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Labour addressing digital divide

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, July 5th, 2014 - 135 comments
Categories: education, labour, schools - Tags:

25cSince 1976, I’ve been living on one side of the digital divide. That was the year that by biology teacher, Graham Bean at Mt Albert let me play on his HP25C with its 49 programming steps and a moon-lander program. It was an instant addiction, and I started learning to program by adjusting that damn game.

DEC11 70A few years later I was at the University of Waikato doing a BSc in Earth Sciences. They had a DEC1170 with about 50 dumb terminals scattered across campus. When I wasn’t involved with the immediate needs of passing the courses and paying the bill, I was hacking my way into the system to play multiuser star trek (and having my first experience of digital communication) and learning to program in a number of languages. I had this habit of turning up and sitting in so many compsci lectures that many thought that was my major. But eventually I went into management.

ibmpcatEventually I went into programming after discovering a IBM PC Lab while doing the University of Otago MBA in 1985-6 and getting addicted to a computer I could actually afford to own, and so could every business in the country. A few years later I did and so did they.

Hayes_300_Baud_Smartmodem_02My first computer immediately got hooked to BIX so I could find out things that I couldn’t get books or magazines for. In my opinion, the internet kicked off big time because the magazines and books were so slow. Programmers really needed to be able to access current information.

Now nearly 30 years later that is still where I work, play, learn and frequently socialise. I have friends with whom I am in contact world wide. I have the general knowledge base of humanity at my fingertips and I use it all of the time.

I was extremely fortunate to have those opportunities when I was a kid. At the grand age of 55, I’ve been near to the bleeding edge of technology since I was a kid. And that is the key.

If you start kids easily accessing information to follow their interests early enough then they keep doing it. It needs to be something different to the phones, which in my experience with kids, mainly get used for socialising. You need the larger screen format to get deep into wikipedia pages, the pages written by the obsessed experts worldwide, or even the media pages.

It really doesn’t matter if kids are writing their essays based on a searches or if they digging out the secrets about how to win at their favourite game. The trick is to get them used to finding information out themselves. Once they learn that trick, then they will keep doing it.

That is where Labour’s policy “Education for the 21st century” comes in. There are several things of note in the policy. But what stands out for me is the deliberate intent to make sure that all kids wind up with a personal network capable device both at school and home, and access to the net. At present we don’t. Much of the “voluntary” donations in schools is for computer equipment that kids need to learn from, but is not paid for by the state funding of schools.

I still learn from my computers connecting to everything worldwide. I work on businesses where most of the value is in the knowledge we push into the code. We export them worldwide, as much over the net as we do by shipping hardware. My partner runs a side-business selling the documentary that she produced in 2011 to educational institutions worldwide. I have farmer friends who come home after a days work and research their new practices in the evening on their pads.

We live in a age of information. It is time to start to educate them to access it a lot earlier. That is how we develop the productive adaptable adults who I need to help pay for my retirement

 

135 comments on “Labour addressing digital divide”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    Gosh I remember Graham Bean from my teaching days…….. wonderful man RIP.

    • lprent 1.1

      He sure was. A nutter on cricket, but despite that he taught a lot of kids how to learn and think.

      You could tell from the massive turnout when he died.

  2. Ant 2

    I think for actual learning in the classroom the utility of tablets (and all that) can be often overstated, but as a way to make sure all kids have access to technology, and more importantly the flow of information that technology allows you to access, as a normal feature of their everyday lives is great.

    They need internet access though…

    • lprent 2.1

      One part of the policy is to make sure that they have net access at home.

      • Ant 2.1.1

        Yeah, but to me that bit of the policy sounded a bit more fluffy/pie in the sky than the tablet aspects of it.

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Isn’t net access a bit less under the realms of public policy than provisions in state schools? Because it involves private, corporate entities that control the ISPs and international cables that enable net access?

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            There are growing movements to declare internet access a human right. Also I think the Internet Mana Party would have something to say on the concept of publicly-provided internet access.

            • just saying 2.1.1.1.1.1

              In order to cross the divide there needs to be access and hardware in every home – including in households that don’t have children.

              • Lanthanide

                Realistically with the price of an entry-level tablet these days ($99 at The Warehouse, and believe I’ve seen some for ~$70 on 1-day, some for $65 on TradeMe), a device is accessible for any house without kids that particularly wants one. Sure, it might take 20 weeks to save $5/week to get one, but the thing is they’re accessible.

                The problem is the internet connection. Cheapest broadband I can find is $55/month. $10.50/month for dialup with 30 hours or $15/month for unlimited, but dial-up barely counts as internet these days IMO, and a dial-up modem is highly unlikely to also do wifi so you’d need another device on top, and then the knowledge to hook them up and configure them etc.

                • lprent

                  partner with schools, local government and communities to put in place infrastructure that will allow students, particularly those from low-decile schools, who do not currently have internet connections to use their portable devices to access the internet at home.

                  That is in the policy one level down. There are details about the costing in the full policy. Most of the cost after the first year goes in running costs – mostly for net access.

            • karol 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes. And there are growing public wifi provisions.

              Now when I am out and about, I go with my cheap little tablet to a library – especially the central Auckland Library when I am in the CBD, just to use the free wifi.

              But, of course, there’s loads of pressures on Auckland Council spending for such public provisions.

            • Steve 2.1.1.1.1.3

              You need to adjust the tinfoil hat :-) the internet is not a right!

