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Labour: the democratic reforms continue

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, February 20th, 2013 - 98 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour - Tags:

The focus in recent months has been on the democratisation of the leadership process. But actually, a far more important change is coming.

Over the next few months, the party is going to roll out the draft policies and the proposed policy structure to a series of membership meetings. The new regional hub structure will also be explained. The meetings will help decide the mix of policies and also the way that policies are chosen to take to the voters at the next election. The indication is that policies the members favour will be compulsory for caucus to promote. That’s actually a far more important democratic change than tinkering with the talking heads.

The next conference will vote to endorse the new structure. It’s vital that all party members have a say in how far the change should go, so please attend your next branch and LEC meetings and push for greater membership control. Attend the Hub and Policy meetings in March and April, have your say and lobby in your branches, LEC’s and affiliates for conference delegates who will vote to cement members’ control over policy.

Because policy matters. Policy is what defines us, not photoshoots or soundbites. Policy makes elections worth winning.

Here’s my top three, readers are welcome to suggest others:

Wages: A minimum adult rate of $15, including apprentices. An immediate Living Wage at $18 plus for all workers employed by central or local Government and in industries subsidised by the taxpayer. Ryman Healthcare, I’m looking at you. Update the ERA to promote collective bargaining and lift minimum worker protections. Compulsory redundancy pay for all who lose their jobs in this way. An end to the 90 day fear based employment process.

Assets: An end to the privatisation program. All assets sold off by Dunnokeyo to be immediately returned to taxpayer ownership. Compensation at cost or market rate, whichever is the lower, paid over ten years. No interest or dividends payable.

Green economy: Make NZ the leader in green jobs in the way we led the world in anti-nuclear thinking. Make NZ the showcase for the future by moving away from polluting manufacturing and into a sustainable future. Make the dairy industry pay for the damage it’s already done to the environment and force farms to minimise future pollution or cease operating if they can’t.

- TRP

98 comments on “Labour: the democratic reforms continue”

  1. Socialist Paddy 1

    It is all very well to talk about democratic reforms TRP but you not only need to have the structure right but you also have to have the right culture.

    The current culture in the parliamentary party is very poor and needs to change. Until it does the best constitutional changes will not cure things.

    The caucus needs to be united and this A team and B team stuff has to go.

    All MPs have to be able to contribute. The party cannot afford to lose any more MPs of the calibre of Chauvel.

    And if a MP decides to exercise their democratic right not to pledge undying support to the leader then this should be respected.

    If the party gets this right it will heal. If it does not then it is in for a rough time.

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Isn’t the ‘policy platform’ that binds the caucus supposed to be a ‘high level’ document setting out policy directions and outcomes? What you suggest is much more prescriptive and much more micro, even to the point of targeting an individual employer. Surely that is not what was agreed?

    • Bunji 2.1

      It’s not meant to be prescriptive, but the level TRP is working at is about right. Some things are prescriptive because they’re simple ($15 min wage – although by next election I think Labour should be campaigning on a $16 min wage…).
      Other things like the modern awards system to create industry minimum wages and cross-employer collective agreements will have a lot of detail missing as to exactly how they’re going to work.

      Definitely needs to be a Policy Proposal for all govt employees and govt contracts to specify a Living Wage at Regional Conferences this year, to be added to the Policy Platform.

  3. chris73 3

    Assets: An end to the privatisation program. All assets sold off by Dunnokeyo to be immediately returned to taxpayer ownership. Compensation at cost or market rate, whichever is the lower, paid over ten years. No interest or dividends payable.

    - Being that John Key hasn’t sold any yet would you say that any assets sold by Labour (off the top of my head 9 billions worth) be returned? (Where possible of course…)

    • Polish Pride 3.1

      “would you say that any assets sold by Labour (off the top of my head 9 billions worth) be returned? (Where possible of course…)”

      Case by case basis dependant on the tactical and strategic benefits medium and long term respectively.

      • chris73 3.1.1

        You might say that but I cant see Labour agreeing to it, that’d be one helluva dead rat to swallow

        • felixviper 3.1.1.1

          Not so much a dead rat as a red herring.

