web analytics
The Standard

Join the smackathon

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, April 15th, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: activism, child discipline - Tags: ,

righttosmack.jpg

Just what you may have been waiting for: www.righttosmack.co.nz

While we want the government to interfere with people’s private activities to some small degree; (outlawing homosexuality, stopping abortions, abolishing civil unions, abolishing legalised prostitution, etc.) – we will not tolerate being told we cannot use force and violence as part of loving correction and discipline!

Better still, the site encourages activism; you may want to join their smackathon where they hope to break the world record for the most children being smacked at the same time.

Parents are asked to save up smackings from the days prior to the event to ensure that have enough punishment in their ‘spank bank’ to allow for a full minute of punishment. Remember, that if children don’t want to participate, that in itself is enough cause for more than a minute’s spanking.

Righttosmack.co.nz gets the following glowing endorsements:

I realize your web site is well intentioned, but I believe you have quoted Bible quotes out of context. If you were to read the whole Bible, and not just bits of it, you would better understand its true meaning – Pauline, Petone.

This site sucks – David, Wanganui.

(Hat-tip: WR)

56 comments on “Join the smackathon”

  1. Stephen 1

    Why can’t I tell if this is a parody or not?

  2. Patrick 2

    I really really hope this is bullshit. It is so weird in so many ways. Check this out:

    Case Study: Learning boundaries.
    A foolish 13 year old girl was caught reading a copy of one of the banned ‘Harry Potter’ books. Her father (lovingly) *smacked her firmly until she agreed she had made a foolish choice and promised only to read approved texts. Without this corrective smacking, who knows what she may have been reading next, Sagan? Dan Browne? or even Darwin!
    *NOTE – such correction is now illegal! Bring back section 59.

    Now as much as I’d like to totally tear this apart, I really don’t think I even need bother.

    Really, what scares me the most is that there are people in our country who think like this.

  3. Patrick 3

    Finally, after reading their donations page, I found this:

    (Seriously – if you really want to help kids, we recommend you make a donation to Women’s Refuge. Phone 0900 Refuge to donate $20 on your phone bill.)

    Um, good work, but boy it had me fooled for more than a few seconds.

    I should have known, it’s far too well written for the sort of people who actually support these causes *cough* D4J *cough*.

  4. K1 4

    Gotta be a pisstake, surely? Although that’s a lot of effort for a spoof…

  5. AncientGeek 5

    I think I’ll follow their advice about the donation. I was starting to wonder – it seemed a bit extreme (actually more cloying).

    Have to send it to my mother. She works a lot with a womans refuge.

    captcha: Jack moderator
    where?

  6. AncientGeek 6

    I particularly liked “What to do with a rebellious son?”

    Reserve the stoning to males seems like a different idea….

  7. higherstandard 7

    The website crosses the boundary between satire and bigotry.

    Instead of being amusing and thought provoking it is sick and derisive.

  8. Benodic 8

    hs – I don’t see the site as attacking Christians, just the breed of Christian that use the bible as an excuse to beat their kids.

  9. Patrick 10

    James, while it is sick, I do think there is a place for this line of satire.

  10. Ari 11

    Or just use the bible to beat their kids fullstop. 😉

  11. infused 12

    I support the right to smack but this site is retarded.

  12. outofbed 13

    f**king hilarious

  13. Policy Parrot 14

    Talk about “Maxim” effectiveness.

  14. Aj 15

    That is very funny, and would be hilarious if the views being satarised didn’t reflect those of a portion of fellow New Zealanders.

  15. Scribe 16

    Well, it had been a while since the Standard chose to have a swipe at Christians, so we should have seen this coming.

    Anti-Christian vitriol: The last acceptable prejudice.

    [lprent: I had a look at the post (and the website it linked to).
    It is about section 59, the christian part was incidential. It was well within my operating parameters.
    If you get upset about that, then I suggest that you either need to get less sensitive or that you probably shouldn’t be around blogs. This site is about robust debate, and is often somewhat rougher than this thread.
    However, your comment got very close to my borderline. I do have a strong position about people igniting pointless flamewars.]