              • Colonial Viper

                A few years ago I would have agreed. And they used to say the same thing about footpaths, water and power, before it was understood that they should be provided as non-profit public utilities.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It will be shortly as everyone needs access to the internet today so that they can utilise everything that our society has to offer.

              • North

                Steve – unless your comment is tongue-in-cheek and the smiley therein is a poke at Mr TinFoilHat whom we see from time to time here, why should out-of-school internet access NOT be fashioned as an as-of-right function in every kids’ education ?

                Reasons please beyond the conceited value judgment of some master of the universe who applauds denial of a foundational tool in kids’ education as a reflection of God’s Order. The master of the universe who sees the frustration and waste of talent and the inequality flowing therefrom as character building or some fucking thing.

                SSlands FizzyAnus Gosman need not apply.

                CV is onto it.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Most people already have access to a phone line. Turning that into an ADSL line wouldn’t be difficult – it would be easier and cheaper if we still owned the telecommunications network though. In fact, I figure that if we did still own it it would only cost ~$40 per month to connect rather than the $65+ that it actually does. The added price is due to the premium for competition.

          Anyway, it’s not fluffy pie in the sky stuff – just a political decision.

          • Ant 2.1.1.2.1

            Yeah, but installing wireless repeaters everywhere and providing a passable service is a bit fluffy. I’d rather see your idea which seems much more feasible in a shorter timeframe because as you say, the current infrastructure is nearly ubiquitous, say a wireless router/adsl connection and a 5gig allowance to start.

            Make it a condition of a new Kiwishare.

  3. Ron 3

    Good to see you have a Nexus 7 in your collection. By the way why are you not here in Wellington?? In fact there is a dearth of media people

    • lprent 3.1

      I am in wellington. Look for the cold person in black with a blue media ticket and VFL badge….

      • Ron 3.1.1

        Good to see you have a Nexus 7 in your collection. By the way why are you need here in WEllington?? In fact there is a dearth of media people

    • Once was Tim 3.2

      You’d be bloody glad you don’t live in my house then. The attic (until recently) was so full of examples of past technology – including old IBM 3330 & 3350 disk drives; System 360 and 370 front panels and shit that didn’t quite make it to Vic Uni as building decorations (some of which I used to operate and later programme), that bloody great cracks began to appear in the ceiling plaster. Comes a time for a purge (including in my case, a total brain purge) and a bloody great skip, especially when the ceiling is over 100 years old.

      This package from Labour is the sort of thing that might tempt me towards a return to the fold.

      Except (and a bloody great EXCEPT) a commitment to the reinstatement of Public Service broadcasting (including new media), and fixing the public service in general (i.e. its de- corporatisation in toto). If they don’t then all they’ll be achieving is wild swings to the left and to the right based on short termism and fadism, AND a publica that’s all about I I I me me me.

      They might also need to get rid of one or two insipid little fcukwits at one end of the underminers, bovver boys at the other, and one or two others as well.
      (Maybe next time – if they’re still around)

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I had my first computer at age 5.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Actually I think this is great because it means Mum & Dad at home will be wired in too – if they can prise it out of junior’s hands and get a few non condescending lessons from the smaller ones. I see early bedtimes in many young ones futures because playing with their gear and games is what you do after hours.

    • lprent 5.1

      Have you ever tried to get the devices away from kids? They sleep with them… My 3year old great nephew has a my old iPad one with a cracked screen. He won’t let me touch it in case I want it back….

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        Old age and cunning Lprent. You require them to place it carefully beside the bed and then after they are asleeep ……. and when you tell him when he is 20 something he’ll take your beer away..

  6. just saying 6

    You see the digital divide in public libraries in South Auckland.

    At the library nearest my Mum’s place there is a queue to use the computers from the time the library opens until it closes it’s doors. This despite the librarians regularly biffing off anyone playing games for more than ten minutes.
    You can book a spot a few days in advance, but still wait for people to hastily finish off what they are doing, things often that they need to do. The computers are crammed so close that there is absolutely no privacy – poeple write emails that can be read by their neighbours, conduct business and internet date, search for medical information etc. all without a shred of the dignity of personal privacy.

    Big communities of people whose lives never seem to be represented by the media other than in policing-porn tv shows.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “Big communities of people whose lives never seem to be represented by the media other than in policing-porn tv shows.”

      Yeah, I started making a comment about this once before on The Standard but couldn’t formulate it in an appropriate way so abandoned it.

      The people we typically see on TV probably only represent 20% of the population, if that. You just have to watch TV 1 News “Good sorts” on Sundays, and also those “finding lost family member” shows to get glimpses of people and communities that otherwise never show up on TV in anything resembling a good light.

    • karol 6.2

      Yes. And Auckland libraries are going more to providing free wifi to cater for the demand for net access. That means more people needing to provide their own hardware. If you go into Auckland central Library there’s people using the limited number of library computers available, and loads of others around the place on their laptops and tablets.

      West Auckland also gets queues of people waiting to use the library computers – and with very little privacy.

      • Lanthanide 6.2.1

        When I went to the Wellington Central library last year during my holiday visit, at 2pm on a weekday the place was crammed full with dozens of people using tablets and laptops using the wifi. I couldn’t get a stable signal on my phone and the speed kept dropping below 1 MBps, so I couldn’t connect to it at all.

    • greywarbler 6.3

      Why can’t some of the empty shops around towns be rented on a month to month basis and the computers that are a bit slow and being dumped be set up and used there. Bring your own folding stool, trestles provided. People could go there and have some time, half an hour, some space, more than an arm’s length, some privacy, people in line with numbers for fairness, sit at the side not behind others. Council’s could oversee this, with some government funding also, making arrangements with real estate agents for suitable premises, repair and replacements, supervision etc.

