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Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, May 14th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, electoral commission, greens, john key, Judith Collins, Metiria Turei, MMP, national/act government, referendum - Tags:

Today Green MP Holly Walker dragged out of Judith Collins that the NAct government will not be implementing the recommendations of the Electoral Commission on MMP.  Then Collins goes on to defend her position with reference to the lack of  “consensus”, clearly associating this with the need for  “unanimous” agreement on the changes by all political parties.

The Greens may be hair splitting when they say Collins is confusing 2 different terms.  However, they nail it when claiming that NAct don’t want to get rid of the Epsom coat tail effect because it may damage their chances of being re-elected.

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I believe that Dr Holly Walker was correct on this matter when she wrote: “There is a tradition of legislation making changes to the electoral system being passed unanimously in Parliament, and it would be great if all parties were able to put aside their own short-term political interests and build a consensus around the Electoral Commission’s report.” Dr Walker wrote that on 6 November last year in a little-read blog called Frogblog, and I agree with her.

Holly Walker: Thank you for the promotion—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Would the member like to start her question again.

Holly Walker: Thanks for the promotion, Minister. Which party or parties have blocked consensus in Parliament on the recommendations of the MMP review?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Actually, no party has been able to reach consensus, because consensus actually requires all parties to agree.

In a later press release, Holly Walker argues that the government did not live up to the promise of improving the MMP system following a review:

“The review was carried out in a timely manner with a robust public submission process, a high degree of engagement and a clear steer from the public on what they’d like to see changed.

“National has undermined this process by ignoring the wishes of the New Zealand public, in particular to abolish the one electorate seat threshold.

“It is weak of the Minister to hide behind the excuse of needing cross-party consensus.

“Consensus is always great to aim for but with the self-interest of the National, ACT and United Future parties always likely to derail this process, the responsible thing for the Government to do was to implement the recommendations of the Electoral Commission as a package in time for the next election.

“The Minister wants to gerrymander the system so that National don’t lose their coalition partners and can rely on ACT and United Future at the next election.

Tonight on Checkpoint on RNZ, Metiria Turei says that Collins is confusing “consensus” with “unanimous” support for all the changes.  Further she argues that there would never be a “unanimous” agreement on the recommended changes.  Turei said the Greens don’t agree with all the recommended changes, but will support them.  Key did promise a review, holding out the carrot of possible changes.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I did get the impression that many people voted to keep MMP, with the idea in mind that important changes could be made to some of the undemocratic elements, such as the Epsom fiddle.  It’s interesting that we learn that changes won’t happen soon after John Banks has said he will stand for Epsom again.

68 comments on “Judith Collins, MMP, “consensus” & democracy”

  1. Nordy 1

    Thanks Carol – yes, an issue that has been ‘flying under the radar’ of late, and the NACT govt are happy with that.

    Typical of Collins to confuse and distract by appearing to be principled and yet in reality to be pandering to the minority, as it suits her. As I said elsewhere, ‘the tail wagging the dog’.

    The difficulty with this and other important issues (e.g the constitutional conversation) is that in reality NACT don’t want to engage on the issues as they don’t really have a position or view based on principles or anything close to democracy. It suits them nicely to distract and divert on anything but the issues – the reason of course they have that ‘nice man Mr Key’ front and centre – just ‘smile and wave’…….

    • Anne 1.1

      Typical of Collins to confuse and distract by appearing to be principled and yet in reality to be pandering to the minority, as it suits her.

      Ms Collins is a dangerous woman. She would not hesitate to use her thugs Slater and Lusk et al… to ‘put down’ anyone who dared to stand up to her. God help us if she ever became prime minister. She would make Thatcher look like a harmless kitten.

      The numbers have been done. NAct can’t afford to lose Banks and Dunne, so to hell with principle and keeping their promise to the proletariat – you know, those pesky peasants (us) whom our forefathers were stupid enough to allow to have a vote.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        And Collins is a possible future PM.

      • Anne 1.1.2

        And here’s the video…

        http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/18499

        Collins left her broomstick at the Chamber door.

      • veutoviper 1.1.3

        Well said, Anne.