  16. Stephen 17

    Who’s having a swipe at Christians? This is just really bizarre, and it happens to involved some Christians, i’m all for drawing attention to people for what they do, not what they are, and I think this is happening here…

  17. Tane 18

    Scribe, what makes you think none of us are Christian? We’re actually a pretty diverse bunch and I can’t remember this site ever attacking people for their religion. We do, however, criticise those who misuse religion as a cover for their own prejudices.

  18. all_your_base 19

    Scribe – wrong end of the stick matey. The site’s a great pisstake. If you don’t accept the spirit in which it was intended that’s up to you but the call about “a swipe at Christians” is out of line. You don’t need to go back many posts for, from memory, two from me outlining the environmental leadership being shown by some church groups. I’ll call it how I see it. This post was less for me about religion, and more about the crappy arguments a range of people use to justify beating kids.

  19. Stephen 20

    where’d my other post go?

    [lprent: you have to be quite cautious with recaptcha to get it exactly correct. It is great at limiting spam, but is sometimes a pain, especially when it displays as if it was ok (using javascript magic) but disappears when the page is refreshed. If you can’t read the captcha, just keep requesting new captchas using the little circle/arrow until you get an easy one. Thats what I do.]

  20. Billy 21

    And they say us righties are thick. Just count those who can’t tell a pisstake when they see one.

  21. Scribe 22

    The joke is that Christians like to “beat” their children, but the number of Christians who use biblical references to support their desire to discipline their children is virtually zero. And on this site, there’s a nice crack at religion: http://righttosmack.co.nz/father.html

    Tane,

    Christians make fun of Christians all the time, and there are certainly reasons to criticise religion. I’m all for warranted criticism of religion. In this case, physical discipline of children is not “misusing religions as a cover for their own prejudices” except in very rare cases.

    Because you’re part of the team, Tane, I’ll ask you this: Would you link to a site, satirical or not, talking about how Islamic law supports the stoning of converts or the lashing of unmarried women found alone with a man?

    Captcha: heart clergymen (sounds like a new T-shirt, I heart clergymen) 😉

  22. Stephen 23

    Billy I think I will invoke Poe’s Law here:

    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Poe's_Law

    “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.”

  23. Scribe 24

    a_y_b,

    This post was less for me about religion, and more about the crappy arguments a range of people use to justify beating kids.

    The language you choose is interesting and revealing. People who want to BEAT (your language) their kids couldn’t give a stuff what the law says. Sue Bradford’s “anti-smacking” legislation (her language, remember) will not save one life.

  24. Tane 25

    Stephen, you probably misentered the captcha.

    Scribe, I can’t answer for the team, but I’d say if done with humour, preferably by people who were either adherents to Islam or in an Islamic society, then it could be fine.

    My issue would be if it was done to try and smear all Muslims with the beliefs of a few. I’d also be concerned that it might be a veil for racism or religious bigotry, as so much anti-Islamic propaganda in the West tends to be.

    In any case, I don’t think the joke here is that Christians like to beat their children. The site is satirising a certain breed of Christian that uses their faith as an excuse to beat their children and generally act like bigots. In my experience this kind of Christian is definitely in the minority.

  25. Matthew Pilott 26

    Scribe – I believe the legislation is already saving lives. Think of the huge focus on domestic violence in NZ at the moment. There was also a post on The Standard recently, highlighting a huge increase in the number of domestic violence cases being reported to the police. Think of the recent court cases where parents have been told violence is not acceptable any more – this may be the beginning of a paradigm shift in the way we think about raising our children – why oppose it?

    I think that Christians would want to support this site – it denigrates those who pervert the ideals of Christanity for their misguided purposes – I know that’s what I get out of the site.

  26. Scribe 27

    Well, Tane, what you see the hypothetical Muslim site as doing is what I see this site — and the general debate about smacking — as being very close to, if not identical to.

    Many of Bradford’s supporters portrayed Christians as child beaters.

    I guess we’ll agree to disagree — not for the first time — on the satirical merits of the site vs the stereotypes it pushes.

  27. Billy 28

    Stephen: that is excellent. Thanks.