      In libraries they could give locals first go on computers at libraries at certain times of the day, say after school. There are a lot of foreign visitors using our library services, good for them, but for a two-tier country like NZ there can be a large demand from poor locals. The Middle Europe of the South Pacific!

      • Lanthanide 6.3.1

        “Why can’t some of the empty shops around towns be rented on a month to month basis and the computers that are a bit slow and being dumped be set up and used there.”

        No one’s stopping you from setting up such an initiative.

        Generally the private sector only do things that result in profit. The venture you have outlined does not sound profitable.

        • greywarbler 6.3.1.1

          @Lanthanide
          I’m just putting it up as an idea that authorities could start. I haven’t the ability or time to do this – I’m not a funded trust FGS. If you know so much why don’t you do it.

          • Lanthanide 6.3.1.1.1

            “I’m just putting it up as an idea that authorities could start. I haven’t the ability or time to do this – I’m not a funded trust FGS. If you know so much why don’t you do it.”

            Why are you thinking I can do it? I simply pointed out there’s nothing stopping you from doing it, if you really felt it was necessary.

            The reason the “authorities” don’t do it is because they don’t see the reward as being worth the expense. Libraries only have limited numbers of computers because their budgets are only so big, and they aren’t primarily computer providers.

  7. Jenny 7

    This is what we need. This will not only be a boon to science and the economy, it will be a boon to democracy.

    As the bible says: “Man (woman) does not live by bread alone….”

    Closing the digital divide, is an issue which will become as vital as housing and income.

    Give me liberty or give me death, was the rallying cry of The Enlightenment.

    The human impulse for freedom and democracy, to have a say in the running of our world and not be kept in ignorance and isolation from each, and at the mercy of remote central and uncaring authority. At times in history this desire for freedom and democracy has even overriden people’s desire for food and shelter.

    Give me liberty or give me death, was the rallying cry of The Enlightenment.

    Closing the digital divide will empower the next generation. Just as the printing press and universal literacy gave birth to modern democracy, this empowerment will further weaken centralised power which removed one or two steps from the people, always gets monopolised by the powerful and vested interest.

    The sooner this universal empowerment happens the better, because we are in a race against the destruction of civilisation that sustains such technology from the needs of vested interest which unconstrained will destroy civilisation undoing the the work of eons of human progress.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    This is the winning policy – game over for the right

    • North 8.1

      Observe the sense of satisfaction expressed on the face of a young one who assists an older one (me) to navigate/restore lost settings on my computer/smartphone. A young one immediately acquitted as a ‘contributor’ in a real world. And a plea to run through it again but not so quickly this time…….to educate me…….even more pronounced.

      Bugger…….we must watch this. Absence of an underclass…….NOOOOO !

  9. Jrobin 9

    Great interview with Paddy Gower by Cunliffe on the Nation too. This education policy may make the difference the left parties need. The digital divide is a huge barrier, keeping inequality in place, so well done Labour. What a relief to hear Cunliffe rubbishing National Standards, league tables and Charter schools. It reminds you that there is an outside of the Teamkey “reality” and ……What a nightmare this govt. has been! You do get desensitised to their short term stupidity and selfishness, but this is a pleasanter reminder of what Government can achieve if well motivated.

  10. dv 10

    I have a endearing memory of my 6 year old granddaughter searching on google for information on the planets (i think) for a school project.

  11. hellonearthis 11

    Well said and I managed to share this post on Google+

  12. DH 12

    IMO what’s needed most for schools is something along the lines of what Rod Drury was saying about the country needing a tech kingpin, only they need a bunch of people covering all the disciplines.

    Schools are spending enormous sums on IT, few of them really know what they’re doing with it. They all know they need to teach ‘computers’, they’ve all got different ideas on what that means.

    Govt needs to step in and establish some uniformity & standardisation across all schools. Perhaps also bring software development and systems & networks into the curriculum, establish more focussed courses on certain applications for those who will be using computers rather than taking up a career in them. There’s a lot of work needing done.

    There’s a huge amount of waste in the present system, I’d estimate many schools blow a good half of what they spend on ill-considered fruitless exercises.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Nah, in general, Drury’s idea for a Chief Technology Officer for the country is more of the failed top-down corporatisation of government.

      If you want NZ to become a technology leader, you open source and decentralise everything, including platforms and funding. Build the influence of grassroots developers and start up entrepreneurs. Not a top down “tsar” who is inevitably going to centralise both decision making and budgets, and end up listening to Microsoft and big hedge fund managers more than the little guy.

      • hellonearthis 12.1.1

        Hopefully it would be a professional appointed to the job of Chief Technology Office and not some croney appointment. Having someone skilled in geek might have overrated the NoVapay problems and other such IT disasters. It think it would be a good idea and who says it would not support of open source over proprietary software purchases from the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.

  13. ropata 13

    Still plenty of people who don’t email, don’t have a CV, don’t know how to use Word and Excel. I remember how it felt to learn a new program, it would be bewildering and challenging for a non tech person

    • lprent 13.1

      Tell me about it. I have trained them in courses, trained them in my family including my parents, and just help people over those first hurdles. But it is hard for adults.

      Whereas kids are frightening in how fast they go from giving them a hand, to when they start helping me out. Always makes me feel old.