        • IrishBill 1.1.3.1

          Collins is despised by many in the National party. She has her uses but she’ll never be leader. You only have to look at how close her henchmen came to seriously damaging National over the Gilmore affair, and Key’s subsequent dismissal of Lusk to see that.

          If Gilmore had decided to use his statement to open the can of worms that is the Nat’s dirty tricks machine (and I understand he came very close to doing so) then any opportunity for National to run a negative lead-in to the 2014 campaign would have been done and dusted. Put simply, Collins’ fools came very close to costing National a 2014 win.

      • Bearded Git 1.1.4

        In this scenario it’s actually best to keep Banks as head of ACT and standing and winning in Epsom, then they will go nowhere.

  2. Northshoreguynz 2

    Looking forward to the MSMs take on this.

  3. ianmac 3

    By the Collins standard that consensus = unanimous, it would be impossible to EVER get this through. John Banks would NEVER agree to lose his cup of tea.
    Consensus usually means a general informal acceptance of a plan. Usually a significant majority.
    Lucky this Government does not need a “Collins Consensus” to pass all its Bills!

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    Andrew Geddis is going to have something to say about this:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/running-down-the-clock-on-electoral-reform

    The third future, however, is the worst of all. In it, the Government lets the clock run out on being able to make changes for 2014, while announcing that the lack of consensus amongst the political parties in Parliament means that it intends taking no further action on the Commission’s recommendations.

    I really hope this isn’t a future that the Government plans to visit on us. But if it is, I already have planned a post of Old Testament fury that will make Samuel L. Jackson’s quotation from Ezekiel look like a lullaby to a sleepy child. So, let’s see what the future holds

    • QoT 4.1

      Is it “CALLED IT” following by a Z-snap of the fingers?

      • Is it “CALLED IT” following by a Z-snap of the fingers?

        What is this – 2006?

        Actually, I went down the restrained smouldering and sarcastic tweaking of the NZ Herald route. Sorry for over-promising and under-delivering.

  5. vto 5

    .
    John Key

    John Banks

    John Key

    John Banks

    John Banks

    John Key

    John John Key John Banks John Banks Key

    Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key Banks Key

    John Banks Key

    • toad 5.1

      I doubt that even the good voters of Epsom would elect someone so demonstrably corrupt at the next election.

      Goldsmith likely to be the next MP for Epsom, despite the Nats’ undemocratic machinations.

  6. Tamati 6

    To be fair, the voters of New Zealand didn’t get a chance to vote on whether they wished to remove the coattail provision and lower the threshold to 4%. The best thing to do would be have another referendum at the next election, where voters can decide on these two issues. I imagine they support removing “coat tailing” but would reject lowering the threshold.

    • karol 6.1

      All voters got the opportunity to make submissions to the review. Only a small proportion took it up as usual.

      • Tamati 6.1.1

        And all voters should have the opportunity to decide if changes should be made to the electoral system, in a referendum.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          I can see the value in that, Tamati. I’m not sure how well it would go down right now. Also, the government would get to choose the wording of the questions, compared with a Citizen initiated referendum, which would require a petition.

          My feeling is that most kiwis would choose to end the coat tail requirement.

          • Tamati 6.1.1.1.1

            Indeed.

            Having said that, I imagine a majority of New Zealanders would also vote to remove the Maori seats if given the option. The majority will of the Mob is often not always the best long term decision.

            A link for any classical scholars out there,
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mytilenian_Debate

            • KJT 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The minority will of parliament is almost always not the best long term decision.

              Fixed it for you.

              If you do not trust in the will of the majority, why have voting at all!

              • Tamati

                Read my above post on the Mytilenian Debate.

                A simple majority of Parliament could of course change the electoral system, if it chose to.

        • gobsmacked 6.1.1.2

          Yes, there’s a case for having the 2014 election under the current rules and a simultaneous referendum (“Do you support the Electoral Commission’s proposed changes?” or whatever).

          That solves the whole “consensus” question, which is why Collins/Key don’t want to do it. They prefer an excuse (however hollow) to do nothing at all, until the system starts to go against National. It’s blatantly self-serving.

          Let’s hope Colin Craig gets 4% at the next election and National lose, and start whining “it’s not fair!!”. That would be so funny.