          The right-wing Labour govt of the 80s might not have got away with ripping off that nine billion if there had been an opposition willing to stand up and make the kind of commitment that Labour made over ACC in 99 and should be making now over the energy assets.

          • chris73 3.1.1.1.1

            Speaking of red herrings…

            My memory of what labour said they’d do prior to the election doesn’t run that far back so maybe you (or someone) can let me know but did labour say they were going to sell assets before they were elected?

            • felixviper 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No, it was a highly unprincipled right-wing govt but that’s beside the point.

              Even if National hadn’t signaled asset sales before the election I’d still expect Labour to announce that they’d take them back.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.2

      Tom, Bill and Bad12, the first cut draft policy document is available on the LP website. An updated version is to be presented in the hub/policy meetings. It confirms that there are two linked, but seperate processes; one to determine who decides policy (us!) and one to decide what that policy should be (us, again!). However, as I read it, caucus will be allowed to determine the election manifesto. Which means they will probably decide which policies to highlight, promote and put in election propaganda. I can foresee some tensions around that aspect of the process ;)

      https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2012-Draft-Policy-Platform-final.pdf

    • Murray Olsen 3.3

      I would agree with that. We either oppose the sales on a principled basis or on the unprincipled basis that we don’t like the salesman.

  4. Bill 4

    It’s the structure that’s crucial TRP. Individual policies are kind of incidental if the structure stifles the impact of any input from members.

    I notice your post indicates that a proposed structure will be presented to members. That’s top down ‘managerialism’ and just doesn’t auger well for developing a culture that is meaningfully democratic. Given that the structure has been been developed from ‘on high’, I’d expect a lot of ‘checks and balances’ to be embedded ensuring power and control ultimately resides within caucus.

    I’d like to be wrong. But any heirarchically structured organisation that reforms from above generally sees to it that effective power remains where that power ‘ought’ to remain – in the upper echelons.

    • Polish Pride 4.1

      Perhaps you need to take a leaf from Icelands reform and have a group of representatives voted by the party whose job it is to impartially put together a proposal for membership to vote on. There should be a period (6 months) where anyone can submit their ideas to the representatives and the representatives must consider those ideas and how they would work under a new system. It needs to be an open and transparent process for all to see and vote/provide feedback on along the way.

      • Bunji 4.1.1

        The structure hasn’t been created by caucus…

        Labour’s NZ Council (a group of representatives voted by the party yearly, there since Labour’s inception) oversee the process, and appointed a group who did a tour of the country having meetings with members and getting their feedback through every avenue possible about how the party should be structured, would processes it should follow. They came up with proposals, that were shared for feedback a couple of times before the vote on final proposals at Conference in November. A slightly different group’s work continues on selection (electorate & list) as that was too tricky to get agreement on in the initial timeframe.

        So not from on high and very much the open process you describe.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Candidate selection processes need to be revamped, democratised and made transparent. The current fast track of Labour Staffer, Labour Candidate, Labour MP is making caucus both narrow, unrepresentative and a privileged in-crowd clique. Which truly exacerbates the Team A, Team B stuff that Paddy mentions.

    • Ron 5.1

      I don’t think any political party in NZ has a truly democratic candidate selection process. Even the Greens are into promoting people that have worked in the back office to preferred candidate position

      • outofbed 5.1.1

        Hm examples?

      • George D 5.1.2

        The Greens list selection process is about as democratic as you can make it. The list is ranked by the membership (any person who has been a member more than 6 months), and that list is subsequently zippered by sex, with minor adjustment to ensure that there’s fair geographic and Maori/Pakeha representation. (After 30 on the list people are ranked alphabetically).

        If people who’ve worked in the back office are nominated, it’s because they’ve connected with the party and made an impression as people with abilities. It’s not a perfect system; nothing ever will be, and to be sure the membership will have its biases and blindspots. But the claim that the caucus or leadership are responsible for stacking the list is completely incorrect.

        For electorates, the local branch nominates a person, and that person is then reviewed by the national executive which checks their suitability as a representative of the party. Where the electorate is considered ‘strategic’, there’s a five person panel with 2 nominated by the electorate, 1 nominated by the province, and two by the executive. In the last decade this wasn’t much of an issue, but if the Greens are serious about electorates in the 2010s, then it will take on more importance. So, not quite as open to the ‘general’ membership as the list process, but given that the executive are considered to be representative and are all in party elected positions, you expect that they will represent the wishes of the party.