      • ropata 13.1.1

        yup, my Dad gets (even more) grumpy with technology, tends to lose his temper and break it :)
        He hates his android phone, but has been known to write emails and autobiographical essays in Word.

        Interestingly I read a piece about a Linux guy who starts his adult classes off with teaching them to use the command line. The interface could not be simpler, and it is pure linear logic, unlike the randomly triggered events of today’s GUI

        • Lanthanide 13.1.1.1

          “unlike the randomly triggered events of today’s GUI”

          To be successful at learning to use computers, you have to experiment. If you don’t experiment, you won’t learn. Of course the downside is where you “do something bad and can’t work out how to undo it”.

          Strange that you’d find a command line easier to get to grips with than a GUI. Of course GUIs are more complex, but they’re also far far more discoverable (well, except for Windows 8) and allow people to experiment and try things out. In a command line, if you don’t know something exists, it’s pretty laborious trying to discover it and almost all of the time you’d end up with an outside source telling you the answer (man page, internet page, class tutor).

          • ropata 13.1.1.1.1

            Maybe, but I still like the concept, and with Google (and windows 8 Search) we have come back to the trusty old text input method. Much more precise and users feel in control.

            The Command Line – The Best Newbie Interface?

            It was noted by the users that the CLI was less confusing because “not everything is on the screen at once”. The CLI allows the user to concentrate on one task at a time and they were happy not to have interruptions from other tasks. The users reported that with a GUI they were always getting distracted by having to swap between the mouse and keyboard and click carefully less they bring up the wrong window and interrupt what they were doing.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Exactly. For a certain group of hardcore users, the command line remains the interface of choice for certain tasks. And there are lots of little add ons available to increase the power of the CLI even further.

  14. karol 14

    There’s an apparently successful project being run in some South Auckland decile 1 schools, where children are provided with low cost netbooks and 24/7 internet access.

    In Glen Innes, long written off as ghettos of poverty and crime, children are reaching national norms in reading, writing and mathematics. In the decile-1 schools children are rampaging through the national syllabus before the year is out and teachers are coming up with new and innovative ways of teaching.

    It has been done with a charitable trust that, with parents, has come up with a way for every kid to have a computer notebook and eventually 24/7 access to high speed wireless.

    ”It is a big change in the way teaching is done,” says Pat Snedden, chairman of the $4.5 million public, philanthropic and commercially funded Manaiakalani Education Trust.

    ”One of the poorest communities in New Zealand has decided to be one of the biggest investors in their own kids.”

    While middle class families angst over school computer technology, Tamaki has done it for themselves.

    By year’s end 2500 children will have their own laptops and Google Document account.

    It is not free; parents have to pay a deposit of $40 for the laptops, and $15 a month to cover the $580 cost.

    It’s a lot to ask from among the nation’s poorest families – although they save by not having much of a stationary bill, just $8 a year.

    ”We have not had a single turn down by any parent in the area in the process of signing up the netbooks.”

    • lprent 14.1

      The Manaiakalani Education Trust is the model for this program. As you say, it is clear that it works.

    • KiwiDeb 14.2

      ” It has been done with a charitable trust that, with parents, has come up with a way for every kid to have a computer notebook and eventually 24/7 access to high speed wireless.”

      This was done by the schools (ie principals of the schools), in partnership with the parents, who established the Trust. Quite a different ownership of IP and vision…..

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    lprent. You used to be able to tinker in BASIC on a VIC 20 or Commodore 64. Learn about logic, commands, variables, storing them, changing them, processing them, displaying them.

    But an iPad or Android tablet? It’s just an appliance, like a toaster oven. The things are designed so that a 70 year old who has never touched a computer before in their life can get on it and start using them, intuitively with just a bit of guidance. Sorta a like a toaster. Yes you’ll get access to more information and communication etc. But learning what’s under the hood is a totally different matter and is the difference between being able to sort out your ’82 Civic at home in the garage and trying the same thing with a 2014 Civic.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      “But an iPad or Android tablet? It’s just an appliance, like a toaster oven.”

      An appliance that runs apps, like this one:
      https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tynker-learn-programming-visual/id805869467?mt=8

      And true, you can’t create programs on ipads or iphones to run of themselves, but the flipside is you can create far more useful and creative programs these days to run on those devices than you could with a green screen and 80 characters.

    • lprent 15.2

      Yeah, but we aren’t trying to get them to program. Some will, most won’t.

      What we need to train them in is seeking information. So hard if you’re having to do it manually. So easy if you have a tablet and net access.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      You used to be able to tinker in BASIC on a VIC 20 or Commodore 64.

      I remember programming on those things but my first programming was on the schools Apple IIe. My first computer was a PB-100 bought with money from the milk run I did.

      But an iPad or Android tablet? It’s just an appliance, like a toaster oven.

      Don’t kid yourself.

  16. dimebag russell 16

    ok.
    plug them in and turn them on.
    design programmes that engage them.
    hot and hip.

  17. Mark 17

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Off topic. Banned until after the election. Read the about to answer your query about unionists. The policy about why you are banned - basically for stupidity. ]

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      :roll:

      B for effort. Generally well-constructed sentences, usually good spelling and grammar.
      D- for content. Repetitive, undeveloped argument with no new ideas.

    • anker 17.2

      Mark @17 I am a labour Party member and run my own (successful) business, so I am not sure what you are talking about.

      JK might be “popular” but hell so was Muldoon!!! More so than Kirk who at one stage was only polling 6% popularity. IMO one of NZ’s great PM.