  28. Scribe 29

    Matthew,

    I’m all for raising awareness about the issues, and I think it’s good that the Bradford bill brought it into the public domain. But the parents who put their children in clothes dryers and throw them against walls and kick them and punch them are not listening to that message.

    Why would Christians support a website that is designed to appear like a legitimate site that suggests that the Bible is a source document for how to beat your children?

    Returning to my analogy to the Muslim site, do you think Muslims would think that was a good site because “it denigrates those who pervert the ideals of [Islam] for their misguided purposes”?

    My hunch is no.

  29. higherstandard 30

    Ben

    “hs – I don’t see the site as attacking Christians, just the breed of Christian that use the bible as an excuse to beat their kids.”

    No the intent of the site is to portray anyone who disagrees with the Repeal of S59 as a child beater which is demonstrably untrue.

    I also note that the site associates the names of Christine Rankin and Simon Barnett do you agree that they could be rightly aggrieved. If I saw my name or picture on this site my lawyer would be very busy indeed preparing a defamation action.

  30. Stephen 31

    My sarcasm-o-meter is going off the charts billy – my point was that it was fairly hard to tell.

  31. Matthew Pilott 32

    Scribe – fair points.

    I’ll give an extreme example to illustrate what I’m getting at. Imagine a similar parody site devoted to suicide bombing, how to be a martyr and scripture that seems to support the site’s position.

    The extremists might be annoyed at the parody (but incidentally would be least likely to notice it was a parody!) to say the least, but those who are moderates would see it as a criticism of the extremist view – or a criticism of those who try to normalise an extremist position, which I feel is the gist of the site here. So I’ll disagree with your hunch on this basis – this comes down to the moderates versus the extremists, and I’ll always go for the moderates when it comes to religion.

    But the parents who put their children in clothes dryers and throw them against walls and kick them and punch them are not listening to that message.

    I have heard this argument and to tell the truth I am sick of it – it is simply a cop-out. If there was the death penalty for child abuse, I doubt you’d see a decrease in such atrocities. Over the long term, Bradford’s legislation will have an effect – a society-wide impetus to refrain from physical discipline. Maybe it will have a very small effect, but it’s a start. I believe it has and will continue to save lives. If that goes against some people’s religious beliefs, well I don’t give a flying toaster. So to speak…

  32. Scribe 33

    Matthew,

    I will acknowledge that my examples of stoning and lashing probably aren’t practices that most Muslims would agree with, but your example of suicide bombing is something that is only approved by a tiny, tiny majority of radical extremists.

    The ability to discipline children physically is something most people, believers and non-believers alike, think is a legitimate form of child-raising. Secular arguments can be made for the right to smack; secular arguments can’t be made for blowing up oneself — and others — and claiming you’re doing God’s work.

  33. Matthew Pilott 34

    Scribe – I can only hope that one day, use of physical correction will only be approved by a tiny majority of radical extremists (i.e. it will become an extreme view that physical correction, or the right to use it, is demanded by the Bible).

    I accept the difference you point out though, between my example and the point at hand, and that it is likely to be offensive to far more people. Perhaps that is the point. A majority doesn’t have to be right, nor should it be unchallenged.

    I’m not sure that most people, religious or otherwise, believe that physical punishment is a legitimate form of correction – perhaps this is true, and hopefully this can also be changed in future.

  34. ak 35

    Beautifully done – an absolute classic piece of political satire: low-key enough to entice perusal (winness the witless above) yet hard-hitting in effect. Smackingly good!!

    (and yes, Scribe. Secular arguments can be made for smacking children – just as they were once made for slavery, the subjugation of women etc etc – even crucifixion Hoolian. Think Jesus would join your little crusade to keep whacking our kids and bring back the party of the rich? Your “facts” on Labour’s record are pure crapola by the way, but I’ll leave it to our more competent commenters to hand you your tuchus on a plate)

  35. Scribe 36

    ak,

    Comparing a smack to discipline your child with slavery and the subjugation of women? Really? Really?

    Wow.

  36. higherstandard 37

    ak

    With a nod to David Lange …….. lean closer I can smell the bigotry on your breath.