        • Arfamo 6.1.1.3

          Yes. Great idea. Which party will push it?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1

            Neither major party will. Not in their interests to have more small party competitors stealing what they see as votes belonging to them/

        • QoT 6.1.1.4

          Well … we did have the opportunity to decide if changes should be made, when we had a referendum on MMP vs other systems with the understanding that if MMP was triumphant its current implementation would be reviewed.

          I must say it’s going to be an eternal black mark against NZ First for popularizing the idea of screaming “BUT WE NEED A REFERENDUM” every time changes are happening that we don’t like. Representative democracy: learn you some.

          • Tamati 6.1.1.4.1

            Referendums and horrible things, just ask a Californian!

          • KJT 6.1.1.4.2

            Representative democracy is an oxymoron.

            Getting to change the seats in the dictatorship every three years, IS NOT DEMOCRACY!

            • Tamati 6.1.1.4.2.1

              So we should run our nation like New Zealand idol?

              Text into vote whether to amend the habeas corpus Act?

              • Colonial Viper

                Works for Switzerland

                • Tamati

                  Banning Minarets?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A decision by the people, for the people.

                    • Tamati

                      The majority effectively legitimizing racial discrimination against a minority.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah, that’s right. But Switzerland also voted to increase taxes on executive super salaries, and increased the minimum wage to around $50,000

                    • KJT

                      Why is banning minarets discrimination?
                      We effectively banned church bells early sunday morning long ago. Same thing.
                      Don’t think having amplified calls to prayer at 6 am would be too popular here either.

                      I havn’t noticed “representative democracy being too hot on minority rights.
                      Unless it is protecting the rights of the extremely wealthy to the detriment of all the rest of us, especially Maori.

                    • stargazer

                      “We effectively banned church bells early sunday morning long ago.”

                      but they haven’t banned church steeples. you can have minarets as a design feature without any noise coming out of them. just like we do in nz.

                      the swiss decision is straight discrimination.

      • KJT 6.1.2

        Not surprising. Most New Zealanders have given up on our political process.

        As we are all ignored by our dictators, who do whatever they choose, except for a few bones on election year.

  7. From National’s PoV, it was worthwhile going with the review because there was always the possibility it would recommend changing to Supplementary Member, or even scrapping proportional representation altogether. It hasn’t, so now it has to be ignored as quietly as possible. Good on the Greens for putting a stick in their spokes.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Er, the review was specifically set up to follow the first referendum. They can’t have recommended swapping to SM or ditching proportionality, because the public voted for MMP.

      If the public had voted for some other form, then the review would have scoped out how that was to be implemented.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.1

        The review of MMP involves a referendum and a commission. The commission’s had no point ever since the referendum returned the “wrong” answer.

        • Andrew Geddis 7.1.1.1

          No.

          The Commission’s review ONLY kicked in if the voters decided to retain MMP … so (under this analysis) the Commission’s review had no point at all. Which turned out to be the case, but it would have been nice to hear this before everyone wasted their time taking part in it.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    The Greens score a major headline by asking a direct, simple, clear question.

    For the past 4 years many of us have been begging Labour MPs to do this. But of course they know better (and never read blogs, they tell us), so they persist with “Does he stand by his statements?”, which nearly always leads nowhere.

    They are either too stupid to learn from Winston and the Greens, or too complacent to care.

  9. ianmac 9

    1.Scrapping the provision that allows MPs who win electorate seats to bring others in on their party’s list even if they did not reach the 5 per cent threshold.
    2. Lowering that threshold to 4 or 3 per cent to compensate for any loss of proportionality from that.

    I would ask each party if they agree with 1. Yes or No
    I would ask each party if they agree with 2. Yes or No.
    Then it might become clear just who is denying Consensus.

  10. veutoviper 10

    Well done to the Greens – again – on asking the direct question. As Gobsmacked says at 8, when will Labour ever learn to do the same instead of the useless “Does the … stand by all his/her statements?” AND Supplementary Questions with two parts thereby allowing the Minister to answer only one part.

    We now know that National are going to do nothing – but that should not be surprising considering the consistent attempts by them and their spin doctors (eg Boag) over the last two weeks to blame the Gilmore situation on MMP. They want a return to FPP.

