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Labour’s new Parliamentary chief of staff …

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, February 26th, 2014 - 375 comments
Categories: labour, Left, mana - Tags:

Matt McCarten

… has been announced.  It is Matt McCarten.

Matt has a huge amount of experience in NZ politics. He started off in the Labour Party but like many of us (me included) he left the party because of Roger Douglas and the fourth Labour Government’s right wing drift.  He became President of New Labour and then the Alliance.  He has continued to be heavily involved in party politics of the left.

More recently he has headed the Unite Union and its performance in looking after the interests of poorly paid workers is impressive.  He also has links with the Mana Party as well as the Maori Party.

The right will no doubt claim that this shows a leftward move by Labour.  The reality is that McCarten’s position is an operational not a policy formation one.  His job is to make sure that the leader’s office operates effectively.

Matthew Hooton has already started the right wing spin exercise, claiming that McCarten is an extreme left winger and that his appointment is evidence of a “move to the far left”.  Hooton lives in a strange world where the likes of Prebble and Douglas who inflicted so much damage on the country are considered mainstream but someone like McCarten who is genuinely concerned at the effects of poverty is considered to be an extremist.  He also claims without evidence that Cunliffe is critical of the Clark Government.  Keep on spinning Matthew.

I have always been impressed by Matt’s ability to deal with people from a diversity of backgrounds.  He is affable and pleasant but has a backbone of steel, ideal characteristics for the role.  And his organisational abilities are very strong.

The decision is in keeping with David Cunliffe’s tendency to do what he thinks is right rather than safe.  With the party planning a mass movement on the ground campaign this year Matt’s organisational skills will have set him apart from the other contenders.  And the job is important.  Labour’s membership has surged over the past six months.  Organisationally there is a real need to get this new membership involved and working.  The best way to counter clear media bias is to have people on the ground talking to their neighbours and friends about why a change in Government is vital.

Overall this decision is one that will cause considerable debate.  And use of the words “game changer” seem very appropriate.

375 comments on “Labour’s new Parliamentary chief of staff …”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    I’ve always really liked Matt, however, I don’t think this is a good match at all.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I think that Matt’s on the ground organisational ability and wide base of contacts will be a big positive for the Leaders Office. These effects will be felt within just a few weeks.

      Also, Labour shouldn’t shy from the fact it has taken McCarten onboard. This is a move which recognises that the future of Labour is intimately tied in with the future of ordinary workers, with those concerned for economic fairness, and those who are struggling every day just to get by.

      • Chooky 1.1.1

        CV +100…great news….a bold move ….and bodes well for the future viability of the Labour Party

        Labour will win this election!

        …and note Key’s and Hootons’s hysteria

        …lets also hope Jim Anderton gets over his differences with McCarten and also works for Labour…Labour needs both of these old Left stalwarts

    • lprent 1.2

      I was initially in shock when I heard this early this morning.

      But after I had a few minutes to think it through it made a lot of sense. Matt is one hell of a campaigner towards getting electoral results. He won’t suffer obstacles to that purpose kindly – but then again neither did Heather Simpson. Similarly he has the ego to push the campaign even against some of the bloated stupidity that I seem to see too frequently in caucus and parts of the Labour party rather too frequently. He has even been known to do this politely occasionally.

      That is why he has a pile of people who don’t like him. It is also why we’re more likely to get some decisions made and pushed.

      I have to admit that I’ve rather enjoyed arguing with him over the last few years when we have met (but of course I’m not exactly interested in being polite myself). We tend to naturally disagree on many topics. But that isn’t uncommon. I had similar kinds of discussions with Helen. But like Helen he has some formidable abilities to organise people and organisations.

      Similarly what David Talbot doesn’t know about how to organise election campaigns inside Labour would have to be a slim story. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the times I’ve worked with him particularly because we always managed to get something done..

      I think that David Cunliffe, Matt and David is going to be a interesting team. But I suspect it has a damn good chance to being effective as hell.

    • Clemgeopin 1.3

      Your thinking is not Ok.
      Matt is an able campaigner with great personal values. He is much respected by many many people including those in the right wing dark camp.

    • freedom 1.4

      Tinfoilhat, you don’t think it is a good fit, but for some reason you are incapable of forming a single sentence attempting to explain why you hold this view, yet still consider your throw away comment warranted the data space on the page. Obviously a student of the Hooton Academy.

  2. thechangeling 2

    I disagree. I think this is a very exciting move that Cunliffe has made by appointing Matt to the role. Matt knows the political world inside out and is a great strategist and this move will reap dividends.

  3. karol 3

    Thanks, micky.

    I wasn’t in NZ when the whole Rogernomics, Alliance spin-off Labour, thing happened. I think McCarten’s Unite has done some excellent stuff.

    I’m a little concerned that he may have been a supporter of John Tamihere and Trotter’s masculinist, “Waitakere Man” theory. The current Labour caucus hierarchy still looks pretty male dominated to me.

    People are talking up the contrast/contest between McCarten as COS for Labour and Prebble for ACT.

    But also of interest, ex-Alliance MP, Laila Harre is Issues Director for the Greens.

    That means by the Greens and Labour now have an ex-Alliance person in key positions. I see this as a positive. However, any shift back to pre-Rogernomics Labour is still yet to be shown. So I will continue to party vote Green.

    Looking forward to an alliance of Labour & the Greens in government.

    • Tracey 3.1

      “ex-Alliance MP, Laila Harre is Issues Director for the Greens.”

      EXACTLY

      • MeToo 3.1.1

        Harre has resigned from that position and is now a restauranteur.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11204296

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          Ah. thanks. pity.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            Karol, you may keep complaining about a “male dominated” Labour caucus, but the facts actually are that we will have a Labour caucus with a majority of female MPs and a minority of male MPs, by 2017. Conference agreed on enshrining that inequity last year.

            • karol 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, CV. I hope that brings with it, some change in culture and values – along with an on-going shift away from the inequality gap, neoliberal values, etc.

              Overall, I’m positive about McCarten’s selection – but I withhold full support until I see his influence in practice.

              • Colonial Viper

                Also im not sure why you think that the work place politics and culture of organisations dominated by women are somehow consistently any better than that of other organisations.

                In my experience women can be at least as political, ambitious, self centred and patch protective as any male executive can be.

                • Tracey

                  “dominated by women are somehow consistently any better than that of other organisations”

                  When we have enough of those workplaces we can probably start to answer it.

                  By dominated do you mean 51% to 49%?

            • BM 3.1.1.1.1.2

              That doesn’t seem particularly fair to me.

          • Richard McGrath 3.1.1.1.2

            I say good on her, experiencing life on the “other side”, as a business owner and employer.

        • bad12 3.1.1.2

          Laila’s appointment was not welcomed by some of us in the Green Party as we see ‘issues’ being handled with aplomb by the current good mix of Green MP’s,

          Any perception that the Party is ‘padding’ the hierarchy with high paid positions from outside of the Party were likely to have quite a number of the smaller donors withholding their donations to the Party,

          In an election year i personally want what for me will be quite a considerable donation to the Party spent on ensuring the Green party vote holds up and grows,(there’s still much hay to be made in the National electorates especially from among the young in the provincial cities)…

          • karol 3.1.1.2.1

            Thanks, bad. Interesting and useful insight.

          • phillip ure 3.1.1.2.2

            “..Laila’s appointment was not welcomed by some of us in the Green Party..”

            that’d be the right wing of the green party…

            phillip ure..

          • Ron 3.1.1.2.3

            Did she join the Greens?
            I noted that she was floating around at the Greens Conference in Auckland two weeks ago which surprised me as I did not think she was a member.

            Laila’s appointment was not welcomed by some of us in the Green Party as we see ‘issues’ being handled with aplomb by the current good mix of Green MP’s,

        • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1.3

          Ah , the family estate on Waiheke…… chardonay ?

        • phillip ure 3.1.1.4

          re harre..

          ..my heart sunk a wee bit when i saw that article when it first came out..

          ..i would like to know ‘why?’..

          ..as i saw her doing in the greens what many are hoping mccarten will do in labour..

          ..and that she would be there at least to the election..

          ..wha’ happened..?

          ..phillip ure..

    • Clemgeopin 3.2

      Get rid of your obsession about male vs female shown by your statement, “The current Labour caucus hierarchy still looks pretty male dominated to me”. What matters to me and should really matter to everyone is that the Labour party has members, (be they of any gender,) that have the caring, fair, progressive, social, economic and environmental VALUES of the party and not what body part they possess in their pants. Forget silly discrimination, negative or positive. This is a modern more enlightened nation now where true equality based on merit and ability should prevail and not be run on a stupid, unwise and unfair gender quota basis.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.2.1

        Don’t be an idiot.

        Do you think the current crop of male dominated MPs got there due to merit?

        Hint: They didn’t.

        Without positive discrimination, some groups of people can get into positions of privilege through without merit and some groups of people can’t even if they’re far more intelligent and deserve it.

        • Richard McGrath 3.2.1.1

          Can’t you see that “positive discrimination” is anti-meritocratic as well? Surely the Labour Party would be better to select its candidates/MPs on the basis of merit, not gender.

          • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1

            Ah well, if list selectors were all robots we could flick the selection criteria from “misogynist” to “merit-based”.

            In the real world, however, transition periods are needed to address the subconscious (and occasionally conscious) biases that people might have.

            • Disraeli Gladstone 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Exactly.

              I don’t think there are many who would be saying you need positive discrimination for ever. But often, it is necessary to kick start a new, more liberal norm.

              • Tracey

                yes positive discrimination is about getting people to positions (on merit) to start a change of attitudes toward those folks holding those positions.

                usually it is about when 2 candidates are equal, you select the one from the lower represented group.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Maybe, but only if they are otherwise inseparable on merit. Otherwise, choosing the inferior candidate would be nonsensical.

