                All Good Bananas are available in supermarkets throughout the country and sales have grown by 30 percent in the last year (it’s now selling 60,000 bunches of Fairtrade bananas each week in New Zealand, or one bunch every ten seconds). In total New Zealanders have consumed about 6.8 million bunches of All Good bananas in the last four years and that has contributed over $5 million to the El Guabo economy, with $500,000 earmarked for development projects including assistance to 17 school and two medical clinics.

                The support of conscious Kiwi consumers gave it confidence to push on down that road, so in 2012 they launched Karma Cola (a recent blind taste test by The Guardian showed it did alright against other craft colas, but couldn’t top Coca-Cola). Proceeds from the sale of every bottle go back to the Boma village in Sierra Leone to help the people who grow the cola rebuild their lives in the aftermath of war.

                It followed up Karma Cola with two more Fairtrade products, Lemmy Lemonade and Gingerella, and it’s selling 25,000 bottles per week in cafes, restaurants and bars throughout New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and, as of last month, London. It has also launched a range of sparkling waters.

                He says its drinks business has grown by 500 percent in the last 12 months and, rather than sending bottles overseas, it’s looking at manufacturing drinks in the UK in the next couple of months.

                “We’re getting regular calls for our product from almost every continent.”

                And with very high awareness of Fairtrade in Europe and around the world, the award will probably increase those requests.

                As a result of this growth, the All Good team has doubled over the last year and now numbers over 20 in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

                In some cases, it seems like being good comes at the cost of making money. Profit isn’t a huge motivation for Coley and co, but it is a great lubricant and Coley says it’s working hard to manage this growth.

                “We’ve been in the game for five or six years now and it feels like were here to stay. But we break even and occasionally we make a profit. The banana business in particular is really tough. We began as the fourth brand and now there are nine.”

                In the food sector, there is a trend back towards natural ingredients. And in an age of increased transparency, provenance has become increasingly important. So brands are increasingly realising that they can’t just tap into emotions, they need to find a purpose.

                “It’s beyond the zeitgeist. It’s a trend and it’s about doing good all the way through.”

                He admits that it’s easier for a small, relatively new company like All Good to do this as it has no legacy or old systems to change. But it’s good that more companies are thinking about their impact, as evidenced by the work of the B-Team.

                Like most start-ups, it doesn’t have a huge marketing budget, so a lot of the awareness is created by seeing the products instore. The media also love a good food story, so it’s had plenty of positive PR.

                As Ecostore’s founder Malcolm Rands (and presumably anyone else trying to sell environmentally-friendly products) said, there is a big difference between what people say and what they do, so people often say they’ll buy the good product but end up sticking with engrained habits and buying a cheap and possibly nasty option.

                “But there hasn’t always been a choice.”

                And thankfully All Good is offering it.

                their families and the environment—the All Good ones.”

                • McFlock

                  lol

                • Gosman

                  The question is whether this “ethical” approach to business actually helps the people it is meant to or retards their economic development. The study srylands refers to that The Economist discussed suggests the Fair Trade approach does not lead to better economic outcomes for the suppliers of fair trade goods.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    “Economic outcomes”.

                    What about social outcomes, Gossie?

                    What about studies that deal with social bottom lines in developed countries, Gossie?

                    What about the World Bank’s mistakes, Gossie? Did the economistas correct for those in their ‘findings’?

                  • McFlock

                    Yes.
                    SSpylands found a report he agreed with, even though it seems to contradict the weight of literature, and accepted it as truth without considering some possibly major methodological issues.

                    what more can you expect from a religious zealot. Not that you give a shit, anyway. You’re just here to trool.

                  • Tracey

                    and the point that i have been making and that led to you and sylands commenting is that businesses can have social contracts or social obligations as part of their business. That company proved my point.

                    You and sylands have either deliberately, or through lack of comprehension addressed different matters to that simple statement while accusing others of stupidity and oppression.

            • Tracey 11.1.2.4.2.2

              ” I read your link. I stopped when it said the company won a “Fairtrade” award”

              I rest my case. Slylands posts contradictory statements side by side.

              • KJT

                The economist. The magazine that thinks that destroying tribal habitats for latifundia, and shifting the rightful owners to slums in the cities, is more “economically efficient”.

                The one that said that Chile was better off under Pinochet and Freidmanism.

                The one that has been an uncritical cheer leader for the neo-liberal religion for decades.

                That Economist, Right……….

