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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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    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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