                  • McFlock

                    …but in the real world, merit decisions are never that clean-cut. While the best man might be way ahead of the least-suited woman, practically the “positive discrimination” choice is always between best-ish men and best-ish woman.

      • karol 3.2.2

        Indeed. I’m not interested in quotas – I said “parliamentary caucus hierarchy” – and that IS about values and the culture of parliamentary Labour. A masculinist culture tends to favour masculinist values in policies and processes – especially re the low paid and beneficiaries – women are over-represented in these groups. And the masculine processes tend to be more combative than collaborative – and tend to focus on traditionally male-dominated industries, rather than those that do the bulk of the necessary caring and nurturring work in society..

        • Bearded Git 3.2.2.1

          Karol-you can waste a lot of time talking about gender issues when what we should all be talking about are policies that will enable Labour/Green to win the next election.

          Get over it.

          • Tracey 3.2.2.1.1

            get over yourself.

          • karol 3.2.2.1.2

            Why do you think that it is an either/or thing?

            And why do you think the values that take us into an election aren’t important? The Greens are doing fine as a medium sized party with a focus on egalitarian processes and also managing, more or less, to deliver gender balance in process, content, culture and MPs.

            Mainly I am stating one of the reasons I continue to vote Green.

            Labour seems to be a slow follower in many respects.

            • Pasupial 3.2.2.1.2.1

              Karol

              Have you seen the list of criteria by which we Green Party members rank our list? It’s egalitarian alright, but very time consuming.

              Delegates are first appointed by local branches to attend conference, where the grill prospective MPs, then bring their impressions back to their respective branches for more discussion. Then us members rank their choices according to their impressions plus a number of criteria:

              Ethnicity (at least 10% Māori, though I choose to factor in a balance between Pākeha and Tauiwi on top of that), Gender (no more than 60% of either; personally I just alternate female and male – no provision for the intersexed or transgendered as yet), Region (minimum of 40% North, and 20% South), & Age (10% minimum under 35).

              This does make it hard for caucus to do a deal on seats such as Ōhariu (say by bumping Woodley up on the list and having him endorse the Labour candidate as part of a quid pro quo to get rid of Dunne). But it does also make our MPs responsive to the Party ideals of even those members who can’t manage to systematically rank the approximately 50 list prospects in order by next month’s deadline.

              • middxkea

                All ranked and sent off
                :-)

                • Pasupial

                  middxkea

                  Good on you. I’m at the finding any possible distraction stage myself. This probably has something to do with my current obsession with polling on various threads recently… Also, don’t want to make final decisions before seeing the assembled caucus in a social setting this weekend.

        • Clemgeopin 3.2.2.2

          Many well known women dominated ‘hierarchical’ political party positions purely due to their personality, standing, ability, knowledge and experience.

          Women such as Helen Clark, Annette King, Ruth Richardson, Julia Gillard, Angela Merkel, Nancy Pelosi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Cristina Fernandez, Dilma Rousseff, Janet Napolitano and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for example.

          If the women members of the present caucus show their own prowess and ability, there is nothing stopping them from gaining ‘hierarchical’ positions. No need to use their gender card as an excuse for their own lack of real ability or substance and weasel out a cushy gender quota surreptitiously in a damaging wryly move.

          The present crop of women Labour MPs who are not prominent in the ‘hierarchy’ such as Nanaia Mahuta, Sue Moroney, Maryan Street, Louisa Wall, Moana Mackey, Carol Beaumont, Megan Woods, Darien Fenton, Clare Curran, Meka Whaitiri and Poto Williams have NOTHING stopping them from being in the ‘hierarchy’ if they think they have as much ability, knowledge, experience and smarts, if not more than those that are in the present ‘hierarchy’. They need to show that in practice and reality, not just in their wishful thinking or put a hand out for the very ill advised ‘gender bending quota’ position.

          • karol 3.2.2.2.1

            Yes, there’s some good women there – but none are in the most powerful and leading positions.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.2.2

            The usual line now is to say that too many women have taken on patriarchal values in order to succeed in politics, so those women dont really count. Collins and Bennett, for example.

            • Tracey 3.2.2.2.2.1

              I’m not sure this line of comment does you any credit. I am not,of course, trying to police you, just saying.

              There are those who believe women have achieved equality because shipley and clark became PM. I hope you would see that there is no necessary flow of logic in that.

              • Clemgeopin

                My comments do not reflect any of what you are imagining or implying.

              • it’s been quite a day for it..

                ..first the casual racism from bad..

                ..and now the casual sexism from cv..

                ..(but that’s right..!..i’m just being ‘p.c.’ again..eh..?..)

                ..phillip ure..

      • Stephanie Rodgers 3.2.3

        I don’t think anyone disagrees with the idea of appointments based on merit. It’s a sensible notion. But unfortunately, if we are supposed to believe that gender doesn’t matter and the makeup of the Labour caucus is merit-based, the only logical conclusion is that there aren’t many talented women in Labour. I disagree with this conclusion, so again, the logic is that those appointments aren’t entirely based on merit.

        Discrimination isn’t ‘silly’. It has a serious impact on people’s lives, their wellbeing, their financial position, their ability to participate in society. Historic discrimination still has effects today, and I think it’s a little bit dangerous to ignore those effects – otherwise even when we do make appointments based on ‘merit’, we’ll just end up reinforcing that historic discrimination.

      • Tracey 3.2.4

        You believe that the majority of our boards are male cos they are just so gosh-darned more talented and experienced than women by some margin dont you?

        Thanks for the laugh.

  4. Danske 4

    It does not seem a good move at all. National will use Mccarten’s tax affairs, read unpaid debts, to attack the man. Why not someone more effective and less controversial?

    • Tracey 4.1

      and then you would have been posting

      “who??????”

      NZ needs courageous people

      • Danske 4.1.1

        Courageous, yes, but also people who pay taxes and obey the law.
        It is a matter of not only being just, but appear to be just.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.1

          I take it therefore you dont vote National or ACT?

        • Tracey 4.1.1.2

          you mean like having someone in charge of the secret services who can remember stuff and be honest might be important?

        • lprent 4.1.1.3

          Courageous, yes, but also people who pay taxes and obey the law.
          It is a matter of not only being just, but appear to be just

          Oh pandering to a pious idiot wanting a saint in the role?

          Basically what does any of that have to do with gearing Labour towards a victory in the coming election or dealing with with the consequences of winning the election? Absolutely nothing…

          So who cares?

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.4

          “..people who pay taxes and obey the law…”

          that’s kinda rich..

          ..when the rich/elites..tory/act voters to a man/woman..

          ..they criminally avoid $5 billion in taxes..

          ..each and every year..

          ..(and for some perspective..benefit fraud is $23 million each year.).

          ..those figures again..?

          ..$5 billion vs $23 million..

          ..looks like you need to go and look in the mirror there..danske..

          ..and have a quiet word with yr friends..eh..?

          ..next time you are with them around a dinner table..

          ..as they boast how they avoid their share of that $5 billion theft..

          ..eh..?

          ..phillip ure..

    • Richard McGrath 4.2

      Does anyone here think it odd Cunliffe should have hired someone associated with an organisation that allegedly evaded tax, given constant demands by the left that taxpayers “pay their fair share”?

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        I think it odd that you care.

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        Do you find it odd that

        “The Parliamentary Service service is charged with running Parliament independently from the Government. Asked to explain why, if his office does not have authority over the service, Mr Eagleson was able to tell it what to do, Mr Key said that was because he ordered the inquiry and the people being questioned were his ministers.”

        Sounds little like PM who thinks he sits above law and the process.

        • Richard McGrath 4.2.2.1

          Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

          • McFlock 4.2.2.1.1

            Key only pretends he has absolute power.

            There’s a good chance he’ll be job-hunting at the end of the year.

          • Tracey 4.2.2.1.2

            but rewards handsomely

            “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

            • Richard McGrath 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Agree with that Tracey. Churchill, FDR and Abe Lincoln spring to mind.

            • Puddleglum 4.2.2.1.2.2

              Yes, indeed.

              That comment was aimed at the Pope when the notion of papal infallibility was mooted – but it rings so true.

              The great and the good generally aren’t – primarily because they so want to be seen as great and good.

              There’s a tall poppy wannabe inside every dwarf geranium – and the world is run by dwarf geraniums who like to think they’re tall poppies. They just don’t get what it is to really be a tall poppy.

              Sad, really.

            • finbar. 4.2.2.1.2.3

              There is seven months to the election if the crystal ball gazers are correct,Mc Carten has that time, not to influence policy, as some of those on the right would have you believe fueled by the P.M.saying Labour are going to the far left.Only would a desperate right winger or a farm fence leaner be sucked in with that kind of comment.

              Mc Carten is there for what his job description says,Chief of Staff.Basically what that entails is getting the caucus and the Party reading of the same page with unity and united purpose.

              If you look at the polls,there is around a 3% gap between who rules and who does not, and understanding the incumbent has a band of the desperate, shamed and ridiculed to rely on for that lift, it is not weird that our present regime leader is grasping at untruths to denigrate any positive move within the opposition,even if its old farm fence union bashing a dance of the desperate.

              Yet at the end of the day,the Kiwi voter has a mind set of six weeks of this,how much more,however,the last two weeks of a election is the vote catcher for the Kiwi mind set.

    • Naki Man 4.3

      I agree with your comments, it will be interesting to see the next poll.

  5. Tracey 5

    “The right will no doubt claim that this shows a leftward move by Labour. ”

    Let’s stop apologizing for not being on the right shall we. It perpetuates the notion that it is a bad thing.

    I think it is a good move and I hope he is advising on speeches and strategy.

    Labour needs to start retorting to the ridiculous “reds under the bed” imagery

    Labour is moving toward fairness for all
    Labour is moving toward a society that rewards all hard work
    Labour is moving toward paying wages that enable har dworking people to live, not live to pay bills
    Labour is moving…

    Labour is moving, Labour is moving, Labour is moving…and it wont be apologising for it.