    • AmaKiwi 5.3

      ALL Green members decide their list by postal ballot. Labour should, too.

      We are not stupid. We understand the need for balance. We know which MPs are too valuable to lose even if they haven’t been around since the beginning of time. We know who the screw-ups are.

      Who would join an organization where they have no say in the choosing the leadership?

  6. bad12 6

    Definitely what CV says and it would be nice to believe that the Labour Caucus could be made to enact Legislation put forward by the membership,

    The Caucus seems to have far too much say in the selection of candidates and this has all the look of some form of system of patronage,

    As far as Labour Party policy goes, and me not being a member, i have THIS to say,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki.org/wiki/Third_Labour_Government_Of_New_Zealand

    My view is that Labour need not a whole raft of ‘new’ policy, Labour need go directly back to where the last ‘true’ Labour Government were befor the Neo-Liberal rot set in…

    • Polish Pride 6.1

      See I don’t think they do need to go back at all. Its a new world with a new set of problems (or in many cases the same set to be fair).
      Forget the problems, this only leads to tinkering or solutions that at best resolve some problems while creating others (at best!)
      What they need to do is start with a blank slate. Work out the New Zealand that they want to see and once that has been determined, develop policy to get us from where we are today to the vision they have.
      If they can show how their policy does this they will be 5 steps ahead of the other parties. They need to provide a vsion of a future that will resonate with the voter. One that the voter can see as their own and that they will not only vote for but a vision that they will defend in the face of anything that opposes it because it has become there own.

      • The Fan Club 6.1.1

        Realistically, renationalisation of MOM assets isn’t going to happen in anything more than a “as time and money allow” sense. Why? Because a future Labour government will have many competing demands on the fisc. Will renationalisation of assets be the best and most effective way of promoting Labour’s overarching goals? I dunno, it will depend on market conditions, on the regulatory framework, on the economic conditions, etc.

        In general if you wanna have a fight with caucus over anything, my advice is to go hard on the whole return-to-surplus issue.

        • felixviper 6.1.1.1

          “Realistically, renationalisation of MOM assets isn’t going to happen in anything more than a “as time and money allow” sense. Why? “

          Whatevs. They could be taken back without compensation if such an intention were loudly and clearly signaled.

          And ps, don’t call them “MOM” assets or readers will think you’re a National party concern trool like they did last time.

        • bad12 6.1.1.2

          You are of course correct, the Slippery lead National government will have by November 2014 borrowed us all into a small mountain of debt around the $60 Billion mark,

          The Kiwi$ if it continues on it’s current trajectory, which is pretty much assured as the US are currently printing and spending upon ‘infrastructure’ US $40 Billion a month thus constantly devaluing the US$ whilst driving other currencies higher in value,

          Slippery is not only going to leave the Treasury basket empty, he and the Finance Minister with the acres of space between His ears will be attempting to abandon the Treasury benches leaving the Nation as close to a ‘basket case’ as they possibly can…

          • bad12 6.1.1.2.1

            Lolz, the second paragraph should end with: will be nudging a value against the US$ of 90+ cents…

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          Realistically, renationalisation of MOM assets isn’t going to happen in anything more than a “as time and money allow” sense. Why? Because a future Labour government will have many competing demands on the fisc.

          If the government takes over the printing of money and stops the banks from creating it then the government doesn’t have that problem. They can buy back the assets the day they come into power and all that would happen would be a slight decrease in the value of the $NZ on the forex.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1

            Well, and then a rapid collapse in the rest of the value of the NZD as international traders realised that we had a for-real socialist government installed.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.2

            I’ll add that our immediate vulnerability to a much lower NZD – say US60c – is an immediate rise in petrol and diesel prices. Maybe equivalent to a 35c/L increase for petrol?

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3.2.1

              Yep, at which point we start work on utilising our resources to build up local infrastructure so that we don’t need to import fuel, i.e, we start building wind turbines/solar power and electrify rail.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        See I don’t think they do need to go back at all. Its a new world with a new set of problems (or in many cases the same set to be fair).