    Interestingly, I/S at NRT presents a different viewpoint on National’s decision/admission that the review recommendations will not be implemented.

    “As someone who thinks that the Electoral Commission’s recommendations are worse than what we have at present, I’m not exactly broken up about this.

    MMP needs to be tweaked, but those tweaks must enhance representation, not diminish it. The changes proposed by the Electoral Commission on their own assessment give us a less representative Parliament than we have at present, and thus it is better that they are dumped. National is acting out of pure venality, but I think its a better result for our democracy than if they’d implemented everything. But it is kindof spitting in the face on everyone who contributed to the review. And having done this, National is inviting future governments to make changes without consensus, which could be even worse.

    It also raises the question of what our political parties could reach consensus on, and why at least those changes are not going to be implemented. And if the answer is “none”, then it suggests that consensus is simply too high a bar, and that the government set up the review to fail all along.”

    http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/the-mmp-review-is-dead.html

    • Tamati 10.1

      I think this whole issue reinforces the importance of the constitutional review. You simply can’t have politicians drawing up their own rules.

      I disagree with I/S about trying to make parliament more representative though. Already we have seven parties represented in parliaments, with a broad spectrum of ideologies and policies. TBH the only group who aren’t really represented are christian conservatives and I’m not really missing them! Israel has a highly representative system, and it’s safe to say comes up with pretty disastrous results. Extremists and single issue politicians rule the roost, moderation and consensus has long been abandoned.

  11. Alanz 11

    Wow! Sharp, intelligent interview responses from Meteria.
    I have never voted Greens but after hearing that, Meteria has my two ticks on the ballot paper.

    • vto 11.1

      clear as a bell and resonating

    • karol 11.2

      Yes, I’m glad she is fronting more for the party this year. I have long been impressed by Turei’s clear and sharp thinking and talking.

  12. mikesh 12

    It was perfectly reasonable for minor parties such as UF, ACT and Mana to oppose the commission’s recommendations. After all if any of them happened to score, say, 3% support, which would entitle them to 4 seats, then in a proportional representation system they should be allowed their 4 seats. But, equally, a party like the Conservatives can argue that if they are not allowed list seats because they didn’t reach the threshold then other parties that did not reach the the threshold should not be allowed, on the basis of winning an electorate seat, list seats either.

    It seems to me that the only solution which would keep all contenders happy would be to get rid of the threshold altogether. The fact that this solution would be fair to all parties overrides, in my opinion, the main objection viz that it could lead to a proliferation of small parties.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      No orphan single MP parties unless they represent an electorate.

      • mikesh 12.1.1

        We have three ‘orphan” single parties in parliament at present. What diffderence does it make to the parliament whether they represent an electorate or not? But in any case “orphan” parties would, I think, be a small price to pay in return for a system which gives all parties represenentation in proportion to their support.

    • felix 12.2

      And anyway, what’s the matter with a proliferation of small parties? It’s not as if the large ones are demonstrating a commitment to mind-blowingly high standards.

  13. AmaKiwi 13

    Would the people have voted in a referendum to:

    Lower taxes for the rich?
    Approve TPPA?
    Destroy local government in Auckland?
    Make Gerry Brownlee Czar of Christchurch?
    Approve Labour’s Seabed and Foreskin bill?
    Allow casinos?
    Allow all our major banks to be sold to foreigners?
    Allow party drugs (legal highs)?
    Have GST. Raise GST from 10% to 12 1/2 % and now 15%?
    Sell off Mighty River Power?
    Reject changes to MMP?
    Approve the Sky Casino deal?
    Give GCSB more power?
    Allow the appointment of Susan de Void?
    Treat our military like serfs.
    Destroy unions?
    Cut industrial safety inspection?
    Allow foreign companies to plunder our fishing grounds?

    Etc., etc., etc.

    We (the overwhelming majority of us) have a very low opinion of MPs of ALL parties.

    Why do we let people we don’t trust and consider incompetent run our country?

    Our political system is dysfunctional. The people should be sovereign, not the politicians.