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2.4.2.3

              Markets themselves create the poor.

        • KJT 11.1.2.5

          The Roger Kerr that “invested” in SCF knowing full well his National mates would be bailing it out, plus interest, ensuring his guaranteed returns.

          At least a 100mil return paid for by taxpayers, which he didn’t mind grabbing.

          Like all neo-liberals, the only principle was his own gain.

    • KJT 11.2

      “CEO of New Zealand”.

      Very appropriate.

      A typical overpaid CEO, that flogs off the capital equipment, underpays the staff so the good ones leave, under-invests, to make the short term profit look good, then bails out with his “golden parachute” before the “chickens come home to roost” leaving the shareholders and employees with a “golden shower”……..

      NZ, the ENRON of the South Pacific.

      • yeshe 11.2.1

        oh, KJT … your comment is so incisive, and chilling. ENRON indeed. We must do everything we can to ensure their non-return to power, else we are in deep, deep shit and poverty for the rest of our lives.

        I hope someone somewhere will ask ShonKey in a public forum if he will offer the following guarantees if re-elected:

        1. Not to privatise ACC
        2. Not to sell Kiwibank
        3. Not to privatise our health system
        4. Not to privatise our welfare system
        5. Not to increase GST .. yeah, right, I know!
        • srylands 11.2.1.1

          On (1) do you mean “introduce competition on the employer account” or privatise ACC? If it is the latter I am sure he will say yes.

          On (2) it can’t be sold at any decent price – it is a bit like Kiwirail so forget that.

          3, and 4 are nonsensical (and/or been explicitly rejected in the context of the welfare working group)

          5 has been done.

          There you go.

          • yeshe 11.2.1.1.1

            There you went. Useless response as usual. Wonder why you waste your minutes here .. unless maybe you are paid so to do ??

            • srylands 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Who would pay anyone to comment at The Standard?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Do you honestly not understand the value of social media in an election campaign? I could believe that.

            • Tracey 11.2.1.1.1.2

              sylands is john key? That is quite a revelation he has made here.

              He ignores pwc report too….

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1.2
          1. why not? It can then be renationalised without compensation and that will be a valuable lesson to S Rylands and other Tory maggots.
          2. is already well under way.
          • srylands 11.2.1.2.1

            Referring to people you disagree with as “maggots” – you really are charming aren’t you? BTW New Zealand governments cannot nationalise corporations without compensation as we would be in breach of the WTO.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1.2.1.1

              No, I refer to people who pay lip service to small government then take money to push ideologically driven policy as parasites, those who dine on rotten flesh.

              Like you.

              • Tracey

                in sylands world you call people who disagree with you “drunk”. I hope this helps.

                • srylands

                  I apologise for calling you drunk. On those occasions it was a sincerely held belief based on your behaviour.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Are you going to use the same excuse for your mendacity?

                    • srylands

                      No, because I am an honest person.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Of course you are. Mistaking the Green Party for communists is your sincerely held belief too.

                      Paging Drs. Hodson & Busseri…

                    • srylands

                      There is no mistake there. Why do you think they are called the Watermelons? You think R Norman has changed his views since he was in the SWP?

                      As I explained previously there are different factions in Green supporters but most of their policies are communist, wealth destroying, and ultimately will be devastating for the poor. I can explain them again but am conscious of getting off the topic of the thread.

                      That is why big data is so brilliant. It is about evidence based investments in people to maximise returns. Good data. Good policy.

                    • McFlock

                      That is why big data is so brilliant. It is about evidence based investments in people to maximise returns. Good data. Good policy.

                      lol

                      But not everyone has access to big data.
                      So if it’s as great as you say it is, then the power to make sensible investment choices is in the hands of the already wealthy.

                      So really, big data is just another way for the ruling class to maintain its power over the masses. As they’ve done from generation to generation, yea unto the middle ages.

                      The other fascinating thing is that the Soviets thought they could get the economy sorted if they could analyse enough data. You seem to be repeating their error.

                      Don’t get me wrong, I love data. Literally. Sometimes even physically. But one has to be aware of its limitations – something economists never understand.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      S Rylands, I think they’re called watermelons because it’s a convenient smear that avoids any rational analysis of their policies.

                      In any case I thought you frowned on such things – playing the person rather than the ball, no, wait, I don’t think that – I think you pay lip service when it suits you.

                      You’ve failed to cite actual policy every other time you’ve mentioned this particular argumentum ad nauseam, why start now?