  18. Pete 18

    The One Laptop Per Child project has been going since 2005, so this is not a new idea, just a very good one which is long overdue. There was a great keynote about this kind of issue at Nethui last year – http://www.r2.co.nz/20130709/russell-b.htm

    It’s going to take a lot more than just having these tools, though. Teachers are going too have to learn how best to integrate them into their teaching and the resources both online and the apps and programs at hand will have to be developed. But think about how this could be tailored to individual kids. Analytics could help identify what content they respond to and adjust accordingly. Heck, they’ll be saved the hassle of hauling kilos of textbooks back and forth to school. This is exciting stuff.

  19. karol 19

    Again the South Auckland scheme is already doing that. Take a look at some of the output from students in the Manaiakalani project.

    • KiwiDeb 19.1

      This is NOT a South Auckland scheme. Manaiakalani is nestled between St Heliers, Remuera and Pakuranga in EAST Auckland.

  20. ianmac 20

    Teaching has to adapt and this is hard work. The Question is the answer. If kids are allowed to capitalise on their innate curiosity and have the skills and means to carry out research then classrooms will look very different. Alongside this they have to learn about the credibility of the information retrieved and how to process it and then evaluate.

    Sadly some teachers have been intimidated by a Government policy of accountability and narrow expectations. National Standards for example. Take a risk and modify what has seemed to work for generations? Pretty hard.
    Sadly if someone from a hundred years ago stepped into a present classroom they would recognise exactly what was going on. Different tools perhaps but same process.

    I like the quote that: “Children are not vases waiting to be filled, but fires waiting to be lit.”

    A friend of mine is a tutor for post grad studies. One Principal decided to gather data on how many and what sort of questions (enquiring mind) were going on in her classrooms.
    She was baffled. After 6 X 1 hour observation sessions, not one child-question was asked.

  21. hellonearthis 21

    For $100 +monitor ($100) you could buy a Raspberry Pi computer. They are great for educational needs like programming, web interaction, art, electronic and educational games (like minecraft).

    Tablets are overrated especially the over priced iPads, Android devices can do the same educational tasks for way less money.

    Gone are the days when classroom computers would cost $1000’s of dollars.

  22. red blooded 22

    A great policy. I know our school has spent many thousands on class sets of netbooks and laptops, and we provide access after school too, but we can’t give kids the machines to take home, and that can make quite a difference.

    There are still details to be worked out (Who owns the machine? Who fixes it if it gets broken? What about teens who leave school partway through the year – do they keep or return it?…) but this will go a long way towards creating a more inclusive educational system.

    Side note – kids are becoming less and less comfortable thinking into pens (as opposed to keyboards) and they find it physically uncomfortable to write for an extended period. Handwriting is getting worse and any kids are very slow. So what? Well, with the greater digitisation that’s being endorsed by this policy, surely it’s time to look again at our requirements for kids sitting exams. At present, exams are handwritten. It would be hard to set-up a programme for exams that avoided the cheating opportunities, but surely not impossible? Just a thought.

  23. I don’t want to be a downer because I agree with the concept of giving children access to information via the net. I homeschool and the computer is essential. My son is 6.5 and he knows quite a bit about getting on the computer but he has one advantage at the moment, an advantage that is his greatest protection on the net – he can’t read well and therefore he can’t be accessed by sexual predators. I went to a child protection seminar the other day and one presenter said that there were 8 and 9, even younger kids, with a facebook page??? And the parents weren’t even their friend!!! I haven’t read the policy and I hope this is all covered – the teaching of young people how to create a protective layer around themselves on the net. As protectors of these children it is our job to make sure they know how to protect themselves and as parents and caregivers we must really work with the children to make sure that if and when something happens they can seek help or know what to do. Having a loving trusting relationship with our son is the key idea at this stage, and keeping up to speed with what is going on on the net.

    • hellonearthis 23.1

      To be eligible to sign up for Facebook, you must be at least 13 years old. If a school is letting kids under that age use facebook then they are breaking facebook’s terms and conditions.

      • marty mars 23.1.1

        Yep, sorry, must have got the ages wrong.

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.2

        Given that FaceBook apparently has tens of millions of fake profiles, I don’t think they really enforce their T&Cs that hard. And having more user profiles makes their stock look more valuable.

  24. hellonearthis 24

    I would have like to see Labour come out with Bigger class rooms but with two teachers per classroom. Having two teachers per classroom would greatly improve the quality of teaching and teachers as new Teachers could learn from experienced ones and the news ones could also update the older teachers on new ideas in teaching (modern geek skills).

    A well educated population if the foundation of a profitable society.

  25. dave 25

    rasberry PI

  26. North 26

    So when I read that Labour is gonna facilitate kids having laptops/tablets at school AND at home and then I read Nikki Kaye say broad brush that Labour’s ideas are old hat –

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10236242/Labour-education-ideas-already-in-place-says-National

      – and then I’m told that presently kids DON’T have the laptop/tablet scenario Labour talks about – can I say that Nikki Kaye is a snotty lying little prick who needs to be slapped down for her lies ?

    I’d have used a different last word in the term “lying little prick” but the sky might have fallen in so I’ll just KNOW it. With a capital buzzy bee. Disgusting ugly minded little power freak ! Entitlement from arsehole to breakfast time.

    • Anne 26.1

      … can I say that Nikki Kaye is a snotty lying little prick who needs to be slapped down for her lies ?