    • ianmac 13.1

      The “Collins Consensus” (actually = Unanimous) would stop any Bill from being presented let alone passed -ever. Unless it was a Bill doubling MP Salaries.

      • karol 13.1.1

        I laughed at Collins on RNZ this morning saying that the majority of parties do not agree with the electoral commission’s recommendations: she referred to something like 5 parties not agreeing. So that would include 2 one-man parties (UF, ACT), National & 2 other small parties?

    • Ugly Truth 13.2

      “The people should be sovereign, not the politicians.”

      Sovereign. A person, body, or state in which independent and supreme authority is vested; a chief ruler with supreme power; a king or other ruler with limited power.

      Sovereignty. The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which any independent state is governed; supreme political authority; paramount control of the constitution and frame of government and its administration; the self-sufficient source of political power, from which all specific political powers are derived; …

      Black’s dictionary of law, 5th edition.

      Sovereignty is vested in a state, it is not assumed. Sovereignty is a purely abstract concept, in reality no sovereign state has absolute and uncontrollable power. Sovereignty embodies the concept of being at the top of the hierarchy, but just because a group has a hierarchical structure with a single member at the top, it does not mean that the power of that group is supreme, absolute, or uncontrollable.

      As for the sovereignty of a people, this maxim of the common law is relevant.

      Derativa potestas non potest esse major primitiva. The power which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.

      It’s meaningless to talk of the sovereignty of a people unless the source of power is understood.
      The common law describes this source of power, but the civil state denies both denies the existence of the source and claims the benefits arising from it.

  14. fambo 14

    Best to let sleeping dogs lie. Any changes National made would only make matters worse

  15. tracey 15

    Only two days ago Joyce was railing att eh Greens for undermining democracy with their stance on the casino deala nd compensation… He and Collins obviously never talk!

  16. Tanz 16

    maybe Labour shouild push the recommended changes to MMP as in promising to make the changes if they win next years election. What a loss for democracy though, with Key once again, holding all the trump cards. He will do anything to win votes and stay in power, no matter how unprincipled.

  17. freedom 17

    Consensus comes from consultation. Which as we have heard today, was not exactly forthcoming from Judith Collins, and now we hear that is not “actually” her job.

    Well sorry Judith, but it is “actually”
    You even “actually” said so yourself “actually”.
    ““The Government will now carefully consider the Commission’s recommendations and will be consulting with other parties in Parliament for their views,” Ms Collins said.”

    http://www.judithcollins.co.nz/index.php?/categories/1-News/P9.html

  18. the pigman 18

    I thought the best bit of all this was Collins as quoted in an earlier stuff.co.nz article:

    She said it was not her role to “do deals” on MMP reform.

    “I’m actually not a party leader, I’m the Minister of Justice”, she said.

    “But I will be soon”, she could be heard muttering under her breath. Even from here, I can almost hear the echoes of her dark incantations over a cauldron somewhere in Nu Zihl.