  37. Eddie 38

    Oh love that Bible! Absolutely chocker-block with good-living advice for us parents and employers. Exodus 21:7 sanctions that I sell my youngest daughter into slavery and Exodus 35.2 suggests we put people to death for working on the Sabbath – now that ought to give the unions something to moan about.

    I say give the religious right a break and bring back the good old days.

  38. r0b 39

    Scribe at 2:01pm Comparing a smack to discipline your child with slavery and the subjugation of women? Really? Really?

    Scribe at 11:29am Would you link to a site, satirical or not, talking about how Islamic law supports the stoning of converts or the lashing of unmarried women found alone with a man?

    Really? Really?

  39. Scribe 40

    r0b,

    If you can’t see the vast difference between the two comments and their contexts, then I’m sorry, I can’t help you.

    Good luck.

  40. r0b 41

    A vast difference eh Scribe? Ahh well that’s all right then.

  41. simon coffey 42

    In all honesty I can’t take my child along to the smackathon, he’s just too jesus like! But to addd my support to the right-to-beat-my-child campaign, I do have a red talking Elmo doll, so I bring him along, with the added bonus, he’ll thank me on the spot for beating the devil out of him rather than in 20 years!

    Actually I thinking of making a whacking stick (like the one Homer has) to increase the efficincy factor per whack!

  42. Pascal's bookie 43

    I can’t actually see the bigotry here, either in the website or ak’s comment.

    There are in fact, people who claim to be christian who do, in fact, cite the verses quoted in support of their right to hit their kids. There’s a guy up on charges in Nelson I believe for starters. And there’s that woman from Timaru. And there are the people who write and buy the books excerted at the site that has some here so offended. Are they immune from any criticism from people who think it’s wrong to hit kids? Do we really want to say that religious prctices are beyond satire or criticism? Really? really?

    Anyone else remember that leaflet that did the media rounds a year or two ago? The one that said little kids, from birth, had the devil in them, and had to have it beaten out of them. It said that smacking was the best tool for all transgressions and best to get started on them early. It recommended using a paddle.

    Or how about that Christian school that was illegally hitting kids last year citing, once again, biblical authority. I remember Don Brash saying that people who put their religious laws above our own state laws shouldn’t be welcome in the country. But then, he was understood to be talking about the Moslem.

    The fact thay not all christians believe as they do, only means that those non ‘beat-the-devil-out-em’ christians have a duty to speak up, or at least so I would have thought. But it seems they only want to speak up about being offended that others are satirising those christians they claim are unrepresentative. Strange.

  43. Ari 44

    Scribe, I think if we lived in an Islamic country where we could speak as freely as we can in New Zealand, you’d see a lot worse than this site.

    The site is satire of the sorts of people who support s59- and sadly, many of them are Christian fundamentalists or even supremacists. There are also some really nice supporters of it who feel that the law is little more than symbolic.

    I have to disagree. It is thoroughly inappropriate that parents can beat- and there is no better word to use- their children with weapons and be found innocent of assault simply because we’re too worried about making smacking technically illegal. There is no way any New Zealander should accept that, and we can’t bring back the law in any form that would let people get away with that sort of thing.

    The reality is that there’s no need to smack in the first place. It is more about the frustration of the parent than actual correction of behaviour. Parents already have all the power in the household and they have little need to resort to violence to get their way if they have some good parenting strategy on their side- how about instead of bringing back laws that sanction child abuse, we teach parents about how to discipline their kids without needing the bash in the first place?

  44. MikeE 45

    Its got to be satire, surely?

    “That TV3 weather girl is a naughty little minx, I wouldn’t mind giving her a bit of the old rod if you know what I mean!
    Tony, Northland.”

  45. Paul 46

    “crosses the boundary between satire and bigotry”

    Bollocks!!! What crosses the line is the sicko bastards whom deem it their god given right to hit another human being.

    The best bit is the Russell Brown look a like in the vicars garb.

    Well done who did it.

  46. illuminatedtiger 47

    It’s a parody site. Read the source code.

  47. Scribe 48

    Ari,

    The site is satire of the sorts of people who support s59- and sadly, many of them are Christian fundamentalists or even supremacists.

    You mean the 80 % of people who opposed the Bradford bill?