    • just saying 5.1

      You’re not available to take over Labour’s comms are you Tracey?
      Because those are exactly the sorts of things they need to be saying, and how they need to be saying them.
      There is no alternative.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Maybe the problems is too many, including cunliffe are just pretending that the neo lib experiement failed, so they just cant sound sincere enough saying this kind of stuff?

        They dont want to set themselves up for the fall if they get govt benches and continue the experiment.

      • Puddleglum 5.1.2

        Exactly!

        And well said Tracey.

    • Richard McGrath 5.2

      Tracey I back much of what you say:

      Fairness for all – equality before the law regardless of age, gender, race, wealth; and flat tax rates so that those earning more pay more and the incentive and opportunities to avoid taxation are greatly reduced.

      A society that rewards hard work – stop punishing those who work harder and earn more with progressive taxation. Let people keep the fruits of their labour and spend their money on things that are important to them and their unique circumstances.

      Wages that enable people to live – achievable in a competitive deregulated labour market, where it is easy for businesses to set up and employ people, with labour shortages and thus upward pressure on wages; where the value of wages is protected by low inflation and low taxes.

      • framu 5.2.1

        ahhh – you turned what tracey said into an act party statement – thats not supporting or even understanding the concepts tracey raised

        you know about act dont you? – the less than 1% party

        • Richard McGrath 5.2.1.1

          Maybe if the dirt you were digging contained gold nuggets the size of a man’s fist. Or if you could shift two hundred tons of dirt a day.

          • Richard McGrath 5.2.1.1.1

            Whoops ignore that comment above, sent it twice.

            As for the < 1% ACT Party, they’re down there with the 0.05% Alliance Party (party vote count at 2011 election).

            You know, the Alliance Party once led by Jim Anderton. Whose values and policies are unchanged but who are essentially approaching zero support.

            I ignore poll ratings, the Alliance support is a shining example. Their policies should appeal to a huge number of people yet they don’t seem to figure any more. It’s all about marketing and parading a demagogue before the voters, many of whom are swayed by that nice Mr Anderton/Key/Goff/Peters, etc.

            • Murray Olsen 5.2.1.1.1.1

              ACT will probably get above 10% again now that the courageous leader has come out in favour of sex with close relatives. You must be so proud of him.

        • the pigman 5.2.1.2

          And he would have gotten away for it too… if it weren’t for you meddling kids, and your dog, and the transparent self-servitude of his comment ;)

      • Sosoo 5.2.2

        If we were to reward people for actual hard work, the ditch digging job I did one summer as a student would have commanded a six figure salary.

        • Richard McGrath 5.2.2.1

          Maybe if the dirt you were digging contained gold nuggets the size of a man’s fist. Or if you could shift two hundred tons of dirt a day.

          • freedom 5.2.2.1.1

            it is kind of fun watching the point of Sosoo’s comment sail clear over your head,
            maybe you can catch it on the next orbit

            • Richard McGrath 5.2.2.1.1.1

              I didn’t address it because it’s a cliche I have heard too many times. His job is probably being done by a mechanical digger now, more efficiently.

              • felix

                Oh no you don’t. You claimed that those who work harder get rewarded more.

                Put the goalpost back where it was and kick again, doc.

    • Enough is Enough 5.3

      Exactly Tracey I agree.

      We can get hung up about what the Nats think is happening. This you’re a leftie/you’re a rightie name calling contest is tiresome because people from both sides are proud of the side of the fence they are on. Being criticised for it is rather a waste of time.

      Rather we should point out the policy differences and how those differences will materially effect society.

      Excellent choice for Chief of Staff. I was hoping to see his name pop up for the Greens but at least he is on the progressive side

  6. Disraeli Gladstone 6

    From the Open Mike thread:

    “Can you imagine how much fun Kiwiblog, WO, Gower, Garner, etc are going to have with McCarten is in Cunliffe’s office considering his less than stellar history with UNITE paying tax. Anytime, Labour brought up multinational companies not paying their fair share, it would instantly be shut out with questions about “doesn’t your Chief of Staff have the same problems?””

    Farrar’s already running with it.

    If it’s confined to the blogs, then it’s okay. Labour can run with some freedom of multinational companies and the quite rightly attack line of National protecting the rich. The question will be if at 6pm, Gower is on television and at one point nods at the camera and goes “But some are left unsure with McCarten’s history at UNITE coming up for questioning…”

    • Tracey 6.1

      That’s ok.
      Michelle Boag can’t read and doesn’t check CV’s…
      According to Hager Steven Joyce, McCully and Hooten all set about lying and deceiving the NZ public in 2004/2005
      English double dips
      Banks is faciung criminal charges for electoral fraud
      Colin Craig is Colin Craig

  7. JustLikeTigerWoods 7

    Will he be paying his fair share of tax in his new role?

    • karol 7.1

      Congratulations JLTGW! The first second third to use the righties new spin line following McCarten’s COS appointment. You clearly received the line and spat it out quicker than any other TS commenter.

      Edit: sorry DG beat you to it, and with more than just a one-liner – and Dankse – yawn – is that all the right can come up with?.

      • Richard McGrath 7.1.1

        Yes, but the question has been asked, now how about addressing it?

        [lprent: So far none of the morons using it have managed to explain so far why it is relevant to the Labour party organising a election campaign. Sounds to me like more of the pantie-sniffer brigade have arrived.

        However it does start being a trolling meme, then I'll simply start banning those using it until after the election. As far as I am concerned faux concern by the right for Labour is a trolling habit that should have died in 2008. ]

        • Tracey 7.1.1.1

          perhaps he forgot, or can’t recall. That;s what key said about transrail shares and Ian Fletcher. Mathew and other rightiers seemed very happy with those responses.

        • karol 7.1.1.2

          micky has below. A more important question for me – what kind of policies and focus will McCarten bring to Labour’s campaign. Will he help shift parliamantary Labour away from being so male dominated, towards a fairer society? And will it involve re-vitalisaing a true social security system and more state house building?

          • Disraeli Gladstone 7.1.1.2.1

            That’s important.

            It isn’t more important for the media, though, I bet.

            And the last thing Cunliffe needs is more fuel for a future media beat-up.

            I’m not actually blaming McCarten for UNITE’s tax problems because at that time I think I’m right in saying he was seriously ill. It’s not surprising that his organisation might have wobbled with him being sick and he had more pressing things to concern himself.

            But again, I bet that doesn’t get told throughout the media.

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 7.1.2

        Because it’s so obvious.

        Once again, the message from the left screams “do as we say, not as we do”. It’s comical.

        And you wonder why you’re not connecting with the swing voter. In this gesture concious age, actions must match the words. It ‘aint 1979 anymore.

        • Tracey 7.1.2.1

          as long as you ae not swinging toward national, cos Mr key’s don’t remember, forgot, replies must be making your blood boil after nearly 6 years?

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 7.1.2.1.1

            Nope. I don’t remember phone calls a few years prior, either. Key is a multi-millionaire. A few shares in a portfolio is as trivial detail as a coin down the back of the sofa for most of us.

            Someone who campaigns for higher taxes yet has a record of not paying taxes owed is comical. The actions don’t match the words, and it will come up time and time again.

            And you’ve got no answer to it.

            • Tracey 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Not when you are opposition spokesmn on rail…

              You know that the stuff with Fletcher was weeks or months not yeas and related to his portfolio s head of GCSB?

              Cunliffe’s COS didnt pay his tax.The Pm is forgetful and a liar.

              YUP The COS is the big story.

              • JustLikeTigerWoods

                Okay. So you thought the Fletcher and GCSB stuff was a big credibility story. The polls don’t reflect it, but let’s say it was.

                You’ll understand why “doing one thing and saying another” is a big credibility story. Now apply that to the comic-bookish mental image of someone campaigning on higher taxes whilst not paying their own.

                • Tracey

                  does Wayne Eagleston campaign?

                  Ah, so the polls determine morality and legality in your mind. That’s useful to know. It gives quite alot of context to your comments.

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    No.

                    Not sure why you’ve failed to grasp the point. You now appear to be arguing “it’s bad, but the other side does it, so that makes it okay.”

                    • Tracey

                      No, I am arguing the other side suddenly hate something they admire or ignore in their own.

                      I don’t condone nonpayment of tax. I assume the IRD is chasing Mr Mccarten. However, like a bankrupt, people ought to still be able to earn a living, oughtn’t they?

                    • Lanthanide

                      If you want to get serious about political parties being hypocrits, just look at National and the asset sales.

                      It would be wonderful for the economy. It would be great for taxpayers. It would be great for shareholders. It would only cost less than $100m all up in the sales process.

                      All of it utterly wrong.

                      And because they got it all wrong, but have to pretend that they didn’t otherwise they’ll be exposed for the turkeys they truly are, they’re now flip-flopping and selling only 30% of Genesis.

                • DavidW

                  About the same as slagging off at some rich prick’s Parnell house while living in a Herne Bay mansion himself wouldn’t you say?

            • framu 7.1.2.1.1.2

              or to put it another way “do as we say, not as we do”?

            • felix 7.1.2.1.1.3

              “Key is a multi-millionaire. A few shares in a portfolio is as trivial detail as a coin down the back of the sofa for most of us.”

              That’s why it seemed so weird that he knew exactly how many shares he really had only seconds after being caught lying about them.

              • miravox

                “That’s why it seemed so weird that he knew exactly how many shares he really had only seconds after being caught lying about them.”

                As in the tale of the shares he’s not meant to be able to see – Whitechapel and Aldgate Trusts, I think it was.

        • phillip ure 7.1.2.2

          “..“do as we say, not as we do”…”

          can i also remind you of that $5 billion in taxes due ripped off by the national/act-voting tory elites..?

          ..(that was a quick bounce-back onto you..wasn’t it..?

          ..$5 billion..eh..?..whoar…!..

          ..eh..?)

          phillip ure..