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     John Key defends the GCSB bill  John Campbell: Are you saying Sir Bruce Fergusson, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and the Law Society and the Privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission are all wrong? John Key: Yep. John Campbell: And Anne...
    Arch Rival | 14-09
  • Britain – doomed?
    No, not because the unruly Scots won't learn to behave, but because useless Tories are in charge. Trade deficits are running at near record levels and this is not a good thing.With the trade deficit widening, growth slowing, and unemployment...
    Left hand palm | 14-09
  • Am I turning Tory?
    Either I'm becoming old and conservative, or Peter Hitchens is starting to become less deranged, or something like that.No matter.  In a shocking development, the Mail has actually printed a referendum story that isn't actually anti-independence. Further portents of the...
    Left hand palm | 14-09
  • Greenwald vs Key
    Originally posted on The Dim-Post:The ‘Moment of Truth’ is tonight. Greenwald will release his documents and then Key has announced that he’ll declassify documents disproving whatever it is that Greenwald proves. I found this timeline in the Dom-Post helpful: November...
    Politically Corrected | 14-09
  • Greenwald vs Key
    The ‘Moment of Truth’ is tonight. Greenwald will release his documents and then Key has announced that he’ll declassify documents disproving whatever it is that Greenwald proves. I found this timeline in the Dom-Post helpful: November 2011 – Two un-named...
    DimPost | 14-09
  • Greenwald vs Key
    The ‘Moment of Truth’ is tonight. Greenwald will release his documents and then Key has announced that he’ll declassify documents disproving whatever it is that Greenwald proves. I found this timeline in the Dom-Post helpful: November 2011 – Two un-named...
    DimPost | 14-09
  • Next 10 things for Business Growth Agenda
    Press Release – New Zealand National Party The National Party has today laid out the 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda over the next three years as it works to lift New Zealand’s long-term growth rate and create...
    Its our future | 14-09
  • Six days left to
    Spotted Alexandra Street, Hamilton...
    Politically Corrected | 14-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the Glenn Greenwald revelations
    All that hanging out with the All Blacks clearly hasn’t taught Prime Minister John Key a thing about the ethics of playing the ball, and not the man. Still, in slagging off Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald as...
    Gordon Campbell | 14-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the Glenn Greenwald revelations
    Column – Gordon Campbell All that hanging out with the All Blacks clearly hasnt taught Prime Minister John Key a thing about the ethics of playing the ball, and not the man. Still, in slagging off Pulitzer Prize winning investigative...
    Its our future | 14-09
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #37
    SkS Highlights 97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists by John Cook attracted the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. In addition, the 97 Hours campaign was widely acclaimed and promoted by...
    Skeptical Science | 14-09
  • Not the Six O’clock News – Laila Harré talks with Glenn Greenw...
    ...
    The Jackal | 14-09
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (3)?
    Yes. Yes, he is. The High Court says so, as Whale Oil points out triumphantly. Like the good journalist he is, he even shows us the evidence: para 145 of Justice Asher’s judgment. Mr Slater then goes on to demonstrate...
    Media Law Journal | 14-09
  • Lincoln Rd consultation feedback
    Between last November and February this year Auckland Transport ran consultation for a plan to further widen Lincoln Rd. It’s a road I’m particularly familiar with seeing as I use it regularly. The upgrade seeks to widen Lincoln Road to provide an...
    Transport Blog | 14-09
  • O Mary!
    U2 has been in the news lately … which reminded me of  Mary J Blige …...
    The Paepae | 14-09
  • You really should watch this interview with Glenn Greenwald, despite the sm...
    It’s easy to fall for a rapid PR ‘framing’ response, especially from an experienced spin team like Prime Minister John Key’s media machine. This comment seems a fair description of what happens: Mr Key has been very quick with the...
    The Paepae | 14-09
  • Vote Positive Bus at Ratana
    As the Big Red Labour bus drove through the small streets of Ratana (home of the Maori Ratana faith, a Maori church teaching Christian doctrine) the locals couldn’t have been more delighted.  We had finally arrived to meet up with...
    Labour campaign | 14-09
  • Get out and vote
    Seafarers Ben and Byron are voting in the General Election in September 2014 and having their say about the Government. To find out more about how you can vote or get your workmates, friends and family voting, visit the union...
    MUNZ | 14-09
  • Has Garth McVicar handed Napier to Labour?
    About a month ago, I predicted that Stuart Nash would win Napier with a majority of 3,000, almost reversing the existing 3,701 majority achieved by retiring National incumbent Chris Tremain. With regards to Garth McVicar throwing his hat in to...
    Occasionally erudite | 14-09
  • Something To Listen To As We Head For “The Moment Of Truth”
      ALREADY, the arrival of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Glenn Greenwald (a.k.a. "Kim Dotcom's little henchman") has afforded New Zealanders another disturbing glimpse of the man behind the Prime-Ministerial mask.  Even more will be revealed tomorrow at the Auckland Town Hall.  Doors open...
    Bowalley Road | 13-09
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies: Today no. 6: I haven’t seen Ian Fletcher in...
    ...
    Arch Rival | 13-09
  • Poll of Polls update – 14 September 2014
    For some reason, Fairfax have delayed the release of their 11 September 2014 Ipsos poll to this morning (the Ipsos Polling Station on Stuff even calls it their “September 11 2014 Poll”). It’s almost standard these days to describe each new...
