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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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    Polity | 30-10
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    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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