        It’s the same set of problems that the world had in the 19th century and that the unions and other social enterprises fought to curtail. It’s a set of problems that comes directly from free-market capitalism and the only way to address those problems is to restrict capitalism. Labour refuses to do this and I’m not sure that even a member led Labour party would do it.

        What they need to do is start with a blank slate. Work out the New Zealand that they want to see and once that has been determined, develop policy to get us from where we are today to the vision they have.

        Yep, and that’s true of all parties but the most important thing is for parties to then promote their vision. I suspect that National would have problems with this as their vision really is for a few people living well and everyone else living in poverty, bowing and scraping to those who are living well.

  7. Te Reo Putake 7

    Tom, Bill and Bad12, the first cut draft policy document is available on the LP website. An updated version is to be presented in the hub/policy meetings. It confirms that there are two linked, but seperate processes; one to determine who decides policy (us!) and one to decide what that policy should be (us, again!). However, as I read it, caucus will be allowed to determine the election manifesto. Which means they will probably decide which policies to highlight, promote and put in election propaganda. I can foresee some tensions around that aspect of the process ;)

    https://www.labour.org.nz/sites/labour.org.nz/files/2012-Draft-Policy-Platform-final.pdf

    • bad12 7.1

      Lolz TRP, the Caucus has an ‘out clause’ where it can simply ignore the work of the Party in putting forward policy by leaving such out of the manifesto and thus having the ability to say that they have no mandate for any specific policy not in the manifesto,

      Hopefully the above is a worse case scenario…

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        Hence the need to get party members involved so that when it gets to the next conference for endorsement it has as little wriggle room as possible. And no disrespect to caucus, but it must be made clear to those MP’s that they work for Labour Party members, not the other way round.

    • Bill 7.2

      As far as I can see there is absolutely no mention of what any internal democratic structures might look like – no mention of how different parts of the party might interact – no mention of any mechanisms for the excercise of power or mechanisms to ensure accountability. It’s basically just a ‘feel good’ document outlining the broad policy directions of a future Labour Party.

      Where did you see mention of members deciding and determining policy? And where did you see an explanation of any proposed mechanisms that might enable members to decide and determine policy?

      • The Fan Club 7.2.1

        Rules 146 et seq in the party constitution set this out in excruciating detail Bill.

        • Bill 7.2.1.1

          Cheers TFC. I’ll come back to this. But on first blush there is still no mechanism for members to directly affect policy and a hell of a lot of appointed (not elected) decision making bodies that are not subject to any obvious member controlled systems of accountability.

          • The Fan Club 7.2.1.1.1

            The Policy Council has a massive majority of members elected by the r&f. The Policy Committees established by the Council have majorities of r&f members.

            Regional and Annual Conferences are democratic bodies.

            I’m actually struggling to think of an appointed body in the whole system.

            • Bill 7.2.1.1.1.1

              The Policy Council has 12 members. 5 elected from ‘constituent orgs’, 2 elected from and by Te Kaunihera Maori and 5 appointed from and by caucus.

              The Policy Council then appoints the various Policy Committees from nominations received (no vote).

              The policy Council’s main focus is to rspond to the Parliamentary Labour Party (caucus?) and the NZ Council.

              Haven’t seen how Sector Councils come into beng and I’m running late. Suffice to say there is a glaring democratic deficit in that there constitution. But as I said initially, i’ll come back to this when I’ve more time to read things more thorughly.

              • Bill

                There are no democratic mechanisms for detemining the members of Te Kaunihera Maori, Special Advisory Committees or Sector Councils. Seems that’s left up to the New Zealand Council.

                • The Fan Club

                  No, the policy council has far more than 12 members. There’s five caucus, five elected at large, two (elected) from TKM, and then one elected by each sector (i.e Women’s, Youth, Affiliates, Pacific, etc.)

                  The appointment of policy committees is inevitable, given the need to ensure skills and equity.

                  The democratic methods for determining the members of sector councils are left up to the sectors, in their capacity as self-organising and self-controlling bodies.

                  Seriously, can I suggest that if you don’t know how sector councils* are organised, it’s probably best to avoid pronouncing dogmatically about the Party?