    • Tracey 7.2

      wow, that was really clever

      Did it you long to think up?

  8. Puckish Rouge 8

    I guess the first question the media will ask is if the Unites Unions paid its PAYE yet and why’d it take so long

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Matt has just said that the problems occurred while he was battling with cancer and while there is no legal obligation to do so there is a moral obligation to pay the money back and the Union is going to do this.

      • Richard McGrath 8.1.1

        But when? He’s had months or years to pay it back, and I may have missed something but just can’t see any sign of that money. I assume, if this is tax evasion, it will also attract penalties and interest under the rules set by our beloved IRD.

        • Tracey 8.1.1.1

          Is it months or years, you sound unsure?

          • Richard McGrath 8.1.1.1.1

            The original failure to pay tax was noted in December 2010, but the amounts date back to 2009. Unite were paying it off at a healthy $8k a month, and I’m not sure how close they got to paying it off but obviously the payments slowed to a trickle and may have stopped completely for all we know. So, it’s over YEARS that Unite have failed to pay up. And some of this money was taken from the paypackets of employees but not forwarded on. That’s pretty low,as it could have involved said employees in legal action by IRD.

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1.1

              see what happens when you check your facts first and then post?

              • Richard McGrath

                Yeah ~: )

                It may be months as well, if he withheld PAYE and payment of GST within the last year. I just wish McCarten would clear this confusion up for all of us.

                • bad12

                  McGrath, you seem the only one here conflicted with confusion at the moment so please don’t include ‘us’ in what passes for your thoughts…

            • mickysavage 8.1.1.1.1.2

              It was not his debt. It was a debt owed by an entity associated with Unite Union. And there are arrangements to have it repaid.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.2

          Your interest in other people’s finances is touching.

          But they can sort it out with the IRD themselves, no need for you guys to obsess over it.

          • Richard McGrath 8.1.1.2.1

            Thanks. Just concerned Unite might be accruing penalties and interest that would gobble up union member’s money, that’s all.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Thanks for your concern. They can handle it, but I’m sure if they need your help, they’ll give you a call.

              • just saying

                How does a union come to be paying tax anyway?
                Where are the profits?

                • McFlock

                  wasn’t it a gst and paye fuckup off a business arm of the union – the actual thing was a ltd company?

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  As a union, it doesnt pay ‘income tax’, but surplus are retained for benefits of members

                • Bill

                  If a union has any monies coming in from a source apart from dues, then there is IRD and gst and all sorts.

                  Wanna, for example, run a benefit gig of some description? Welcome to the world of bureaucratic accountancy, audited accounts and so on.

            • Murray Olsen 8.1.1.2.1.2

              Due to your concern about the financial plight of Unite members, we expect that you will be joining the campaign for a living wage. Guess how you make me feel, Mr McGrath. Take your bullshit back to the sewer.

        • karol 8.1.1.3

          Aren’t you in the least concerned, or happy about the kinds of political policies McCarten will foreground – or his kind of campaign strategies?

          Some say he will lead a more grass-roots focused campaign than in recent years.

        • BM 8.1.1.4

          According to KiwiBlog

          The documents for UNITE Support Services show it was finally liquidated on 29 May 2013 with no funds available for creditors.

          http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/1274108/documents

          I think the chances of McCarten paying the IRD the money owed is some what remote.

          • Tracey 8.1.1.4.1

            If Mccarten today said the union is paying it back, do you think he is lying, or that maybe the Union has funds other than from UNITE Support Services? It must run its finances through some vehicle if the one it previously used is liquidated?

            Do you object to the national Government having six years to chase all tax evaders and not having done so? how outraged are you? Can you point me to similar outrage expressed at WO and Kiwiblog?

            • Melb 8.1.1.4.1.1

              I think he is lying.

              Over the last couple of years the Govt has allocated a heap of new funds for the IRD to investigate and prosecute tax evasion. Good to see it.

              • Tracey

                have they issued proceedings against Mccarten?

                • McFlock

                  yeah, it’s not like they haven’t detected it, which cuts at least half of the investigation problem right now. And he’s made several statements acknowledging it, so a prosecution would be a slam dunk if it were that serious.

                • lprent

                  have they issued proceedings against Mccarten?

                  No and as far as I’m aware all of the tax issues were resolved or arrangements for resolution were made long ago. Besides he wasn’t liable. It was some offshoot from Unite that had the issues.

              • bad12

                Prove this piece of idiot drivel please, from Greymouth to Kaitaia Slippery’s National Government has sacked at least half the provincial workforce of IRD leaving only a skeleton staff unable to chase business tax that hasn’t been paid and simply being the rubber stamp for PAYE and GST payments that cannot be avoided by the individual…

                • Richard McGrath

                  Kudos to Key then! How many more daywalkers remain to drive a stake through?

                  • the pigman

                    Yes, sack that lot of scumbags at IRD…!

                    Wait a second, that would mean your concern about unpaid tax of unite is predicated on sheer hypocrisy?

                    … eh?

          • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1.4.2

            …. paying the IRD owed is remote ?

            Is that the same ‘remote’ regarding the GST tax that National never paid for the broadcasting funds they spent under the direction of Stephen Joyce in 2005 election

      • Tiger Mountain 8.1.2

        What about the Waitemata Trust and other blind trusts where the torys hide their dosh?
        What about the number of tory MPs that are personal multi millionaires voting for 50 cents on minimum wage and poverty for many?
        What about Sir Douglas Graham with fingers in the till and keeps his knighthood?

        When the sewer shows as much interest in these types of issues as one union’s finances, whose members have seen fit to keep Matt on, some more interest may be shown.

        Meanwhile, if Matt can help get the vote out and get John Phillip ShonKey giving his Hawaii pool guy longer hours after November he will have been a good hire.

        • Tracey 8.1.2.1

          That’s different

        • Richard McGrath 8.1.2.2

          I can’t for the life of me see why Douglas Arthur Montrose Graham, 72, pensioner of Auckland, kept his gong after the fiasco at Lombard. It’s an utter disgrace.

          P.S. Don’t forget the leaders of both our major political parties are multi-millionaires. And sorry, I forgot the state of a union’s finances (including tax obligations) should be kept secret, especially from union members and employees, at all times and never be the subject of any interest from investigators.

          • Tracey 8.1.2.2.1

            “kept his gong after the fiasco at Lombard. ”

            yes you do. Key didnt take it off him. Which he has the power to do. he chose not to. So let’s pop that up against a COS.

            • Richard McGrath 8.1.2.2.1.1

              Key should have stripped him – couldn’t agree more. In fact you would probably enjoy this:

              http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/schadenfreude-thy-name-is-graham.html

              • Tracey

                My uncle once stood against him in the remuera electorate. As a younge rperson I overhead the stories of the baackstabbing and bitchiness that abound sin those selection process (no wonder national wants them held in secret)… They made my Aunt cry on my mother’s shoulders in our living room.

                Dirty didnt even begin to cover it. Nasty and vindictive comes to mind.

                Needless to say have never voted National.

          • Huginn 8.1.2.2.2

            I don’t have a problem with Doug Graham keeping his knighthood. He deserves it for the work he did with Treaty settlements.

          • felix 8.1.2.2.3

            Richard: “And sorry, I forgot the state of a union’s finances (including tax obligations) should be kept secret, especially from union members and employees, at all times and never be the subject of any interest from investigators.”

            Seeing as how literally no-one on this thread is saying any of those things, I guess you’re only as forgetful as the rest of us.

    • Richard McGrath 8.2

      A news item in Stuff in 2011 said Unite also owed $58k in GST, so they appear to be tax evaders on two counts. They were paying a total debt of $134k off @ $8k a month at that time, so why is it not paid off yet??

      Matt may be interested to learn that last month a Taranaki man was jailed for 9 months over a GST matter involving $24k, small fry compared to his own debt. Do we know how much is still owing? he’s had FIVE YEARS to clear up this matter, this is starting to sound like deliberate tax evasion to me. Come on Matt, “pay your fair share”.

      I’m starting to wonder whether Cunliffe did this to totally destroy McCarten. You just couldn’t make this up – exquisite!

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        Yeah, it’s almost as good as libertarians who accept taxpayer funding for things they want.
        Without a serious/terminal cancer diagnosis to deal with, too.

        • Richard McGrath 8.2.1.1

          Tell you what, if the gummint stop taxing me, I’ll pay for all “public” services. And if Matt was as sick as you suggest, perhaps he should have handed the job over to someone else instead of using his illness as an excuse to evade paying tax.

          • Richard McGrath 8.2.1.1.1

            That’s all “public” services that I use personally.

            • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Ah, so you refuse to pay for the public benefits you reap as a result of other people using those services?

              What about the private benefit of other people using those services – or are all your patients 100% privately funded?

              • Richard McGrath

                Yes I would refuse to pay for any perceived benefit on my part, as those using “public” services also benefit from my non-use (or user-pays use) of them.

                You would have to ask the patients I see about their funding – I am employed as a locum GP at an hourly rate independent of how people pay for the services.

                • McFlock

                  I thought you said you had a practice? I’ve always imagined locums as the (essential) ronin of the primary care system :)

                  Sounds like a lot of bureaucracy – that would need to be factored in, too (the costs of allowing a single person to “opt out”). My private charity really isn’t inclined to fund your efforts to avoid being a hypocrite.

                  Tell you what, if you really want to stop being a hypocrite, you are welcome to emigrate at any time.

                  I guess you enjoy this social and economic environment that has enabled you to become moderately successful in your chosen profession. We provide the roads your patients travel on to get there, the codes that mean you can rely pretty solidly on your builder for the offices you work in, the training that allows you to practise competently in a diverse and challenging role, and the very currency that means you needn’t take payment in chickens and sacks of spuds. Taxation is the fee you pay to the rest of society for that service, and more.