      +1000

      When the entitled little so and so (how I would like to have your courage North and call her what I would really like to call her) first arrived on the political scene it was there for anyone with any nous to see.

      Does anyone remember the televised debate she had with Jacinda Ardern in the 2008 campaign – I think it was 2008? She behaved like a Crosby/Textor trained shrew… shouted over the top of Jacinda and was vindictive and bullying. In contrast, Jacinda was calm, mature and dignified. It was so obvious who was the superior personality and I thought Jacinda would romp home after that performance but no… the voters in their selfishness and apathy went for the nasty bully.

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        Although it seems according to reports that Kaye does a heck of a lot of ground work in her electorate…

        • Anne 26.1.1.1

          Oh sure CV, she does the hard yards but its all for her personal advancement. The moment she stops being the member for Auckland Central she won’t care a rat’s a—e about any of them. She’s learnt her politics well at her lord and master, John Key’s knees.

    • Pete 26.2

      Given the focus on violence against women over the past couple of days, “slapped down” is an unfortunate choice of words. Can I suggest “censured”, “rebuked” or even “called out on her bullshit” instead?

      • Anne 26.2.1

        Pete, I didn’t take it that way. And I’m sure North didn’t mean it that way.

  27. dave 27

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/15000-raspberry-pis-for-uk-schools-thanks-google/

    its not hard to do a raspberry pi costs $40

    lets hope they give Microsoft the boot as well open source the program all the way let them loose on Linux without copyright restrictions

    • hellonearthis 27.1

      It’s closer to $200 once you add a monitor, power supply, sd card, mouse, keyboard, case and wifi.

      I really like the Pi (I have 2) but Tables are cheaper. $60nz delivered can get you a 7.0″ Dual-core Android 4.2 Tablet PC w/ 512MB RAM, 4GB ROM, Wi-Fi

      The cost of that and the savings in ebooks would pay for these devices.

  28. finbar 28

    OFF course Labours progressive education,gee the wains a computer in the class room,is more compassion than the other fence,of afford or ignorance.Labour are starting to grasp the the bastard thistle of human care unlike the platitudes of social care.

  29. Rodel 29

    Funny how the slick Tories have no intelligent or even smart-arse comments on the topic of this post..Too hard for them to grasp..dumb?

    • BM 29.1

      What’s there to grasp?
      Computers are great but they’re not the be all and end all.

      • hellonearthis 29.1.1

        Ture, but there is nothing that is the be all and end all.
        Having tablet computers would be access to ebook that schools can’t normally afford or access.
        The cost of some text books alone are more than the cost of a cheap tablet let alone the cost of half a dozen text books and journals.
        This will be a great chunk of the be all and end all of school books and journals.

        • BM 29.1.1.1

          Why tablets?, personally I think tablets are just an e- reader with a few more bells and whistles.

          If you were going to go down this path, note books/lap tops offer so much more than a tablet.

          Also was labour using the word ipad in a generic sense or are they actually serious about giving all school kids ipads,.

          • Draco T Bastard 29.1.1.1.1

            personally I think tablets are just an e- reader with a few more bells and whistles.

            That’s possibly because you’re totally unimaginative:

            http://www.slashgear.com/flykly-smart-bicycle-wheel-made-for-fixies-works-with-ios-android-and-pebble-16301669/
            https://preyproject.com/blog/2012/09/amazing-ingenuity-using-prey-to-track-your-bicycle

            If you were going to go down this path, note books/lap tops offer so much more than a tablet.

            To be honest, I don’t think that’s true any more and pads are more portable.

            Also was labour using the word ipad in a generic sense or are they actually serious about giving all school kids ipads,.

            I sometimes wonder that too. There’s no way that the government should be using anything from Apple as it locks them in to using the proprietary format that ends up costing more. Same with Windows.

            • Colonial Viper 29.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s no way that the government should be using anything from Apple as it locks them in to using the proprietary format that ends up costing more. Same with Windows.

              Especially with all the taxes Apple pays in NZ, eh /sarc

            • BM 29.1.1.1.1.2

              I agree, Apple are complete arseholes, the way they run their company it’s like they’re stuck in the 1980’s.
              This my way or the high way approach to business is total bullshit, even microsoft has learnt from this and moved on from that sort of wankiness.

              IT and government, why is it always such a fuck up?

              Also I’m a very imaginative individual, but I’ve learnt to temper my ideas with practicality.

              • Colonial Viper

                Also I’m a very imaginative individual, but I’ve learnt to temper my ideas with practicality.

                Thanks for clearing that up, I was wondering what was causing your moral and intellectual constipation.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I agree, Apple are complete arseholes, the way they run their company it’s like they’re stuck in the 1980′s.

                Probably closer to the 1880s.

                Also I’m a very imaginative individual, but I’ve learnt to temper my ideas with practicality.

                And yet you can’t think of anything useful to do with a smart phone/pad other than use it as an e-book reader?

                IT and government, why is it always such a fuck up?

                From what I can make out it’s because they don’t have a dedicated IT department to supply all their needs and thus run off to the private sector with less than adequate knowledge about IT and the private sector over sells what they can do. End result is a fuck-up.

          • lprent 29.1.1.1.2

            I have a $30 bluetooth keyboard for my nexus 7. Nice thing about it is that when connected i have a whole screen.

            But I usually do most of my work on this site from my nexus.

            But I suspect that they are mainly thinking about netbooks.

  30. fisiani 30

    Tricky Tricky Davy Cunliffe lies again re free ipads . Always check the small print. We’ve learned to do this time and time again.