                  * for those that aren’t anoraks, probably some of the most powerful institutional structures within the Party after NZ Council, Policy Council & caucus.

                  • Bill

                    I’m not pronouncing anything dogmatic at all. I was pointed in the directon of the constitution and I’ve (admittedly quickly) scanned the clauses you referred to looking for democratic mechanisms. Can’t see much of anything there. But seeing as how I’ve obviously missed something, would you care to, for example, explain the ‘democratic methods’ employed to select Sector Council members? I’m all ears and eyes.

                    It’ll be tomorrow before I have time to give proper attention to the clauses you signposted. But in the meantime, I’d appreciate an explanation of the substantive democratic processes you alude to that my quick ‘once over’ has missed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TFC has outlined a process where the ordinary party member has fuck all say over 95% of the make up of NZ Council.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Generally sectors will elect their representative at their AGM, which is normally held on Sector Day at Conference. The details of that election will be up to the Sector, but it will be a fair, democratic election. I’m not entirely sure where on Earth CV is going with his rant about NZ Council, which is of course (a) a different body and (b) substantially elected democratically.

                    • Bill

                      Jeezus wept tfc! You just said the selection process is up to the Sector…or those of the Sector who attend conference and that they have no set democratic mechanisms. You think that…by any stretch of the imagination..stacks up against a need for democracy? (hint – transparency, inclusiveness, accountability, dispersal of decision making powers etc)

                    • Anne

                      You think that…by any stretch of the imagination..stacks up against a need for democracy? (hint – transparency, inclusiveness, accountability, dispersal of decision making powers etc)

                      TFC is a robot Bill. Robots don’t know about such things.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Bill, as I said, the Sectors will have their own practices and procedures on how their democratic AGM elects the Sector council. They will be consistent with the rules on the democratic election of officers provided in the Constitution, but obviously the Women’s Sector will have different practices to the Affiliates Sector to the Youth Sector, because they are different groups of people in different circumstances.

                      Sectors generally provide for some form of proxy voting for members not at conference. In general it’s not a major issue.

                      If you don’t see how “sectors elect sector councils” is democratic, I don’t know what you want. How would you do it Bill? How would you let the Women’s Sector choose their representative to the Policy Council (and extra prizes for explaining why a guy should be setting those rules.)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      According to TFC’s definition of “democracy”, the fact that the President of China is voted in by the 25 people who make up the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party, makes that position “democratic”.

                      Too bad on the other 1.5B Chinese citizens who got, you know, zero say.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Are you actually comparing the Rainbow (or Women’s, or Youth, or Affiliate, or …) Sector to the Politburo?

                      And let’s be clear, the right of sectors to exist is fundamental to the ability of historically oppressed groups to organise for their goals.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m making a point that 8 people selecting a delegate on a sector conference call does not a “democratic” process make.

                      And let’s be clear, the right of sectors to exist is fundamental to the ability of historically oppressed groups to organise for their goals.

                      You must point me to the chair of the beneficiaries sector in the Labour Party then.

                    • The Fan Club

                      CV, I don’t know what cowboy bullshit you put up with in your sector, but in the sectors I am involved with, we have a full, open, and democratic AGM, and this slandering of sectors is entirely consistent with a retrograde masculinist, workerist, homophobic political position that fails to see the importance of affinity groups in political action.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      this slandering of sectors is entirely consistent with a retrograde masculinist, workerist, homophobic political position that fails to see the importance of affinity groups

                      Hey, didn’t you hear from your Leader? There is absolutely room in the Labour Party for homophobes.

                      So fuck off with your poncy gender emasculated pol-sci prejudices.