                  The only other thing that might be warranted from you is a polite “than-you” and you can be on your way.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    I had a general practice for 18 years, then switched to mainly working in specialist alcohol and drug services and so had to pass my registered patients on to other doctors in the practice.

                    As for emigrating, not quite, but I am departing soon for work in Australia looking after the medical needs of asylum seekers on Christmas Island.

                    You’re beginning to sound like Obama – “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.” etc. Designed to squash and denigrate individual achievement.

                    • are you a methadone-pusher..?

                      ..if so..i wd like word with you..

                      ..phillip ure..

                    • Richard McGrath

                      To Philip Ure – yes I push methadone onto willing customers. They love it and keep coming back for more.

                    • McFlock

                      Just because obama said it does not mean it’s not true.

                      You’re not a “man alone”, everything you do stands on the shoulders of others.

                    • @ mcgrath..

                      ..do you put people who present with amphetamine problems onto the methadone program..?

                      ..what are your thoughts on the fact that methadone is more addictive/harder to kick that the problem it purports to ‘heal’..?

                      ..what are your thoughts on the fact that long-term methadone use turns people into zombies..?

                      ..phillip ure..

                    • Murray Olsen

                      What a surprise that you’ll be gaining from the affront to civilisation that is Christmas Island. Maybe you could complain about the Australian state delivering your patients to you. Wouldn’t it be better if you and Rudders went out on Banksy’s cabbage boat and rounded them up yourself?

                    • the pigman

                      Phillip Ure – Richard McGrath can be read about here: http://www.libertarianz.org.nz/richard-mcgrath/

                      So was it 20 or 18 years in general practice, Rich?

                      Someone get the “research unit” onto this prick…

                      Oh no wait, he’s just a deluded tory tr*ilmix.

                      As you were…

                      … eh?

                    • freedom

                      What you’re saying is, you are a doctor trained on the taxpayer dollar who now thinks user pays is a good thing and is announcing he is about to profit from the inhumane treatment and unjustifiable imprisonment of innocent people.

                      Do you not see how some people might have a problem with that ?

                      p.s. https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/15104_10152090653204355_673588501_n.jpg

                      p.p.s. If you were not being paid I suspect the phrase ‘volunteer work’ would have surfaced.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Philip – a discussion about drug treatment is not really relevant to this thread. Happy to discuss another time.

                      Pigman – this is getting fairly petty isn’t it – 20 years vs 18 – please…

                      “Freedom” – you seem to be suggesting either that the asylum seekers don’t deserve any medical treatment because that would somehow be exploiting them. Even though they don’t pay for that treatment. Go figure.

                    • freedom

                      Do you have a permanent telescope set up in your yard or do you just use binoculars to follow the point squadrons sailing over your head ?

                      btw, Your most recent warped interpretations of the commentary from various posters, myself included, is proving to be more inexplicable than yesterdays.

                      At first glance there was a suspicion you might be a person wanting to engage in sensible debate about complex issues but sadly you are just another tr–l peddling baubles and demanding diamonds

                    • Richard McGrath

                      This resort to personal insults is rather tiresome, “Freedom”. I much prefer debating actual principles than dealing with insults and insinuation. You are dragging the quality of discourse on this thread ever downward. Please lift your game.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      McFlock – you are right, although I would have put it slightly differently – we stand beside the efforts of others. Standing on their shoulders sounds a little too much like trampling over the top of them. Free trade, the division of labour, principles of morality – all these assume that people have to interact with each other, that no man is an island, that we are not isolated beings totally oblivious to the lives of others around us.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Murray Olsen – FYI, I was one of fifteen or so doctors who put our names to a ninety page letter outlining the unsatisfactory medical treatment that some of the asylum seekers were receiving on Christmas Island. Parts of it were published in The Guardian and the press used it to put pressure on immigration minister Scott Morrison to do something about the processes on the island. Part of my motivation to return there is to see how much has changed in the five months since my previous contract ended.

                      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/19/revealed-doctors-outrage-over-unsafe-refugee-patients

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Pigman – if you actually read the link you provided to my bio on the Libz website, you will note it states “nearly 20″ years that I spent in general practice. If elsewhere I said this time period was 18 years, wherein lies the problem?

                    • McFlock

                      “on” or “beside” notwithstanding, the point is that you cannot separate the benefits you receive from private enterprise from the benefits you receive from taxpayer expenditure.

                      Frankly, paying tax is a much cheaper deal than figuring out exactly how much you should return to the government as “proceeds of government theft”.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      McFlock – your comments apply to the status quo, but it shouldn’t be difficult for technology to separate out private and public goods and individuals could be billed for the purchase or use of both – wouldn’t be hard.

                    • McFlock

                      okay, so once again someone is waving away the basic problems with their ideal society with the magic wand “technology”.

                      We already have automated budgeting/charging down pat. The problem is one of separating the indirect good you get from the private good a patient gets from healthcare. That means some manner of accounting office needs to know exactly how much of the road network a patient of yours used to get to your surgery, then charge them for their benefit and you for the indirect benefit of having a patient. And replicate that by the connections 4 million people have with half a million companies each day. And then audit the data. And remember about people who go to a public park on a sunny day – they need to be charged, too. Some manner of video surveillance of all public spaces with automated face recognition and check-in/out systems to determine period of use would be appropriate.

                      We could do that already, but why the fuck would anyone want to? Why are some folks in so much terror of not getting their “money’s worth” that they’d rather NZ was turned into a police state, where every move is tracked and evaluated so you can be charged for your “use” of a clean waterway?

                • freedom

                  If you are not a tr-ll, you do a very good impersonation of one. Exhibit one being so oversensitive for being called on the realities of your choices and statements.

                  Insults?

                  I have simply re-stated some facts (supplied by you);

                  :That you got a med degree on the taxpayer, yet you support user pays.

                  :You are going to work at an internment camp set up for people who do not deserve to be there. (and btw, no-one here is going to believe your spin that I am somehow advocating for no medical treatment of the detainees, that is far more of an insult than anything I wrote to you. )

                  :You have either a clear inability to see the point, or a deliberate tendency to look another way.

                  p.s. freedom is a simple and proud noun, it does not need a capital to appear important. As a Libetarianz I thought you would have more respect for the word.

                  • Richard McGrath

                    As you are using “freedom” as a name/title, I thought it appropriate to use a capital.

                    For one so interested in spelling you spelt ‘Libertarianz’ incorrectly, and got the grammar wrong – should be libertarian, or member of Libertarianz. ‘A Libertarianz’ would be like saying ‘a Labour’.

                    So, if a doctor works in the Christmas Island detention centres, he is working in an internment camp and you imply this is a bad thing as he is then somehow supporting the system that put the refugees there. And if no doctors can be found to work there, the needs of the refugees are unmet and they suffer. So what is it to be, do they receive medical care or not?

                    • freedom

                      If the doctors turn up, do their job, get paid and leave, then yeah they are most certainly aiding and abetting in the process.

                      There are much better options. The doctors who go simply refuse payment to work and continue to work whilst they refuse to leave. Thus creating an international media incident not related to the propagandised violence that normally accompanies the centres.

                      Your idea of refusal to treat and withholding medical care is a very harsh call and it is quite worrying that you, a doctor, would even raise the possibility (especially unprovoked).

                      Refusing to leave and/or refusal to accept payment whilst supplying assistance and encouragement to people in need would suffice as a strong message.

                      Simply, be they illegal immigrants or refugees or suspected terrorists or just strangers in trouble, they are still people and should be treated with the same dignity and respect every human being deserves.

                      In all fairness though Richard, I am quite confident your motives for going are more altruistic than the healthy contract rates suggest and yes I deliberately needled the point, but if you had not been expressing such hypocritical values to begin with, your work at the camps may have been greeted with a warmer sentiment instead of being seen as a rather shabby and off white ‘but i do good works’ flag.

                      (re the grammar stuff: freedom is what it is, if i did not use a capital why would I expect others to? re the Libs stuff … it was a combo of typo and don’t care, The deliberate use of Libertarianz was because i care so little for the values of that organisation i see little point in worrying how it is represented. Maybe if enough people make enough errors in referring to it, it will evaporate into a haze of typographical confusion. Much like the ideological confusion that reigns over it)

          • McFlock 8.2.1.1.2

            Perhaps he should have – although it’s not an “excuse”, it’s a reason (if it were an “excuse”, he wouldn’t owe a penny). But either way he fucked up, and is working through the tax system process for them that fuck up. Like everyone else who gets into a dispute with the IRD.

            But if the IRD is settled or in the process of being settled, why are you so aggravated?

            • Richard McGrath 8.2.1.1.2.1

              Two reasons – McCarten is so zealous about people paying higher amounts of tax, and I don’t believe he is still paying or will ever pay the money owed to the IRD.

              • McFlock

                Fair point, but then it’s probably good for someone advocating for higher tax to be on the bad side of the IRD at least once, for whatever reason. Teaches humility.

                The second point is hardly your business – it’s between him and the IRD, to be sorted to the IRD’s satisfaction.

                • JustLikeTigerWoods

                  It’s not only the fact he doesn’t appear to walk his own talk, it’s that his presence is so counter-productive.

                  Each time Labour bring up the “must pay your fair share” narrative, Key can make the joke about UNITE. It will stick. It will be repeated. And there’s nothing they can say in response.

                  • McFlock

                    thanks for your concern, but it’s not that big an issue.

                    Tax policy is one of dozens of left policies labour have released or will release soon. I’m sure the single-line “joke” mccarten opens labour up to will be overshadowed by his qualities that are actually relevant to the position.

          • Tracey 8.2.1.1.3

            You poor thing. I emphasis the poor, cos deep down you know you are well off and sometimes hear yourself bemoaning all the tax you pay, as though tax hurts you so much more than others, even though you have so much more money left after tax than most of th e population and you wonder if you have gone insane?

            • Richard McGrath 8.2.1.1.3.1

              No – I am well off, and worked for it. I have long advocated for a tax free band for the lowest earners (no tax for the first $50k). I regard taxation on those at the bottom as cruel and unusual punishment. I would bemoan paying tax far less if there was a tax free band for low earners, and a flat tax thereafter. Progressive taxation was part of the communist manifesto and just a kick at the wealthy based on envy. It just encourages tax avoidance. And high rates result in less tax revenue. My personal wealth is immaterial to the argument. And I’m not that wealthy – my wife and I drive Japanese cars that are both 19 years old. Don’t forget that one road to wealth is being frugal with the money you have.

              • Tracey

                I apologise for that wee outburst Richard.

                We both agree on this. I would like to see a taxfree threshold on the first 20K moving toward $35k over the following ten years…

                • JustLikeTigerWoods

                  I also support no tax on the first 50K.

                • Richard McGrath

                  I think Australia don’t tax the first $18k of income if you are a citizen or resident there. We could learn from them.

                  • Jim Nald

                    Wonderful Singapore, I was told, has no personal income tax for the first $20,000 for residents.

                    Singapore – who here would have thought! So it’s not so radical after all and the sky won’t fall. Please take note, David Parker, the Labour caucus and party membership.

              • lprent

                And sales taxes? After all those are currently the MAJOR taxes on the poor in terms of their income and are barely noticed by the very affluent.

                But lets assume sales and business taxes remain as they are. That government costs aren’t changed.

                If the free tax band is set at $50k, the how high do you think that the flat tax would have to be to cover current government revenue – I figure something like 80-90%. Now there is an incentive not to get high incomes. Of course it’d make accountants and lawyers very happy.

                Basically you sound like a nut… But I suggest that what you are suggesting is to remove all costs from the government, leave sales taxes in place and then have a very low flat rate income tax. Effectively taxing the poor whilst removing any benefits. They’d have to pay for basics like education out of an already inadequate income.

                • Richard McGrath

                  I suggest eliminating GST and sales/excise taxes which would probably benefit the less well-off more than the rich pricks.

                  Any household earning less than $110k is effectively paying no tax anyway, as this table which David Farrar obtained from the Ministry of Finance shows:

                  http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/nettaxpaid.png

                  So a tax free band of individual income up to $50k is replicating this. The huge bureaucratic cost of double handling of people’s money by IRD then WINZ could be eliminated by just leaving the money in people’s wallets. Nothing “nutty” about this is there?

                  Flat taxes don’t need to be high, in fact examples abound that suggest cutting marginal tax rates actually increases tax revenue:

                  UK, 1979: Chancellor Geoffrey Howe cuts marginal tax rate from 83% (!) to 60%. Before the cuts, the top 1% of taxpayers were paying 11% of total income tax received. Nine years later, despite the hefty cuts, they were paying 14% of total income tax.
                  UK, 1980s: Chancellor Nigel Lawson cuts marginal rate further, to 40%. By 1997, the top 1% of taxpayers are paying 21% of income tax received. Thus halving the marginal tax rate doubled the income tax receipts from the wealthiest 1%.
                  US, 1920s: Presidents Coolidge and Harding reduced the top tax rate from 73% to 25%. The share of tax paid by earners making over $100,000 nearly doubled between 1921 and 1925, from 28% to 51%.
                  US, 1961: The top tax rate under Eisenhower had crept up to a staggering 91%. The Democrats supported by Kennedy dropped this to 70%. He stated, a few months before a sniper removed the occipital lobes of his cerebral hemispheres: “[T]ax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut the tax rates…” As a result of the Kennedy tax cuts, those earning over $50,000 increased the amount of tax paid by 40%, and paid 15% of income tax received in 1966, as opposed to 12% in 1963. Total income tax received went up from $69b in 1964 to $96b in 1968.
                  US, 1981: Under President Reagan, Congress reduced the top tax rate from 70% to 50%. Between 1981 and 1988 the top 1% of tax earners increased their share of tax received from 18 to 28%, while the bottom 50% of taxpayers decreased their contribution to income tax received from 7.5% to 5.7% over this same period.
                  US, 1991: George H W Bush, elected on a platform of “no new taxes”, supported the introduction of new taxes including raising the top tax rate from 21 to 31%. The net result was that the wealthiest Americans paid $6.5b less in 1991 than they had the previous year before the tax was introduced. Federal tax results as a proportion of GDP dropped too.
                  US, 2003: George W Bush reduced the top tax rate from nearly 40% to 35%. Between 2004 and 2007 federal tax receipts increased by $785b, mainly from the wealthy.
                  In 2000, the top 60% of US taxpayers paid all the income tax. The bottom 40% paid no net tax.
                  Canada, 1990: Top federal tax rate cut from 45% to 29%; share of tax paid by top 10% of taxpayers increases from 29% to 45%.
                  France, 1996: Gradual decrease in top income tax rate from 48% to 40%; result: higher tax receipts.
                  Hong Kong: Low flat income tax rate of 16% (or choice of graduated rates up to 17% maximum). Result: purchasing power parity 7th highest in the world and closing in on the US.
                  India, 1985: Top tax rate reduced from 65% to 50%; tax revenue the following year rises by 20%.
                  India, 1997: Tax rates reduced across the board; result: no drop in revenues but increase in number of taxpayers over following year, with rise in tax revenue over following 6 years and 50% increase in compliance.
                  Russia, 2001: Flat tax of 13% introduced. Result: 25% increase in personal income tax receipts the following year.

                  I don’t think many people realise we already live in such a redistributive society that less than 10% of households in this country pay nearly 71% of net income tax (with WFF and other transfers accounted for). Interesting eh?

                  • lprent

                    I’m on short time now. So just a few brief points.

                    The US equality of opportunity massively reduced right after Reagan’s tax changes. I wonder why?

                    In each of the other cases you are describing the indirect tax components rose in everything from water to education to goods. Either soon afterwards or the tax brackets got adjusted.

                    Incidentally, just how many of those governments went broke and dropped the flat taxes? Or they massively raised other taxes?

                    Basically your examples are completely useless because you don’t bother to look at anything apart from income taxes.

                    Rather than pasting, just use a link..

                    You still look like a nut – a one eyed one at that…

                    • Richard McGrath

                      “The US equality of opportunity massively reduced” – just how was that measured?

                      I’m not sure how many governments went broke after increasing their income tax revenue or massively raised other taxes – not many I suspect – that question smells strongly of a red herring.

                      Still not sure what is nutty about a collection of statistics which provide backing for my assertions – in the past you have asked for cites from me; I note you don’t often ask your fellow travellers for the same.

                  • Hayden

                    Any household earning less than $110k is effectively paying no tax anyway, as this table which David Farrar obtained from the Ministry of Finance shows:

                    Oh, bullshit.

                    That only works by Bill English’s dishonest methods. You might as well say that Bill English and two DPB mums pay no income tax.

                    • Hayden

                      PS My apologies if I’ve misinterpreted you there, but that statistic is misused by people a lot, when it really should fail the common sense test, if not a 2-minute exercise with an IRD calculator.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Perhaps it’s bullshit, but those are official ministry figures. Are you saying we shouldn’t believe anything the government tells us?

                    • Hayden

                      It’s technically true, if you include “net of transfers” at the end, but it’s misleading. The corollary of that statement is “the top 10% of taxpayers contribute nothing towards social welfare” which it were true would raise the question of why they’re so upset about it.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Hayden I think you’ll find the top 10% of households (not taxpayers) contribute ALL of the funds used for public welfare. Not sure how you arrived at that corollary. And many of that same group provide employment for others which most definitely contributes to their welfare! Me included – for 2 years up until last December I employed a gardener at $23 an hour.

                    • Hayden

                      Because it’s “net of transfers”. Social welfare is in “transfers”. You can’t have it both ways.

                    • McFlock

                      I suggest that we should look closely at what the figures actually are before accepting that they are whatever a national party propagandist tells us they are.

                      The first point I’d suggest is that it looks like that pic only looks at income tax and maybe benefits/WFF credits.

                      Averaged out, that table’s accuracy is as maybe, but to use it to argue that “Any household earning less than $110k is effectively paying no tax anyway,” is a blatant abuse of logic and the English language.

                      On average most people might be pretty healthy, but that doesn’t mean that any particular person is pretty healthy.

              • Sosoo

                You don’t understand why we have tax, so why should anyone listen to you?

                The political program of the left isn’t to spend time trying to convince complete morons how modern societies actually work, but to banish those morons to the margins of society. It worked pretty well in New Zealand from 1936-1984, but it’s about time we got back to it.

              • Ron

                Good Grief man 19 year old cars? Do you not have any feeling at all for the Global Climate Change, Get those cars off the road and use public transport.

                And I’m not that wealthy – my wife and I drive Japanese cars that are both 19 years old. Don’t forget that one road to wealth is being frugal with the money you have.

                • Richard McGrath

                  What public transport? I live rurally and make house calls to patients miles away, as does my wife. And the failure of global surface temperatures to rise over the past 16 or so years does make me wonder about whether the whole climate change industry is just one insatiably greedy money-sucking con job.

                  My cars serve us well, thank you. Best solution to my current situation. If I lived in Melbourne or somewhere else with decent transport alternatives I’d have to consider it though.

                  • freedom

                    I love it when bla bla blah blah call for user pays and rant about how they pay their own way blah blah blah blah so why can’t others and it is all so easy because they made all the right decisions blablah blah blah blah

                    remind us all if you would be so kind,

                    what exactly was your student debt when you left medical school ?

                  • felix

                    “My cars serve us well, thank you. Best solution to my current situation.”

                    You might want to look at importing yourselves a couple of decent off-road vehicles for those house calls.

                    That is if you’re serious about going Galt and shunning our public roading system.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Who said anything about going Galt? As I have written before – as soon as the state stop taxing me, I will start paying directly for use of the infrastructure they currently own.

                    • felix

                      And what makes you think you get to dictate the terms of how you use our roads?

                      In or out mate.

                    • Richard McGrath

                      Felix – what makes you think you can make it a black and white choice? You’re effectively saying there is no alternative to the current fucked-up mixed economy.

                    • McFlock

                      there are always alternatives.

                      It’s just that yours are stupid.

                      We should be changing our “fucked up mixed economy” by making it more taxpayer-funded, not less.

                    • felix

                      No Richard, I’m saying your alternative – in which Richard gets billed for exactly the bits of road he drives on as if that’s the only benefit he gets from living in a society with a functioning road network – is infantile at best.

              • Murray Olsen

                If you’re looking for the origin of the idea of progressive taxation, you need to go back to Adam Smith. Try to peek over the top of your ideological blinkers for once, FFS.

                • Richard McGrath

                  What you’re saying is: abandon your principles and take a pragmatic view.

                  • greywarbler

                    Whose principles? Yours? Or perhaps abandon your ‘principals’ is what you mean, perhaps you should go with the secondaries. Skip down the pragmatic other path and realise you can’t have everything your way.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.2

        The government is still waiting for the GST National party didnt pay for the broadcasting allocation in 2005 election

        • William 8.2.2.1

          Not quite. The government did receive the GST because it had to be paid by the broadcasters. That is because the broadcasters have turnover of greater than $2m and so are required to deal with GST on an invoice basis*. That means the GST is due to IRD when the broadcasters issue an invoice, not just when they receive payment.
          http://www.ird.govt.nz/gst/gst-registering/get-ready/#Accountingbasis

          I recollect that National then paid the broadcasters the GST value as a later payment which was a donation that provided public service advertising for charitable organisations. Of course it remains that National received 12.5% more television advertising value in that election than they were entitled to.

          *It’s possible the broadcasters deal with GST using the hybrid basis, but the requirement to pay when the invoice is issued is the same.
          End pedant mode.

          • Richard McGrath 8.2.2.1.1

            Thanks William. Bottom line is that National overspent, so rather than chasing them for GST, the govt should be prosecuting them for exceeding the spending limit for TV advertising.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.2.1.1.1

              That would have meant the final days would have had no TV ads, Brash would have disapeared from our screens. No wonder Joyce preferred to break the rules, inspite of the booking agency telling them in advance about the GST. Of course since they knew all along they came out quickly after the election, hoping it would die over xmas

  9. greywarbler 9

    I got worried as I read tinfoilhat but the story had a happy ending. At the end of his sentence he doesn’t approve of the appointment.

    So that’s a relief. The move has the accolade of doubt from Al(uminium). Matt will be MS sizes up all his good points and they seem to reach for a high five. So good for Matt and Labour together

    And as for Matthew Hooten spinning. Those old spinning tops, they used to get the best result from them by whipping them. So keep on Matthew, we’ll help you make your turn left.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATL6_nSNfi8

  10. Matthew Hooton 10

    There is no “spin” involved at all.

    David Cunliffe has spoken passionately that “the economic policies of the last 30 years have mostly been an unmitigated disaster” and that Labour shouldn’t “back away from creating policies that can turn us away from the economic insanity of the last three decades.”

    You were probably at that speech. It was given to a branch of the New Lynn Labour Party.

    You will find that Helen Clark was prime minister for nine of those 30 years.

    • Danske 10.1

      Don’t be so harsh, Mr Hooton.
      A minor mistake: David meant 21 out of 30 years. Helen Clark’s tenure must be excluded.

    • Tracey 10.2

      John Key thinks WFF is “communism by stealth” and yet six years later here it still is…

      I hope he is moving away from policy of the Clark Government, specifically Sir Michael “I should have been in the national party” Cullen. There’s a reason National rarely attacked cullen on the govt’s finances cos he was doing exactly what they would have. hence english could say NZ was left in a strong position to deal with the GFC.

      • Richard McGrath 10.2.1

        Absolutely right Tracey. Labour-lite are too gutless to make any real changes. We still have progressive taxation, higher GST, minimum wage laws, majority government ownership of utilities, etc. You lefties out there ought to be grinning.

    • mickysavage 10.3

      Note the use of the word “mostly” Matthew. 21 out of 30 years is “mostly”.

      • Matthew Hooton 10.3.1

        Are you seriously saying, including to all the people who read and comment on this blog, that the Cunliffe project is not about reversing 30 years of “neoliberalism”? Is it not about finally shifting Labour on from the world view of people like Phil Goff, Annette King and Trevor Mallard? Are you saying his basic economic policy outlook is not to the left of Michael Cullen and Helen Clark?

        • Tracey 10.3.1.1

          left of Michael Cullen would still see him sitting comfortably sitting in National.

        • phillip ure 10.3.1.2

          i would hope it is..

          phillip ure..

        • mickysavage 10.3.1.3

          I am not saying anything Matthew. And BTW I do not accept your framing. Your over emphasis on random strands of words said a couple of years ago and the way you hold them up as concrete proof is disingenuous. How about concentrating on the big picture?

        • finbar. 10.3.1.4

          Matthew,when are you going to swallow the rat,and own up to the fact that more super brains than you agree that “neoliberlalism”did exist and was a massive greed grasp for those egos that believe wealth its culture and usury is best shared by their class than others.

    • Pete 10.4

      Matthew, there was a little event in 2007-10 called the global financial crisis. You may recall it was quite nasty and the IMF estimated global losses of USD$4 trillion.

      Sure, regulation may temper the kind of gains the world enjoyed in 2001-2007, but it can also prevent the kind of precipitous drop suffered since then. It’s not a dirty word and we shouldn’t be shy of government intervention to ensure financial and social stability.

    • Tracey 10.5

      Michelle Boag thinks lying on a CV is a small thing…… whodathunkit

      • Puckish Rouge 10.5.1

        And Cunliffe agrees…sorry i forgot its called “refreshing” now isn’t it

        • McFlock 10.5.1.1

          No, it’s called “using smaller words so tories might be able to understand it”

        • Tracey 10.5.1.2

          I don’t care if Cunliffe agrees.

          there is a reason someone leaves the word “incomplete” off their CV. They want people to think they completed it.

          • Puckish Rouge 10.5.1.2.1

            I agree with you

          • Murray Olsen 10.5.1.2.2

            I get to see a lot of CVs. I’ve never seen “incomplete” beside a qualification. It would mean the person had failed to obtain the qualification, or to be extremely charitable, they were still completing it. In the second case it would be in a separate section. On the other hand, I see the CVs of scientists, who are mostly fairly honest. The people Michele Boag deals with may well do things differently.

    • framu 10.6

      matthew hooten – “There is no “spin” involved at all.”

      thats got to be the biggest joke ive heard in years – you spin so much hoots youve got a circular keyboard

  11. Notanymore 11

    Personalities.
    Cunliffe, McCarten, Caucus, ABC, Kelly, Norman, – interesting times ahead.

  12. Pete 12

    How’s Matt’s health? Is his cancer now in remission?

    • Tracey 12.1

      How’s Dunne’s conscience, still in remission?

      • Pete 12.1.1

        I think you might be confusing me with Pete George.

        • Tracey 12.1.1.1

          OOOOOPS.

        • mickysavage 12.1.1.2

          I think you might be confusing me with Pete George.

          Tracey how could you :grin:

          • Tracey 12.1.1.2.1

            I KNOW!!!!!!

            and it was such good line too, I thought ;)

          • Pete 12.1.1.2.2

            It’s probably not the first time that’s happened. Sometimes I think I should change my handle, but then I think of this scene from Office Space:

            Samir: No one in this country can ever pronounce my name right. It’s not that hard: Na-ghee-na-na-jar. Nagheenanajar.

            Michael Bolton: Yeah, well, at least your name isn’t Michael Bolton.

            Samir: You know, there’s nothing wrong with that name.

            Michael Bolton: There was nothing wrong with it… until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.

            Samir: Hmm… well, why don’t you just go by Mike instead of Michael?

            Michael Bolton: No way! Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.

    • mickysavage 12.2

      Yep. Clean bill of health. Startling really because I can recall when it was thought that his condition was terminal. Claire Trevett tweeted that he said today “my Christian friends say it’s because I still have work to do. There is unfinished business.”

  13. Danske 13

    “my Christian friends say it’s because I still have work to do. There is unfinished business.”
    I hope that does not include losing the 2014 election.

    In that regard, David should have selected someone else, but not Mccarten.

  14. Ad 14

    Brings mongrel and common touch that DC doesn’t have at all.

    Pulls Unite over as asset, and speaks union language which where most of the Labour funding and activist base are.

    Could face down any member of caucus.

    Too left for me (and many of caucus) but I’ll await improved messaging, coherence and performance before I judge.

    • lprent 14.1

      Too left for me (and many of caucus) but…

      One of the interesting things about a CoS position is that they aren’t the policy makers. They are the policy implementers. That makes a hell of a difference. The problem right now is that what policy that Labour has released has been pretty good at its base, but outright incoherent because it wasn’t thought through about message and relevant detail. It has been frustrating as hell.

      Stand-out examples for me were the low-cost housing policy that appeared to completely exclude Auckland because it was talking about sub-$300k houses on their own sections. When that would barely cover the cost of a section through most of Auckland. The curious omissions a month ago on parental leave. Fill in a few others.

      That is what needs to be looked at and peoples arses put in a grinder for. Problem is that it is damn close to the election to start getting the quality control under control.

      • Ad 14.1.1

        I am not convinced his politics can be subordinate to the role.

        If he kicks the media teams’ ass and stops Cunliffe making last minute changes to speeches (because over-control mode kicks in when DC smells incompetence around him), that will be a start.

        Cunliffe is also signalling clearly to ABC he has both Affiliate and Non-Affiliate unions in his hand; that will well and truly matter when mustering delegates for List conference. It’s a Don’t Fuck With Me signal.

        It’s also a signal Cunliffe knows donors may not flow this time, so he had to beef up organisational muscle to counter National.