    Occasionally erudite | 13-09
  • Speaker: The End of Trust
    If there’s one thing I’ve learned reading the Dirty Politics book and associated stories, emails, blog posts, tweets and rants, it’s that I’ve got a thing or two to learn about PR.This worries me somewhat, because while I’ve only been...
    Public Address | 13-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Curwen Rolinson – They’re tryna build a prison system ...
    Well, at least we now know how National intends to deliver that extra hundred and fifty thousand jobs they’ve promised us. Although on sixty cents an hour, it’s not *quite* the reasonable pay packet – or, hell, living wage that...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ General Election is in full swing September 11 2014
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss the fallout from the dirty politics revelations and also how the political leaders are fairing. The NZ General Election is in full swing. Since we last talked, the fallout from the dirty...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • If it barks like a dog…
    If it barks like a dog…...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • The obscenity of National’s tax cuts
    It should be an abhorrence in a nation that once prided itself on its egalitarianism that National want to borrow another $500 million per year while 250 000 – 285 000 children live in poverty. There are two reasons why...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • National’s work prison gulags
    All jails to become ‘working prisons’ under NationalMore prisoners will be put to work and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government. Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley says the working prisons model will be expanded...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Top 10 questions if the Conservative Party get over 5%
    1. If the Conservative Party get over 5% do we automatically go back to 1950? 2. If the Conservative Party get over 5% will  the National Anthem be changed from “God defend NZ’ to “God God God” 3. If the...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BackBenches Auckland Election special & TV3 Leaders debate review
    Fascinating time at the Auckland election special of BackBenches this year. I was at the filming in 2011 and it was a very different beast. I remember in 2011 a sea of blue. Team Key acolytes were everywhere, there was...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Was the Donghua Liu Affair another example of Dirty Politics?
    . . – Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Public interest at risk more than business interests this election
    This election is not just about which political party wins. It’s about the privilege of multinational corporates, including the all-powerful media. It’s about access to minerals and resources needed to prop up the prevailing economic order and to stave off...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Green Pasifika candidates
    In the last couple of elections the Greens have stood Rev Mua Strickson-Pua as their candidate in Mangere. A well known personality in the Pacific community, often seen by many as a little eccentric. I’ve enjoyed seeing Rev Strickson-Pua make...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Gordon Campbell’s 19 reasons Why We Can’t Afford Another Nat...
    National Party Billboard if it was honest   The ever brilliant Gordon Campbell over at Werewolf has put together 19 reasons why we can’t afford another National Government. I highly recommend you read the entire thing – his 19 reasons...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Sandy Smiles
    The man tapped the glass with his pen at two minutes and I wound up my less than positive comments about the MPs who’d betrayed the Whangarei Electorate. It’s hard to stay on-message when looking at the state of this...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Purity and Power: Chris Trotter critiques John Armstrong’s advice to the ...
    WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY COLUMN from John Armstrong! There have been many this year, but his latest (10/9/14) stands out because of the cynical amorality underpinning the writer’s political analysis. “The Greens face an old dilemma”, opines the NZ Herald’s Chief Political...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New funding to support high value food exports
    Auckland, New Zealand. 15 September 2014...Plant & Food Research has received funding for two new projects in the latest government science investment round....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National, Greens Big Movers on Bribe-O-Meter
    The Taxpayers’ Union has updated its election policy 'Bribe-O-Meter’ to reflect the cost of recent campaign promises. The update takes into account Labour’s new fiscal tables and all announcements up to Friday and is based on numbers provided...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Policy Costing Expert Questions ‘NZ Power’ Numbers
    Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the 'Bribe-O-Meter' election costing website , is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship "NZ Power” policy....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Meet the Real Colin Craig
    Watching Conservative Party leader Colin Craig struggling to explain his tax policy on The Nation this morning finally revealed that he is making dishonest promises....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora
    Earlier this month, Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga and Christchurch based candidate, Ngaire Button, said she was rapt local hero, Tihi Puanaki, was named Regional Winner of the Pride of NZ 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award. Button is clearly delighted...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore And Seabed
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New Zealand’s participation in Five Eyes