                      Now, when it is convenient, could you please tell me how I can get in touch with Labour’s ‘Beneficiary Sector’. You know that “affinity group” with the Labour sectors structure which organises for “political action” to defend the “historically oppressed” group of beneficiaries.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Probably worth adding I doubt CV is involved in any serious way with a sector, and this fantasy that sector reps (not delegates) are elected on tiny conference calls is pretty daft. It’s just a bitterness that the manly men don’t get to boss around the uppity Women/Rainbow/Pasifika sectors.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yep, back to the why-do-womens-get-all-these-rights game. Hey, I’d vote to establish a Beneficiaries Sector, probably. (It’d be a bit weird, because I don’t know how you’d handle the fact that people enter and leave that group swiftly, and it’d be a Sector defined in large part by a desire to leave it, but whatever, who cares.) But I don’t see why you see the existence of sectors as an issue; if you think there should be more, advocate for that, don’t attack the Women’s or Rainbow or Kirk Sector.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      lol

                      sure, but let’s keep talking about the Historically Oppressed, and where Labour’s Beneficiary Sector is.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      if you think there should be more, advocate for that, don’t attack the Women’s or Rainbow or Kirk Sector.

                      Just quote where I attacked any of those sectors you mention, TFC. You know, just to show that you’re not a disingenuous evasive red herring merchant.

              • Bunji

                You’ve missed the 1 member elected from and by each sector (Women, Affiliates, Seniors, Youth, Rural, Pacific, Ethnic, Rainbow, Kirk (disability), etc) – TKM is just a special case because they get 2 instead of 1. And as of last conference those elected by sectors / members cannot be MPs. So ends up with a large majority of members, and more than 12 people.

                The Policy Council reports to the caucus and NZ Council, yes: NZ Council as the elected governing body of the party, and caucus as the folk tasked with implementing it.

                Sector councils have to get a large amount of support from members around the country to get a proposal to NZ council, which then must be endorsed, and then voted on at Conference. They will have a vote for their Policy Council rep within the sector (joining an appropriate sector is easy, but I think you’re only a voting member on 1?)

                • The Fan Club

                  Bunji — you are a member of as many sectors as you are eligible to be a member of, and can exercise voting rights in all of them.

                  The Policy Council doesn’t just report to caucus & NZ Council: it also reports to Regions and to Annual Conference. It’s misleading to think of the Policy Council as somehow subordinate to caucus & NZ Council; in it’s sphere of competence it is superior to them.

                  • Bunji

                    Ah, is it just branches of a LEC I’m thinking of with voting rights? Good to know.

                    Yes, reporting doesn’t mean subordinate, true & yes regional & annual conference. Thanks.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Branches you have to pick 2 & no more. But no one ever checks except for around contested selection time.

                      (For instance, I think caucus reports to Policy Council on progress when we’re in government. Certainly the Council writes a report on that matter that goes to Conference in those years.)

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.2

        And importantly, how can members make a determination that caucus is going off track with a particular policy in Government, and what steps happen then?

    • The Fan Club 7.3

      The process to determine how policy is written has, formally, already occurred. The next issue is operationalising the Constitution’s fine guarantees. The Manifesto is unlikely to be written by caucus; the bulk of it will be written by the Policy Committees and Policy Council in partnership with spokespeople.

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        The process to determine how policy is written has, formally, already occurred.

        So, an example of a highly democratic and widely consulted over process then. Is Conference supposed to rubber stamp this later this year?

        • The Fan Club 7.3.1.1

          It went to conference last year! I mean really.

          • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1.1

            Bull-fucking-shit. The policy platform was presented as a scant overview and no details of how it was to work were voted on.

            • The Fan Club 7.3.1.1.1.1

              What on earth are you talking about CV? It was a major part of the reform package.

              • Colonial Viper

                yeah whatever you say.

                • The Fan Club

                  No I mean really, Jordan Carter was basically shopping around a fucking book about how it would work and no-one was interested in talking to him about it, except for the fucking Temuka Seniors branch or some such who were trying to get out of paying their subs.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    yeah i guess you could call that a consultative process.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Yeah such a top down arsehole, fuck the whole lot of them for ramming this “binding platform” and “membership driven policy” and “no more remits disappearing into a dark hole” crap down our throats!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So what was the consultative process which led to the outcome of “determine how policy is written has, formally, already occurred.”

                      It all happened at Conference you say? It seems like figuring out how policy is decided in the Labour party might be important. How many hours was given to the discussion of the policy platform concept at Conference?

                    • The Fan Club

                      OK CV. First, the working group was put together. Then there were the consultation meetings. And then there was a draft put out for discussion, and then there were Regional Conferences, and then finally it went before Annual Conference, where it was in fact amended, in particular by the Women’s Sector.

  8. aerobubble 8

    Key’s legacy. In order to fore-fill the kiwi dream of owning a home, on buying a new empty lot, the new ritual must be carried out… …repeat these words… …in order to protect us from abusive arbitrary government, and instill fear of bureaucratic nightmares, we here by dig and build this post box so that we may not lose our shirts like so many in ChCh. NZ is an Earthquake prone country
    can you dig it. Campbell live should every show have a new lot, with a new post box on it, until the government relents and agrees that its astonishing arbitrary demand of 50% of value (without any mention of why 50%) is done away with. Councils lost huge amounts of empty land they had not
    sold, and government self-insurance covers their losses, but Key’s gvt decided that private citizens could take a 50% shower, for what reason? That it look good as spin?

  9. Ron 9

    We need more positive policies. I cannot see any future Government agreeing to buy back former Government departments SOE’s etc and if they were inclined there are probably better ones to consider .
    Ministry of Works would be a good place to start. The so called crown sprouts would be better all back in a DSIR department.
    Housing should be a government Department not an SOE and it should have a minister that would be held accountable to ensuring that Housing was given the priority it deserves.
    And while on this subject we have the Casino fiasco handing to Shearer and instead of saying it should be dumped he waffles about having another go at calling for tenders etc.
    The problem is that Casino’s are unhealthy and we do not need them in New Zealand.
    Instead of shuffling the chairs on the Convention Centre/Casino business we need to hold and urgent Royal Commission to decide do NZ want or need such activities and if we do to what level and who should run it.
    That would be statesman like, for a leader, but instead Shearer waffles and gives every indication that if he was Prime Minister his policy would be very much like John Key’s policy and we do not need more right wing government

  10. vto 10

    This is a must pour moi..

    Foreign ownership: Ban all foreign ownership of land. Limit leases or other similar instrutments to, say 20-30 years.

    Foreign investment can continue, which is of course an entirely different beast, though always deceptively mixed up with foreign ownership of land by dishonest politicians. Policy could be brought in over a time period to alleviate some of the adjustment back.

  11. Actions speak louder than words,so far the labour caucus actions have not given a signal
    that they will respect the membership in any way,manner or form.
    So those ‘meetings’ will only be a phantom gesture, a slight recognition for those present, once
    the meetings are over,it will be business as usual,same shit different day.
    Many want and desire the labour party to return to being a genuine force for the left after the hi-jacking 30 yrs ago, however that is not possible under the current administration.
    Right wing commenters are still commending Shearer and light blue labour,because they
    know their future and prospects will be secure for another 3yrs after 2014.
    Unless there is a humungus change in caucus thinking patterns,then my votes will be
    Green.

  12. saarbo 12

    Good post and I like the look of your top 3 TRP.

    But I think “tinkering with the talking heads” is also critical to ensure we have the best chance in 2014.

  13. Ennui in Requiem 13

    Labour and the rest of the political sphere as we know it today, including the readers of this blog by and large still believe in a past paradigm, such as expanding energy supplies, everlasting growth, infinite resources. I don’t have a lot of faith that Labour et al will even have a clue about reality even when stared in the face by economic collapse etc: they will want to put it “back on track”, just like yesterday.

    And yesterdays gone: so my unexpected (as in dont expect it to happen) wish list for Labour policy:
    * The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse Response Committee to “plan” (remember that quaint pre Roger notion, replete with visible hands attached to real people) for:
    * economic contraction and equitable sharing of the pain, particularly feeding, housing and health.
    * energy contraction and alternative infrastructural refitting.
    * ecosystem crisis response (including climate change).
    * defense…..yes its going to be a period of a lot of hot wars and epidemics etc.

  14. michael 14

    I see no evidence that the caucus is interested in the views of party members. The caucus holds the power and it will not relinquish one iota of it unless it is forced to. The caucus prefers “focus groups” as its primary mode of calibrating the acceptability of its policies, and publicy-funded spin. This is not democracy by any definition.

    • Te Reo Putake 14.1

      Hard to argue with your analysis, Michael. But the point of the post is that the membership have a historic opportunity to tilt the balance away from caucus and towards party wide democracy. When members determine policy, caucus have to either promote that policy or get out of the way. That change alone may be enough to make some MP’s consider their future and we may find that some of the drop kicks, drongos and deadwood that are holding us back might take the hint and shoot through.

      The March/April meetings, regional conferences and the next NZ conference will determine whether we really do take our party back. I’m hoping that we will go into the next election with policies that are widely supported in the party and vote winning on the campaign trail. And with a caucus team committed to delivering for the good of the party and the good of the country.

      • Michael 14.1.1

        BTDT and stopped being an active member of the NZLP c2002, once it became clear to me that the caucus would not honour its pre-election promises to the people (eg interest still charged on student loans; market rents still charged for most HNZ tenancies; increases in NZ Super clawed back but extra hoops for disability allowance, etc, etc). Most activists I knew from those days also stopped (with the exception of those who calculated they stood a chance of becoming MPs, of course. Self-interested careerism rules in the NZLP). The NZLP has a proud tradition, and some real accomplishments in the fight for social justice. However, those at its apex no longer care about those at its base. Until that changes, the NZLP is not fit for office.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          After 90 years, the NZLP has become part of the mainstream capitalist status quo that it sought to disrupt and replace in the 1920′s and 1930′s. Ah well.

        • Te Reo Putake 14.1.1.2

          Well, it’s about to change, Michael. You sound like the kind of person we need in the party right here, right now. You’re clearly a politically minded person, or else you wouldn’t be posting here. For less than the price of a beer, you could be helping to make the LP democratic, progressive and relevant for our times. Hope you’ll consider joining again, we really do need you.

          • Arfamo 14.1.1.2.1

            It needs to change. The time is right now. Things are going to get worse for the average voter. Labour needs to abandon right wing economics, not fiddle at the margins. That means bringing in people who know how to cost and sell an alternative economic strategy to the voters.

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    What is required is not reform and reprioritising but a paradigm shift.-adopting appropriate paradigms for the age we live in. I see no indication that anyone in the Labour movement is ready to abandon redundant paradigms.

    Fighting hard to maintain unsustainable systems is wasted effort, yet that seems to be what Labour is about to embark on (yet again).

  16. AmaKiwi 16

    A model from the 20′s and 30′s which is oft ignored was the growth of co-operatives.

    Workers became owners. Profits were plowed back into the business or distributed to the worker/owners. Money did not go into the unproductive property investments. Overseas giants did not gobble up our best industries (hurting our balance of payments).

    The tax code is the key to reviving coops. That can be a Labour platform. It’s less contentious than a capital gains tax.

    I am NOT arguing against the capital gains tax. I am saying here is an additional savings/investment model which also directly benefits workers. But you have to make cooperatives attractive from a tax code point of view.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      NZ has billion dollar co-ops. But its generally National voters and rural types who value them.

    • Puddleglum 16.2

      I think that’s a very, very good idea.

      Supporting the establishment of worker cooperatives has many advantages: It provides a democratic form of workplace; it ‘trains’ people in self-management and provides a sense of economic self-efficacy that can then generalise to other issues; it politicises the population in the best sense of the word (i.e., people become more active and assume they have a right to determine what happens to them).

      • vto 16.2.1

        Agreed entirely.

        It is invaluable to note that as CV states above, the main proponents of cooperatoves (the collective social approach) are the right wing.

        And in simplest evidemce we offer – Fonterra. Foodstuffs.

        So next question must be … why doesn’t the National Party offer up the collectivist approach?

        • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.1

          Ravensdown, Paper Plus, CRT, Farmlands, the Co-operative Bank, SBS, Tatua, NZCU

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1.2

          It is invaluable to note that as CV states above, the main proponents of cooperatoves (the collective social approach) are the right wing.

          You’ll note that the only people who truly benefit from those cooperatives are the people at the top and everybody else is still kept at an exploitative level.

          • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.2.1

            That’s fairly untrue DTB. Farmers don’t belong to these organisations unless there is something in it for themselves.

            What is true is that the structure of most of these co-operatives can be improved via two factors:

            1) Decision making democracy.
            2) Employee ownership.

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    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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