    For those schools that opt in, the policy would require parents to pay about $3.50 a week to pay off the cost of the device, estimated at about $600 each – and the Government would put in a $100 kickstart payments. The device would belong to the child after it was paid off.

    Why can Cunliffe never be straight up? Why gild the lilly?
    Who is writing his speeches? Are the ABC saboteurs hard at work.

    • Draco T Bastard 30.1

      He didn’t say that they were free you schmuck.

    • North 30.2

      You know FizzyAnus even the National Party thinks you’re an embarrassing fuck. Overheard at the National Party Godference –

      “Wind it up and let it go……OMG…….look at the OTT with the ‘tricky’ number. OK it’s all part of the script but you know…….intimations of Kool Aid……not good.”

      “Yes, I’d be careful with that one…….it’s a bit, well let’s say……. ‘exuberant’. Fukn idiot !”

      Facepalm everywhere.

  31. Rodel 31

    Why can Key never be straight up? Why gild the lilly?
    Who is writing his speeches? Are the English saboteurs hard at work.

  32. fisiani 32

    In short Labour will save you $100 off donations BUT you can still be stung for activity fees of $400 and a compulsory computer levy of $600 . Tricky Tricky Davy.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      You think that Labour should cover the activity fees as well? Me too.

    • McFlock 32.2

      I you’d read the speech, you’d see it was based on a current programme that charges $3.50 a week:

      Labour anticipates a lower weekly cost because of savings made through bulk purchasing. We will also provide a $100 kick-start to reduce the costs of these vital learning tools. A $5 million hardship fund will be created to help the worst-off families who cannot afford the payments or fall into arrears.

      In other words, it’s you who’s being tricky.
      You lying fuck.

  33. hellonearthis 33

    If Labour are planning on uses Apple iPad then this is a clear example of where a Chief technology office would have been of use. Even an Amazon fire would be a better device and their library of books would be an excellent add on to the tech.

    Better still would be getting a deal with some $60 android system, that would mean when the kids break them, it wont cost a fortune to replace and fix, Using an Android system would also allow access to cloud services, so if the Table dies then the work is still safe.

    For a laptop system then there are chrome books, Google has got some great educational deals/packages. They cost around $230-400 nz and you can get a 3 year warranty for like $100
    And that’s from manufacturers like Acer, Samsung, HP that could provide the service levels needed to support the educational market.

    Google Apps for education is free. http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/education/devices/

    • Lanthanide 33.1

      Yip. Apple iPad is a bad choice all around. I hope this is just for the policy announcement, and when it’s actually implemented they’ll listen to feedback such as yours and buy something more appropriate.

    • Colonial Viper 33.2

      If Labour are planning on uses Apple iPad then this is a clear example of where a Chief technology office would have been of use.

      Plz explain why a $500K dick trying to centralise everything in Wellington is required to decide that going Apple is a bad move. We just did it for free, ffs.

  34. finbar 34

    Techrocrat wet dream.The knowing of our intelegence without doubt is technology.Labour have stole the greeds beleif and tossed it back at them.

    Labour,has these lip service compassion on the ropes of their untruths.Know that.

  35. karol 35

    Well Labour’s policy is leading the debate. This article on Stuff makes a good point about it being important how the technology is used. It over-does the criticism of people jumping on each new technology as if it alone will solve all the problems of human society.

    It completely misses the issue of lessening the digital divide.

  36. Appleboy 36

    Noted Patrick Gower introduced this story last night by saying it was labour’s election bribe. I have put in a broadcasting authority complaint for unfairness in using opinion as fact and that it was politically biased reporting. To contract, I referenced his story on June 29 covering National’s $212 roading policy – where he did not introduce this as a bribe. Quite why Labour’s policy at $27 million is a bribe and National’s $212 million is not I’d like them to explain.

    Typical crap news but time they were forced to deal with it.

    • BM 36.1

      Maybe because labour is pitching it’s policies at people on a individual level.
      It does look like to me, vote for us and we’ll give you some cheap ipads.

      While Nationals roading policies are pitched at everyone not the selected few.

      • Tautoko Viper 36.1.1

        National RONS roading policies do not benefit everyone and in fact are taking money away from public transport projects which would be more beneficial to many more people, (particularly those who do not have firm cars and designated parking spaces incorporated in their salaries.)

        • BM 36.1.1.1

          A hell of a lot more people will get use out of better roading networks then the selected few with their cheap ipads.

          You can’t tell me this policy isn’t pitched at the non voter, “here vote for labour and we’ll give you a gift”.

          I really hate that type of politics.

          • felix 36.1.1.1.1

            Don’t worry your petty little brain over it. John Key says all the non-voters support National.

          • Draco T Bastard 36.1.1.1.2

            A hell of a lot more people will get use out of better roading networks then the selected few with their cheap ipads.

            Really? You think that there’s more truckies than there is children in need?

            You can’t tell me this policy isn’t pitched at the non voter, “here vote for labour and we’ll give you a gift”.

            I really hate that type of politics.

            And yet he’s praising National’s focus on roads. Many of the roads announced in National’s policy would actually have been built years ago – if National hadn’t defunded them. National announcing the funding of them now is a bribe to those electorates.