    PB,

    Or how about that Christian school that was illegally hitting kids last year citing, once again, biblical authority.

    Am I the only one here who thinks that if parents agree that some form of physical discipline is OK, then a PRIVATE SCHOOL should be able to follow the wishes of those parents?

    And the fact it is a parody/satire site was obvious straight away because of the language in the strapline talking about the right to “beat” children.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t Christians who use the Bible as a crutch for their right to smack their child, but I would argue that the truly severe cases (riding crop etc) are not the result of any sense of a God-given right to beat one’s child.

    And, in case people didn’t hear or weren’t listening, there were some outspoken Church leaders who argued against the biblical defence while still saying that parents know best how to raise their children.

    Do parents fail? Yes. But does “the state” ask a child 17 times to not play with the power point before resorting to a smack on the hand to get the point across?

  48. Matthew Pilott 49

    Scribe,

    I may be mistaken, but that 80% figure of people who were opposed to Bradford’s amendment was taken from an online poll that asked “Do you think parents should be made criminals for smacking their children.”

    I’m happy for this to be corrected, if you can show me a real poll without a biased question.

  49. outofbed 50

    As i have never hit my children,I was trying to remember what I did to stop my kids playing with power points
    When they were really small we had safety covers on them
    and then when they were older we pointed out the dangers, wasn’t a problem.
    At no time did I ever reach the point where I had exhausted my parenting skills and felt the need to physically assault my children.

    Mind you I did take the view that bringing up my children was probably one the most important things that I would ever do. so I did give it a lot of time and effort.

  50. outofbed 51

    no i didn’t have safety covers on the kids 😉

  51. Matthew Pilott 52

    oob – I had worrying visions of bubble-wrap and cotton-wool for a minute there

  52. Scribe 53

    outofbed,

    Mind you I did take the view that bringing up my children was probably one the most important things that I would ever do. so I did give it a lot of time and effort.

    If everyone had that attitude, then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

    Maybe someone can help on this. There was discussion at the time of the Bradford bill about the need to educate parents about their role. Did that happen? I think it was a good idea.

  53. higherstandard 54

    Scribe

    Yes educating parents is a good idea, did Sue Bradford’s bill do anything towards this no, any education component was lost in the supporters of the bill accusing anyone opposed to bill of being a child beater or a religious zealot and the opponents of the bill fighting back sometimes with similar vitriol

    Education of parents is left to the good work of groups like Ian Grant’s mob at Parents Inc.Any government could do a lot worse than supporting their work.

  54. Scribe 55

    Imagine what a change would come about if every couple about to have their first child — or any couple for that matter — was given some sort of voucher for parenting education from Parents Inc or other similar organisations.

    I’m sure there’s $2 million currently being spent on something unworthy (FPA, for example) or not delivering results (Families Commission, for example) that could be put into parenting education.

  55. higherstandard 56

    Scribe

    Public money spent on Parents Inc, Plunket and similar organisations would undoubtedly be both well received and worthwhile.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bloody marvelous
    For years now the comment sections of our nation’s online newspapers, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have been packed with commentators declaring the ‘Campbell Live’ show and it’s watchers were ‘everything that was wrong with the country’ – somewhat ironically… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    5 hours ago
  • Congratulations #CanonMediaAwards 2015 winners…
    ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    5 hours ago
  • National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!
    . . It’s not often that Ministers of this increasingly desperate and inept government make a statement that is unerringly accurate – but on Friday 15 May, on Radio  NZ’s Morning Report, GCSB Minister, Chris Finlayson did just that. Minister… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 hours ago
  • Truly Depressing
    Yesterday a thought crossed my mind that was so appalling that I decided not to mention it to anyone for at least 24 hours so I could b sure it was a real notion and not just an emanation from… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP
    Article – Zaid Jilani As opponents and advocates of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue to battle it out, the debate over the agreement has largely focused on the issue of trade whether jobs will be lost or gained, what the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    14 hours ago
  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    20 hours ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    21 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    21 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    21 hours ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    22 hours ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    22 hours ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    22 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    23 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    23 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    23 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    1 day ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    21 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    22 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere