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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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    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • La’o Hamutuk calls for inquiry into Timor GAP ‘mismanagement’ of oil ...
    The Suai project on the South Coast … “liberated” land but confused communities.Photo: La’o Hamutuk David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. AN INDEPENDENT Timor-Leste development and social justice agency has called for an inquiry into the Timor GAP corporation...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • What Is Nicky Hager?
    WHAT WILL HISTORY MAKE of Nicky Hager? That slight, perpetually boyish, journalist who descends periodically, like the admonishing angel in a medieval mystery play, to trouble our consciences and wreak merry havoc with the orderly conduct of our political affairs....
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Can anyone in msm explain how after Dirty Politics that they all got played...
    Would you not think, that after reading Dirty Politics, that our mainstream media wouldn’t allow themselves to get tricked and played again by the VERY SAME discredited pundits? The best new feature on Radio NZ is their ‘Blog Watch’ and their...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Crusher Collins caught out lying about Privacy Commissioner – is this her...
    Crusher angry. Crusher smash own career. Crusher more angry. You would think that after getting outed as such a nasty, vicious piece of work in Dirty Politics, that Crusher would be scrambling to dial back the lies and manipulations. Apparently...
    The Daily Blog | 27-08
  • Cunliffe vs Key – first leaders debate
    This is your election ‘moderator’ – just one more reason an incoming Government need to sack everyone at TVNZ and reform it into an actual public broadcaster. The first leaders debate happens this Thursday, 7pm on TV One. I have...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – An Old and Honourable Profession
      When Dirty Politics started to reference an ex-prostitute I began to get antsy. My first response was “come on Nicky, we decriminalised in 2003. Its sex worker.” My second response was “Ah oh. Who was it and did they...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Bought and paid for: the dirty politics of climate denial
    Has climate denial in New Zealand been bought and paid for by corporate interests? We already know that the ACT Party’s routine denial is closely linked to the financial support the party receives from wealthy free market fundamentalist Alan Gibbs,...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • If the msm read The Daily Blog, THIS wouldn’t be a surprise – explainin...
    Yawn. How embarrassing for Hamish Rutherford and Andrea Vance, their breathless article today suggests that the idea of Labour and NZ First cutting a  deal over the buy back of assets  is some how new news. Silly mainstream media  journalists. If...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker??
    Yesterday I did some calculations to find out what tax John Key pays compared to a worker on the minimum wage. And I put out this media release for the Mana Movement: MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Hip hop death threats – the selective outrage of our media
    PM death threat in hip hop songAn Auckland hip-hop crew slammed for releasing a song with lyrics that apparently include a threat to kill Prime Minister John Key are urging young people to enrol to vote. Kill The PM, by...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes
    Watch Slater turn into Key right before your eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this!
    I don’t always agree with Patrick Gower – but he didn’t deserve this weird spear tackle from behind by his own company. I was listening to this interview at the time, and the awkwardness of it must be the worst...
    The Daily Blog | 26-08
  • Is it weird Radio NZ ban me yet still have….
    Is it weird Radio NZ ban me for life because I criticised the Prime Minister yet still have Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and Jordan Williams, 3 of the main protagonists revealed in Dirty Politics as part of their ongoing political...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Christchurch GCSB meeting – why mass surveillance matters in 2014
    This is the video for last weeks GCSB meeting in Christchurch. Don’t forget Nicky Hager’s public meeting Wednesday night in Auckland, TDB will live stream the event in the interests of our democracy. Broadcast starts 7.30pm here on TDB....
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Assange, Greenwald to appear at Town Hall meeting? + KDC is not the hacker ...
    Wikileaks founder and the engineer of revealing some of the largest abuses of power in the modern era, Julian Assange, is rumoured to be appearing at the September 15th Town Hall meeting. Assange would join award winning investigative journalist Glen...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Why Paula Bennett will be the next leader and Hooton throws the Prime Minis...
    I don’t think the public have any idea of the behind the scenes meltdown now occurring within National. There are plenty of decent right wingers who all have ethical standards who have looked at what their leaders have been doing and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – That Awkward Feeling When Your Campaign Goe...
    Urgh. It’s a thankless and nearly impossible task politically firefighting some days. Somebody (who isn’t you, but who’s in your care, or whom you’ve got a close professional relationship with) does or says something stupid; somebody from the Media’s there...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Dirty politics goes viral
    Join the latest social networking craze this election that every Dog Cat and Jabba is putting on their facebook pages.     Joe Trinder – Ngāti Awa Born and born in Ōtepoti Ōtākou, Ex RNZN he is an Information Technology...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Blogwatch: An open letter to David Farrar: Please, be that guy
    Dear David, In light of  Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, you wrote a blog entitled ‘Some changes on Kiwiblog’ and you suggested it was time to tighten up ship on your website, saying “I want to improve trust in myself,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • What The Hell Was That! Reflections on the media’s coverage of the Intern...
    WHAT, EXACTLY, DO WE KNOW about the confrontation outside Internet-Mana’s campaign launch? Well, we know the news media was there in force. We also know Internet-Mana’s media person, Pam Corkery, blew her stack. We know that Corkery’s outburst led the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • NZ First candidate – homophobic, bennie bashing anti-intellectual clown
    Oh God, apart from Ron Mark, Tracey Martin, Curwen Rolinson and Winston before midday, the woeful cavalcade of political circus freaks NZ First seem to attract has picked up another hitchhiker. This time Epsom candidate Cliff Lyon who said this about Labour… “If...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Nicky Hager Public Meeting LIVESTREAM on The Daily Blog 7.30pm Wednesday 27...
    As part of our commitment to the 2014 Election debate, The Daily Blog will Livestream the Nicky Hager public meeting in Auckland, 7.30pm live from the Mt Eden War Memorial this Wednesday on this site. Doors open at 7pm. It...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Opening Night. It’s like an opera!
    On Saturday night just gone, we collectively experienced one of the premier panegyrys of political pageantry in our three yearly electoral cycle. For one glorious weekend evening every three years, it’s not the All Blacks or some Super 14 team, or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Unions – what ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 25-08
  • Timor-Leste’s Parliament handed ‘humiliating’ defeat over harsh media...
    East Timorese journalists raise their hands to approve the Timor-Leste JournalistCode of Ethics in October 2013. Photo: Tempo Semanal/Cafe Pacific   David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. PACIFIC SCOOP reported this week that East Timor’s Appeal Court had scrapped...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • THIS is why we need a public broadcaster!
    The richest 20% of us in NZ own 70% of the wealth, with 18% in the hands of the second richest quintile, and 10% in the hands of the middle quintile. Just 2 per cent was owned by people in...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • A vote for Key is a vote for this
    A vote for Key is a vote for this...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Why the Secret Intelligence Service feeding Cameron Slater information is s...
    Folks, it doesn’t matter if you are Right or Left, the issue of the Secret Intelligence Service being forced to feed a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater with sensitive information is an ‘us’ issue. The SIS are...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • How lost and irrelevant are ACT?
    So ACT had it’s ‘launch’. Well, what passes as an ACT launch these days. Lot’s of anorak’s with that 1000 yard star and dreams of a Milton Friedman Free Market dancing behind their eyelids all crammed into a room small...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • National Party rowing advert aimed at Gen Xers
    Unkind wags such as myself would suggest that if the above were a real representation of National, it would look more like this…   National know they have the rural mob and the angry provincial vote locked in, with their...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • National Housing propaganda – McGehan Close Revisited
    .   . Housing has become a major, defining issue in New Zealand. We have critical shortages and escalating prices in  in the main centres and falling house values in the regions. The National government has addressed the supply &...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • The boldest, most creative and dynamic policy on employment for two generat...
    If you watched TV news last night you could be forgiven for thinking that a circus was on when Internet MANA launched its election campaign today. The reporting was abysmal but I won’t rehash it here because it’s been described...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Call for Aaron Bhatnagar’s resignation from govt body
    .   . One of the many sordid “bit”-players in Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“, and one of Cameron Slater’s inner-cabal, is businessman, National Party card-carrying cadre,  and former city councillor, Aaron Bhatnagar; . . In 2008, Bhatnagar was caught...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Internet MANA announce free tertiary education & full employment – me...
    Internet MANA launch their campaign after an extraordinary road tour and after gaining 4% in the Colmar Brunton Poll, today should have been the start point for a momentous occasion  in progressive political history. It was, but sadly most won’t...
    The Daily Blog | 24-08
  • Privilege denies true representation of disability rights
    The human right of people with disabilities in New Zealand has come back into the spotlight by the Human Rights Commission. The report named ‘Making Disability Rights Real’ highlights some of the main issues as being adequate data collection, accessibility,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Election TV campaign ads – Opening Night
    . .The infamous National Party ‘Dancing Cossacks’ Attack advert  NZ, 23 August -  The election campaign “kicked off” on Saturday evening, with a one hour “televisual feast”. Party advertisements were broadcast for National, Labour, Greens, NZ First, United Future/Peter Dunne,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Blogging vs Journalism vs Politics – The 7 latest revolting revelations
    So we now enter the most dangerous phase for National, the phase where the minutia of detail is so great now, the media have all the ammunition to keep asking questions that clearly show Key isn’t being honest in his...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • A positive story of political co-operation!
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 23 August - The following is a true story and shows how the natural inclination of the rank-and-file of our main left-wing parties is to work together… I’ve been in contact with both the Green...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • “Dirty Politics” – the fall-out continues…
    . . As the shock-wave from Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics” continues to engulf everything in it’s path, it’s worthwhile looking at the damage caused by the ever-expanding fallout… Fallout Dispersal Zone: 1oom Farrar wrote on 19 August  (and later...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • #TeamKey’s sinking boat
    #TeamKey’s sinking boat...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Cat vs Key – I know nuffin
    Cat vs Key – I know nuffin...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • Israel’s sudden fixation with Hamas
    Israel’s sudden fixation with Hamas...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Toke the Vote 2014: NORML’s guide to NZ cannabis policies
    NORML’s policy, renewed at our recent national conference , is to encourage supporters to vote for parties and candidates who will work to reform our cannabis laws....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Internet Mana List Embodies Modern Aotearoa
    An impressive mix of personal and professional skills, cultural backgrounds and ages marks the release of Internet MANA’s combined party list. “Our list highlights the calibre of talent woven throughout Internet MANA,” said leader Hone Harawira....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • The Dirty Politics Fallout
    Tonight’s 3News-Reid Research poll shows that the Conservative Party is on the verge of making it into the next Parliament, even without an electorate deal with National. The poll, conducted in the week following the release of Nicky Hager’s...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Te reo Māori trending at New Zealand Fashion Week
    Language and fashion express culture and identity so it’s fitting for the Māori Party to launch its te reo Māori policy at New Zealand’s premiere fashion event in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Party And Candidate Lists for 2014 Election Released
    The Electoral Commission has released the nominations for the 2014 General Election, with 15 registered political parties and 554 candidates contesting the election....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Take Steps Against Child Poverty with Us!
    TAKE STEPS AGAINST CHILD POVERTY WITH US! Britomart to Aotea Square, Auckland, 11am, Saturday 6 Sept Music * Interactive Art * Stilt Walkers * Great Speakers * Plus more!...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Leading politicians to debate NZ’s role in the world
    Have you ever wondered where New Zealand stands when it comes to issues beyond our borders? Join Amnesty International's North Shore Group on Monday 1 September for a lively cross party debate and the chance to find out the answer...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Livestream
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence is happy to announce the upcoming political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invite representatives...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Politicians ignore 20% of New Zealanders
    Despite 20% of New Zealanders supporting it, none of the parties currently represented in Parliament endorse the legalisation of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Company tax rates
    The Op Ed pages of the left-leaning New York Times are full of articles by economists supporting proposals to dramatically lower Company Taxes. These economists are urging the United States to lower company taxes and point to Canada where the...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Stephen Dudley Case: No appeal or review of discharge
    On 8 August 2014 Crown Law received a request from the office of the Auckland Crown Solicitor to consider a Crown appeal against the discharge without conviction entered in respect of M in the High Court at Auckland on 7...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Dudley Family Statement
    “We are utterly devastated at the news regarding the law not allowing for this unjustified discharge without conviction to be appealed....
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Chief Judge: Chief Sized Offender Bias
    “Justice by name, not by nature” states Ruth Money Sensible Sentencing Trust National Spokesperson, of Justice Helen Winkelmann’s decision to discharge without conviction the offender charged with the fatal attack on 15 year old schoolboy Stephen...
    Scoop politics | 27-08
  • Confusion over BPS Reducing Crime and Reoffending Results
    A survey has revealed widespread confusion – even amongst professionals in the justice sector – about what the government’s reducing crime and reoffending progress reports actually mean....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Commission condemns violent attack on Gay Wellingtonians
    The Human Rights Commission has condemned a violent attack on staff and patrons at a gay bar in central Wellington last Friday. GayNZ reported that the alleged attackers were abusive and violent when they realised the bar and the people...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • One down, 12 to go says Community Housing Aotearoa
    The Waimahia Inlet is a step in the right direction for community housing to deliver 20% of New Zealand’s social and affordable housing by 2020, says Community Housing Aotearoa. CHA Director Scott Figenshow says the sector has been set a...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Research considering changes to pedestrian crossing laws
    A University of Canterbury research project has been considering the costs and benefits of a range of potential changes to pedestrian crossing laws that would bring New Zealand in line with the rest of the world....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Dairy farmers and consumers at risk from unapproved GE Grain
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) must immediately test all maize and soy for presence of unapproved GE lines coming from the Americas....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • NZ on Air Refuse to Condemn “Kill the PM” Song
    New Zealand On Air has refused to condemn @peace’s 'Kill the PM' song, and will not provide any assurance that no further taxpayer money will be used to support groups that promote violence and political hate. Earlier today the Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #32
    The combined wisdom of iPredict’s 8000 registered traders suggests National has begun a recovery after its prospects crashed last week following the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics . The governing party’s forecast party vote is back...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Juicy carrot for prisoners alarming suggestion – McVicar
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman, Garth McVicar says the public will be alarmed to learn that the only tool the Corrections Department has available to get prisoners to behave is to offer them a juicy carrot....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Panel: Fiji’s Return to Democracy
    Fiji’s post-coup elections and their impact in the Pacific o What is the role of the media in the Elections? o How might New Zealand help Fiji on its return to democracy?...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Cross-party consensus on climate change critical
    Senior NZ health professionals welcome recent policy announcements on climate change by major political parties, saying cross-party consensus is critical to address this leading health issue....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Minister of Transport to Attend Election Debate Tomorrow
    Organisers of tomorrow night's transport debate in Auckland are delighted that Minister of Transport Hon. Gerry Brownlee will now be attending....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Society Applauds Proposed NZ-Wide Risk Assessment
    The Wise Response Society is heartened to see that Labour' just released Climate Change policy includes formal support for the Society's call for a New Zealand-wide Risk Assessment. The Green Party has also formally acknowledged support for the Wise...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Iwi Leaders welcome Labour policy on climate change
    Labour’s policy to stamp out price – gouging by big polluters that has cost New Zealand tax-payers $1.4 billion over the last 3 years and especially impacted low – income Maori households has been welcomed by Dr. Apirana Mahuika, Chairman...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Auckland Broadcasting Debate this Sunday
    Auckland Broadcasting Debate 6.30pm, August 31st 2014 (doors open 6.15pm) Pioneer Women's Hall High Street, Auckland City...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • New Zealand First Party List 2014
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the Party list for the 2014 election. We believe the list is a balance of experience, youth, skill and ability. These candidates, many of whom will be in Parliament after the election, will...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Refugee Policy in Election Year
    Leading politicians representing major political parties will be highlighting their policies, answering questions and ebating the issues in the lead-up to the coming election in an event organised by RCNZ this coming Saturday in Auckland. The present...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Intueri shareholders celebrate corporate welfare
    New Zealand's largest tertiary education company Intueri, which announced a $1.6 million profit yesterday, has received an increase in public funding over the last two years of at least $1.8 million....
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Response to “Kill The PM” Song Coverage
    I do not want to literally kill this man. I do not wish to have sexual relations with anybody related to him. Let's not pretend a silly little song ever changed anything. Last I seen famine was still going pretty...
    Scoop politics | 26-08
  • Sarjeant Gallery redevelopment resource consent approved
    Mayor Annette Main has welcomed the granting of resource consent for the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui redevelopment project....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • How much tax does PM pay compared to a minimum wage worker?
    John Minto, MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson Tuesday 26 August, 2014 MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Aucklanders to March in Solidarity with Iraqi Christians
    Hundreds of people are expected at a march this weekend in Auckland's Queen St, calling for solidarity with persecuted minorities in Iraq....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Why not let Robin Hood help our children thrive?
    Why have we been so willing to accept the fact that a quarter of our children live in poverty? And why are we so unwilling to do anything about it when some simple measures would give all New Zealand’s kids...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Te Mana o Te Wai – the quality and vitality of water
    The Māori Party intends introducing legislation that gives the status of taonga to freshwater and will prioritise the improvement of its quality and vitality making it safer for drinking, swimming and gathering food....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • “Kill the PM” Band @Peace with Taxpayers’ Money
    Responding to the Fairfax article that hip-hop group @peace have released a track that threatens to kill the Prime Minister and have sex with his daughter, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • New Zealanders are right to be afraid of burglars
    “A poll in a major morning newspaper shows New Zealanders are afraid they will be burgled. They are definitely right about that,” said Dr. Jamie Whyte ACT Leader. “Official Police statistics report less than half of the burglaries that actually...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • National and Labour to outline economic visions
    The deputy leaders of National and Labour will outline their visions for the New Zealand economy in two upcoming public lectures hosted by Victoria University of Wellington....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Objectionable Hip-Hop Song Offensive to All NZ’ers
    Family First is slamming Auckland hip-hop crew @peace for their new release containing lyrics that threaten to kill Prime Minister John Key and have sex with his daughter....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Maori party Candidates Announced
    Maori Party Candidates Announced The Māori Party has today announced its list of 24 candidates to contest the 2014 General Election. "The list is headed by our co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, and followed by two brilliant young candidates, number...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Commercial Industry Opposes Recreational Fishing Policy
    Press release from Alan Simmons. United Future Outdoors spokesperson and Candidate for Taupo. United Future Party President....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Statement on William Yan
    The Internet Party has noted published comments from Mega Ltd. about a shareholding in the company being subject to a Restraining Order by police under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act in relation to Mr William Yan....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Conservatives will abolish Parole – McVicar
    The Conservative Party Justice Spokesman says that one of his first tasks when he gets to Parliament will be to overhaul the Parole system. On current polling and the fact he is ranked No 3 on the Conservative Party list...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • ONE News & Facebook – Election Coverage Collaboration
    Auckland - ONE News and Facebook are collaborating to offer an interactive and social experience for the 2014 General Election utilising data insights and trends. This collaboration provides a new way for the electorate and candidates to share their...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Vote Compass Reaches 200,000+ Respondents
    On Friday 22 August the total number of respondents to Vote Compass reached an impressive 200,000 - and that number continues to grow rapidly (the total was more than 204,500 as of 5.00pm Sunday 24th)....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Climate Policies Commit to Single Most Important Reform
    Labour’s response to climate change includes the single most important reform required - a Carbon Budgeting process and a Climate Commission to drive it....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Foodies come out for a CAN DO government
    Wellington culinary celebrities will be joining the call for a “can-do government” and supporting “can-do people getting out to vote” as they help build the beehive out of cans tomorrow....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Nicky Hagar – Auckland Public Meeting
    A public meeting meeting with Jesson Prize winner Nicky Hagar will be held Wednesday 27th August, 7.30pm, at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall (Cnr Dominion Rd & Balmoral Rd)....
    Scoop politics | 25-08
  • Remote Pacific atoll challenge lures Christchurch planner
    How do you come up with an urban development plan for a city which consists of tiny islets connected by causeways located in a remote Pacific atoll and subject to flooding on the next king tide?...
    Scoop politics | 25-08
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