    “Our policy is we're committing to a full review of all of New Zealand's security services. We will be repealing the GCSB legislation and we will replace it with something that is guaranteed to be more protective of New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Once in a Lifetime travels north!
    After Once in a Lifetime ’s packed launch and sold-out panel discussion at the Christchurch Word Writers and Readers Festival, members of the editorial team are presenting the book to Auckland and Wellington audiences, in an attempt to increase...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Q+A: The role of the GCSB and our participation
    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told TV One’s Q+A programme that they would close Waihopai and review the role of the GCSB and our participation in Five Eyes....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • NZ First poll shows Labour coalition more likely than ever
    New Zealand First’s East Coast candidate, Mere Takoko, has revealed that her party’s internal polling shows Labour’s Moana Mackey is just 2 percent away from winning the East Coast electorate seat from incumbent Anne Tolley....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    Initial allegations made by journalist Glenn Greenwald yesterday appear to have dented National’s chances of leading the next Government, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict,...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • ACT is holding the Balance of Power
    ACT will hold the balance of power after the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Statement From Hone Harawira And Laila Harré
    The Prime Minister has used his security access to further own political interests, demonstrating he is unfit to hold the office....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Key “rejected mass surveillance plan”
    National Party leader John Key told TV1’s Q+A programme that the GCSB looked into a plan for mass surveillance after two companies were subjected to a major cyber-attack – but he rejected it....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Monday a Moment of Truth for Key on Spying, Says Harré
    Assurances given by the Prime Minister and the GCSB that spy agencies do not conduct mass surveillance on New Zealanders look set to be tested on Monday, says Internet Party leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Outdoor Voters Poised to Vote
    A New Zealand-wide outdoor recreation organisation predicts the outdoors voting public will have a big impact on the election result....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Patrick Gower Interviews NZFirst Leader Winston Peters
    Good. It looks like you’ve got a good crowd there. If we could start, Mr Peters, with Kim Dotcom and Monday night – the big reveal. A personal view from you, do you think that John Key knew about Kim...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Lisa Owen Interviews Glenn Greenwald
    Says there are serious questions about whether the government has been truthful about changes to the GCSB legislation. “What I can tell you is that the statement that the GCSB made to New Zealand citizens last year — 'we do...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Lisa Owen Interviews National Party Leader John Key
    Lisa Owen: We've got the top five polling party leaders today, but first, Prime Minister John Key. I spoke to him first thing this morning and began by asking him, post-election, who would he prefer to form a coalition with...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • On the Nation: Lisa Owen Interviews Colin Craig
    Lisa Owen: Conservative Party leader Colin Craig joins me now. Good morning, Mr Craig. Colin Craig: Good morning. John Key was on this programme this morning, and he had a chance to endorse you with a week to go. He...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Patrick Gower Interviews Labour Leader David Cunliffe
    Patrick Gower: Yes, David Cunliffe, let’s look at the polls. Any way you slice or dice it, you’ve got a lot of convincing to do with voters to get that left block across the line. How are you going to...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Vote for Healthy Seas and Dolphins
    WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) , NABU International and Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Provinces Deserve a Fair Go
    Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today. At the outset of my talk today it is important to emphasis that New Zealand First has a strong commitment to regional development....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Cunnliffe is lying about ACT policy
    "Mr Cunnliffe says that ACT’s policy would enable shopkeepers to have loaded guns in their shops for self defence." said Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Support kiwi business-friendly policies in Election 2014
    Support kiwi business-friendly policies in Election 2014 The Motel Association of NZ (MANZ) is calling on voters to make sure they vote for the party and candidate who will do the most to support kiwi businesses in the election next...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Disappointment with early start to Holiday Highway
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is disappointed by the Prime Minister's announcement today that the Puhoi-Warkworth Highway would start construction in 2016. The highway is over 18 kilometres long, and latest estimates put the cost at over $760 million....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Rural Women welcomes travel cost settlement
    Rural Women New Zealand welcomes news that a proposed settlement has been agreed that will lead to home support workers being paid mileage and wages for the time they spend travelling between clients....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • InternetNZ political survey gets answers
    In July this year, InternetNZ released its Election '14 and the Internet document, outlining seven key Internet issues for focus and discussion during this year's election and over the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
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