                    • KJT

                      Green party policy would have been entirely unremarkable in New Zealand’s past Governments, including Holyoaks National Government.

                      Confusing the Greens, mildly left social democrat policy, with communism, is a prime example of Fisiani’s and his co-fanatics reality disconnect.

                  • Tracey

                    and that ladies and gentlemen is from the playbook of banks, key, williamson and collins. Preach personal responsibility to others but incapable of it themselves.

              • srylands

                Well according to your little mates, I have never been to New Zealand so you have nothing to worry about.

      • Weepu's beard 11.2.2

        It’s a strange conflict that the ideological right find themselves in when they say governments have no business in running businesses yet applaud the CEO style of Prime Minister John Key as if bringing the pure business model to government is desirable.

        They are all over the place.

  12. Jack 12

    Unfortunately Key and English are divorved from social accounting and the intangible benefits to society, a sound balanced country such as we had in the 1970’s when we lead the OECD on a number of measures,

    Since then the country has been Asset Stripped by the Merchant Banking Community and we have a misbalanced socio-economic structure with all the wealth at the top of the pyramid.

  13. SPC 13

    The clue is in the policies of ACT.

    Voucher education and opening up all schools to becoming charter schools.

    National has to be asked as to the evolution of their coalition agreement with ACT in matters related to delivery of public services, whether education, health, welfare and housing.

  14. Tom Jackson 14

    Here the Big Data shift is identified as a shift away from government provisions to bringing”business” more into the centre of decision-making.

    The connection is, I suspect, much stronger. Adam Curtis has an interesting documentary on this. The idea is to introduce incentives and targets at all levels which big data enables monitoring of. Somewhere some faceless bureaucrat in front of a monitor will be able to push a button and incentives will be pushed out to all workers, managers, and beneficiaries who as rational economic units will then proceed to act in efficiency maximising ways. Such services can then be contracted out to private interests who will merely have to meet “targets” set by their customer (the government). The rationale for privatisation is that it managers are acting like private contractors anyway, so it will make no difference.

    The Blair government tried this in health care. It’s insane.

    http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/145348/The_Trap_The_Lonely_Robot_23_BBC/

  15. vto 15

    I would like to know where Wayne has gone….

    After all, this started with a reply to him. He subsequently returned to the thread from whence it came but ignored this issue.

    Wayne ignored this issue and scurried under a rock pretending he hadn’t seen it. Like a cockroach.

    Wayne, where are you? Come in mr Map.

    Calling Wayne …..

    don’t be a chicken mr mapp, come out from under your rock and answer …… bok bok booork ….

    something is up for this to happen – maybe the far right wing are worried the cat is scratching out of the bag?

    • Mike the Savage One 15.1

      Are you talking about Wayne Mapp, former Defence Minister?

      Maybe he is busy trying to find a way out of some new problems he faces, which were presented in the first part of Native Affairs on Maori TV on 30 June?

      There are many questions to be answered, re an incident in Afghanistan in 2010 or 2011, where deaths of civilians are supposed to have occurred in a strike by US forces, aided by SAS soldiers. A former investigation seems to have been nothing else but a cover up.

      Check this perhaps, or see the repeat at 10.30 pm on Wednesday night:

      http://www.maoritelevision.com/tv/shows/native-affairs/S08E017/native-affairs

      It is symptomatic of the Key led government (aka #team key), and we can expect more cover ups if they get a third term, and the above in this post here, will mean, cover ups in all areas, investment, policy evaluation, policy formulation, data gathering, data management, and what else there may be.

      Times to be very concerned, I would say, times to be very afraid and guarded!

      • Tautoko Viper 15.1.1

        Derek Cheng reported on this in NZH

        “Dr Mapp said investigations had found that no civilians were killed in the strike. It was not unusual for the SAS to move out of Kabul, where they were usually based.

        “It is in the remit of the special forces to be able to undertake operations at the direction of ISAF and Nato, and in this case particularly to protect our people.” ”

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10720722

        This statement from Dr Mapp seems to contradict the evidence that civilians were killed.

        • freedom 15.1.1.1

          You surely mean the evidence seems to contradict the statement made by Dr Mapp.
          Did you even watch the Native Affairs report?

          • Tautoko Viper 15.1.1.1.1

            My bad word choice- should have said “conflicts”- thought the word “evidence” would convey my meaning so I give myself an F for clarity of writing.
            I do mean “the evidence seems to contradict the statement made by Dr Mapp.”
            Thanks for that, freedom.
            Yes, I did watch the Native Affairs programme – 8:30pm Mon nights on Māori TV is one of the few regular slots on my viewing list.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.2

          I’d like to see the investigation documents before I believe that. Is it an unequivocal ‘no’ or ‘on the balance of probabilities we conclude that’?

  16. DH 16

    It is a bit worrying.

    What they want to do isn’t rationallly possible however it won’t stop them trying. You can’t place an arbitrary value on say, a solo parent, but the beancounters will still invent arcane formulas to work out the ‘return’ on ‘investing’ in the DPB.

    Morality is being consigned to spreadsheets and placed in the hands of faceless bureaucrats. A frightening thought.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Treasury and the Reserve Bank need serious downsizing. Maybe reassign 30% of their staff to work in WINZ offices for a year.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1

        Only if you want WINZ offices to be even worse than they are now.

      • Tracey 16.1.2

        last time they reassigned someone he became nationals poorest polling leader and current minister of finance, so, please, no more reassignments from there

  17. Lloyd 17

    Isn’t this the sort of stuff that Allende was trying to do in Chile?

  18. philj 18

    xox
    No surprise when you have a Money salesman and a bean counter economist at the helm, taking instructions from the corporates. Looking like Act. Government is only to provide police and defence. The rest is corporatised. Look out NZ Inc! You are being sold off.

  19. srylands 19

    I think some of you have the wrong idea on Big Data.

    This very helpful video explains the benefits. An incoming Labour Government will go down this track. They might call it something different, but the benefits are so compelling, that there is no alternative.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK6T9DsH4SU&feature=share

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      Was that the only example you could find? Consider giving a trigger warning the next time you share something like that.

    • McFlock 19.2

      Surpisingly, you only linked to the benefits rather than answering some folks’ concerns about the evident costs.

      Sorry, not “surpisingly”, I meant “predictably”.
      For someone who throws the red “C” word around as an insult, you sure seem to be a fan of the machinery of totalitarianism.

    • KJT 19.3

      Interesting that we had a Department of Statistics, which used to provide all this data, are being de-funded.

      Much of the data was embarrassing to National and Treasury, contradicting their narrative with inconvenient fact.

      Instead of addressing the problems shown by the statistics, National are moving data collection to a tame “Ministry of Truth” run by Treasury.

  20. srylands 20

    I am sure I would never call anyone the “C” word.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      You remind me of one: their intentions were as pure as the driven snow too, and look how that turned out.

      • KJT 20.1.1

        Not sure that you can call Russia, or China, examples of communism. As Russia was Democratic, and communist, for all of two weeks before the authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorship took over.

        Just as the USA, and New Zealand, are being taken over by arrogant and unprincipled fools, with authoritarian and mercenary motives.

        As far as I am aware the purest and longest lived examples of communism were Israeli collective communities. They foundered eventually, in their relationships with an outside world with different values.

        • McFlock 20.1.1.1

          KJT gets the point ;)

          SSlands has a mysterious mind. I’m not sure I want to know what his fevered little brain was thinking about…

  21. politikiwi 21

    “In the wake of Snowden’s revelations, this resort to the power of the government’s capabilities to use ‘Big Data’, is worrying.”

    To infer there’s any sort of link between Treasury and the mass surveillance being collected by the Five Eyes is total fantasy.

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        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • ECAN, Fed Farmers and Dairy NZ – Plotting to reduce water quality
    What does National’s resounding election win mean for our rivers? As we found in our review of the Government’s water quality framework, we have serious reasons to doubt their commitment to ‘maintain or improve our waterways’. Our concerns are growing...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • A new left-leaning blog
    I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blogsite catering for those who want something more than the fare currently being offered by left-leaning sites like The Daily Blog and The Standard....
    Imperator Fish | 20-10
  • Ebola and the criminal passivity of the Great Powers
    The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three Ebola-stricken West African nations, made urgent pleas for money, doctors and hospital beds.  The UN Ebola envoy said 20 times more was needed to counter the epidemic.  The U.S. director of...
    Redline | 20-10
  • New Zealand, ISIL, and suspicious behaviour
    The government has announced a review of how New Zealand might deal with foreign fighters in the future in response to what is happening currently in Iraq and Syria. There are some interesting titbits in the press release in terms...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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