          • North 36.1.1.1.3

            Sounds like you’re a bit spooked there BM-Tarmac-Whore. This, part of the comment in answer to Steve @ 2.1.1.1.1.3 above

            “…….why should out-of-school internet access NOT be fashioned as an as-of-right function in every kids’ education ? Reasons please beyond the conceited value judgment of some master of the universe who applauds denial of a foundational tool in kids’ education as a reflection of God’s Order. The master of the universe who sees the frustration and waste of talent and the inequality flowing therefrom as character building or some fucking thing.”

            SSlands FizzyAnus Gosman……..need not apply.”

            Anyway BM, who the fuck but you said anything about “then (sic) the selected few with their cheap ipads”. If you’re gonna ‘master of the universe’ all over this site you might have transparently expressed your true point – “squalid, rag-arsed urchins, snotty noses and all…….with their cheap ipads”.

            Sorry I didn’t include you with your mates above. Might have saved you the trouble.

          • KJT 36.1.1.1.4

            Explain, then, why National has been removing funding for local roading networks?

            Over a billion dollars. Then they gave a 5th of that back and all the idiots with short memories start cheering.

            • KJT 36.1.1.1.4.1

              “National cut funding for regional roads by a billion, since they were elected, to pay for their RON’s.

              Now, after our regional roads are stuffed by their trucking industry mates, who pay a fraction of the true costs, they are giving a 5th of that back.

              My, some people have short attention spans”

              • Draco T Bastard

                If the RWNJs had an attention span then they’d realise that National and Act are lying to them.

          • Appleboy 36.1.1.1.5

            Oh my God BM ‘the selected few” you refer to is all kiwi kids! Now I see why the right wing mind is so fucked.

  37. North 37

    Sorry, just a bit more BM but I warn you, stay seated. What if IMP comes up with something seen as pretty much complementary in the ‘cheap ipads’ stakes ?

  38. burt 38

    lprent

    This is getting really silly now, apparently it’s not a free “iPad” at all, the government is wanting to be a finance company.

    David (I’m sorry) Cunnliffe on the nation.

    PG: Let’s turn now and talk policy, education, a policy out today you want every student from intermediate upward to have a tablet, to have an iPod?

    DC: Absolutely, from year 5 to 13 under a Labour led government, every student will have their own personal digital device, it will be subsidised for parents to get into and there’ll be a very low cost payment plan with a hardship fund for those larger families who perhaps couldn’t afford it.

    Yeah, let’s force more parents into borrowing so we can pretend socialism works. Let me guess, just like last time under Labour taxes will be hiked and the nations debt will be reduced while personal debt goes to new record levels – and they will call this prudent all the way into recession like last time.

    This guys a complete tard lprent – you guys have got to sack the twit now.

    • lprent 38.1

      apparently it’s not a free “iPad” at all

      Who apart from a moran like yourself said that it was? Perhaps you need some more education – like learning how to read.

      • burt 38.1.1

        Yeah, that’s right lprent – I need to learn to read because it’s only reading the fine print that tells the story because your muppet leader makes shit up as he goes because in his little socialist brain he thinks that’s what people want to hear.

        • Draco T Bastard 38.1.1.1

          No burt, it’s you making shit up.

        • lprent 38.1.1.2

          You could have fooled me about your ability to read. Where did I say iPad.

          Don’t read the fine print. Just read my post. You know – the post that you just commented on!

          Could you act any more like a illiterate fuckwit? Or much the same thing, a rabid reader of Mr Defamation Cameron Slater.

          • You_Fool 38.1.1.2.1

            Also, from what I can see, a reference to Cunliffe saying that the “iPads” would be free is needed. The quote clearly shows Cunliffe saying that parents will pay for them, I am not sure how that makes it “tricky”. As far as I understand it, and I may be wrong, but it is the media who are using the “free iPads” wording

    • Draco T Bastard 38.2

      Perhaps you should read Piketty where he points out that, through out the last 200+ years, it has been socialism through the mid 20th century that produced the better outcomes. All the rest of the time we saw continual economic collapses and massive poverty.

      • burt 38.2.1

        List all sustainable socialist economies Draco. You could use twitter – plenty of message space in a single tweet to name them all.

        • KJT 38.2.1.1

          New Zealand from 1938. The USA after the new deal, and Sweden, until they all got caught up in the Neo-liberal religion. Then there is Norway, Dane mark and Belgium.

          It must really stick in your craw, BM, that the New Zealand economy is doing so well because of the “hard left” “communists” buying milk powder from a Farmers collective which has, and continues to be, heavily supported by the State and tax payer dollars. Plus “State” and collectivised (Insurance) money going into the rebuild of Christchurch.
          Not to mention the “socialist” tax payer bailouts for private enterprise necessary after the GFC.

          And the most “successful” economies are all successful, with very high levels of State control, regulation and ownership. Singapore, South Korea. China.

        • Draco T Bastard 38.2.1.2

          All of them burt. The economies that aren’t sustainable are capitalist ones as they require continual exponential growth as they reward the rich for being rich.

      • burt 38.2.2

        Draco

        Let’s talk about coal, as a fuel it’s made the most difference to the world in the last 200+ years. It powered our railways, our ships and heating. Without it the progress that’s been made in the last few hundred years would have probably been impossible. Along with other fossil fuels like petrol and diesel coal’s use has increased our quality of life.

        Do we need to keep the use of coal like it was in the good old days or have we moved on and noticed the costs actually outweigh the benefits and we need to find alternatives and reduce our reliance on old ways ?

        • Draco T Bastard 38.2.2.1

          I agree, we need to move on and get rid of unsustainable capitalism.

  39. dimebag russell 39

    you are supposed to have pity for dumb morans!

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  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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