        Also, calling a media conference on a “back room” role is exceedingly deliberate re above points. The scruffy look and feel is a deliberate balance to DC. And he’s to-camera from the outset.

  15. xtasy 15

    This is a stunning development, and it will be MAKE or BREAK now for David Cunliffe and his new Chief of Staff. David Cunliffe is playing his last cards, and whether this one will be a trump card will need to be seen.

    It is gutsy, to say the least, but prepare that there could be a kind of “purge” of caucus shortly, where some may decide to jump ship and not stand again, which may be a blessing in disguise, but I have some mixed feelings about this development.

    Congratulation to Matt McCarten, who has had a colourful political journey indeed. He managed to start and boost a Unite Union at times where most other unions were struggling to survive. If he can pull such a challenge and success off with the wider left, and Labour as the core, then he will make history.

    If this does not get Labour ahead, it will be the end of the Labour Party as we have known it, it will be the transition to the creation and foundation of a New LEFT PARTY.

    • Tracey 15.1

      God, I hope there is a purge of some of the caucus.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        There is no mechanism currently available to enact any kind of caucus purge. Sorry.

        • Tracey 15.1.1.1

          Surely they can do what Key apparently did, was sit with the deadwood and quietly explain where the future lies…of course the truth is many have actually abandoned the direction that party is moving… but that’s another story.

          annette king scored some good hits on Ryall, including a prima facie case he knew about some fraud…did it get any media traction?

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1

            Key does the explaining, then offers a selection of sticks/carrots to move deadwood on.

            CEO of the undertakers association, Westpac wealth banking, ambassadorships etc. Labour can offer next to nothing when it is out of power.

            • Tracey 15.1.1.1.1.1

              good point.

              dontget me started on westpac and its CEO… Oh the stories I could tell! ;)

            • Tracey 15.1.1.1.1.2

              What do you know about his chap CV?

              former Labour researcher Dave Talbot, who worked for the party’s pollsters UMR Research, was set to be named as the party’s general election campaign manager.

              • Colonial Viper

                Nice guy, very smart, good Labour values, but too Thorndon Bubble for far too long IMO. Of course, i look at the last point as a problem, others in the Labour hierarchy prob view it as a plus.

          • phillip ure 15.1.1.1.2

            re ryall..fraud..

            i covered it..in my commentary on q-time @ parliament..

            ..(last thursday..)

            ..i actually got quite excited about it..

            ..but everyone else seems to have missed it..

            ..but it will be back next week..

            ..i am picking this one has a part 2..

            ..and it was so out of character..

            ..to see ryall not smirking/sneering..

            ..he was more ‘sweating’..

            ..phillip ure..

        • xtasy 15.1.1.2

          No direct “purge” of course, but people who know Matt, they know that he does get jobs done, that he thinks need to get done, one way or another.

          This appointment is made by Cunliffe to cover his back, and to have someone talk straight with members of caucus, whether they like it or not. It is also to have someone deal with other difficulties, e.g. media trying to play tricks.

          And as we can now see more clearly, that David Cunliffe is committed to bring Labour back closer to its roots towards the left of centre (this COS has not been chosen to simply be “neutral”), those in caucus, that may consider to challenge Cunliffe’s leadership, they will get sent “messages”, to perhaps consider making room for “fresh” and willing members to step up to the role.

    • karol 15.2

      It does indeed look like a “House of Cards” – and some people’s card may just be about to fall. Hopefully it will only make the house stronger, and not bring it down.

  16. weka 16

    I don’t know what the story is with McCarten and UNITE, but saying the right doesn’t pay their taxes either doesn’t seem like a smart or ethical thing to do. What’s with all that?

    • Tracey 16.1

      what do you think about the appointment weka?

      I don’t think NOT paying tax is cool, I just find it amusing to see the right so indignant about it, when at their dinner parties the wealthy share their stories on how they “saved” on tax.

      • Melb 16.1.1

        What sort of dinner parties do you go to?

        • Tracey 16.1.1.1

          ones with my brother and his friends/colleagues who earn in the over $200k bracket ( I know cos they talk about money and baches andincmeand stuff they have) and they talk about their methods of reducing tax etc… they vote ACT or National. Again I know cos they talk about it. Also used to call Ms Clark Alan Clark and thought it was outrageously funny. I called them on that once and they did me the courtesy of not doing it again in front of me.

      • McFlock 16.1.2

        lol agreed.

        I mean, if the IRD were going to charge him, they would have done so already. As far as I’m know the issues have been sorted to the IRD’s satisfaction, or are in the process thereof.

        Oh, Macready might jump on board, but we’ll see.

        • weka 16.1.2.1

          “I mean, if the IRD were going to charge him, they would have done so already. As far as I’m know the issues have been sorted to the IRD’s satisfaction, or are in the process thereof.”

          That’s good to know. But as an observation, as someone who didn’t know about the issues, what I’ve seen today is lots of left wing people coming across as saying who cares about tax, the right don’t pay their taxes either. Seemed a strange response. Saying that the issues are sorted makes more sense.

          • McFlock 16.1.2.1.1

            sorted, or being sorted. I.e. it seems that the IRD are aware of them, and they’ve been going through the process for years.

            I’m sort of in the “open mind until process is complete” camp, but it certainly doesn’t seem to have been a blatant dodge with malice aforethought, sort of thing.

            Taxes do need to be paid, but there’s a process for those who don’t.

            • phillip ure 16.1.2.1.1.1

              mcflock..are you trying to deny that fact that $5 billion a year in tax revenue is being ‘criminally’ avoided by the rich/elites..?

              ..and advocating we do nothing about it..

              ..’cos..’something is already being done’..?

              ..have i got that right..?

              ..phillip ure..

              • McFlock

                nah. As usual your comprehension skills are way off.
                Might be a short-term memory problem you have there.

          • phillip ure 16.1.2.1.2

            i think the point..weka..

            ..is the $5 billion in taxes criminally avoided by the tories and their fellow-travellers..

            ..each and every year..

            ..i wd like to hear what labour plan to do to claw that back..

            ..(i recommend a three month amnesty..where what is owed can be paid..with no penalties..

            ..then going gangbusters all over them..)

            phillip ure..

            • Clemgeopin 16.1.2.1.2.1

              Including making tax fraud as a serious criminal offense and jailing the bastards on a pro rata basis depending upon the amount ‘stolen’. That will learn them.

              • aye..!

                ..we must keep saying/reminding people of that figure..

                ..that $5 billion a year the bastards are stealing..

                ..and that is each and every year..

                ..there is yr poverty-ending/busting funding right there..

                ..and this govt has turned a blind-eye to ‘their’ people ripping off close to $30 billion..in criminal-avoidance of tax..

                ..from the rest of new zealand..

                ..since they have been in power..

                ..why are they never questioned on that..?

                ..just how neglectful of their basic duties ..

                ..can our corporate/access-media/politicians be..?

                ..phillip ure..

            • Melb 16.1.2.1.2.2

              The whole $5 billion is avoided by Tories? Where did you get that incredible piece of information??

              • it came from a tax industry expert/insider..in brian bruces’ most excellent documentary on what new zealand has become..

                ..’closing the gaps’..(available online..and a must-watch for anyone who cares about what we have become..and what to do to make this right.)

                ..and a perspective is reached on this when you realise this whole asset-sales shit-fight has failed to reach what one year of getting those taxes due/criminally-dodged by the richest/corporates..and their running-dog lawyers/accountants..

                ….would bring into govt coffers..

                ..this govt has sat on its’ hands while ‘their’ people..elites/corporates have looted $30 billion dollars..from the rest of the country..

                ..(and who is the minister responsible for this criminal-neglect..?

                ..that’d be the ever craven/useless pompadoured dunne..eh..?..)

                ..and our corporate/access-mdia have said/done nothing about this massive scandal..

                ..w.t.f.is up with that..?..eh..?

                ..we have no problem raising the money to fight poverty/make good our country..

                ..get this tax due..and a financial transaction tax on inter-bank dealings..

                ..and we will have money up the wazoo..

                ..(and my formula for an incoming govt..is for parker to go all presbyterian over them..

                ..and to offer a 3 month amnesty for these thieving bastards to pay what is owed..with no penalties..

                ..and then to go gongbusters all over them..for about a year..

                ..then offer another short amnesty..

                ..that should do the trick..

                ..and an extra $5 billion in revenue for the govt..eh..?

                ..what’s not to love about all that..?

                ..phillip ure..

                • (can’t edit..)

                  apologies..i read yr comment as an honest request for information/citation..and answered in kind..

                  ..a re-read shows me it is a repeat of the only counter any rightwinger has been able to come back with..

                  ..as in:..how do i know it is mainly tories/the rich/corporates who are doing this massive rip-off of the country/the rest of us..?

                  ..well..just the fact the working-poor/middleclass pay their taxes in the form of p.a.y.e..

                  ..and that most of them can’t afford the scumbag lawyers/accountants who help them thieve from the rest of us..

                  ..eh..?

                  ..which inevitably leads one to the conclusion it is in the main the rich/tories/corporates who are robbing the rest of us blind..

                  ..to the tune of five fucken billion dollars a year..

                  ..(i want this to be an election issue..)

                  …(and of course there will be some exceptions to that ‘tory’-rule..there always are exceptions to rules..

                  ..but he premise still stands strong..

                  ..that in the main..it is key’-people who are stealing $5 billion dollars a year..and each and every year..

                  ..from the new zealand people/economy)..

                  ..i hope that clarifies that for you..

                  ..phillip ure..

          • Bill 16.1.2.1.3

            You thought the left was lacking in hypocrisy? Good god weka!

      • weka 16.1.3

        Don’t really think anything about the appointment yet Tracey. I found the post interesting, and am just following the comments. My impression of McCarten comes mostly from what he writes, and that varies a lot IMO, but I have no idea how that relates to the job he’s been hired for.

        • Tracey 16.1.3.1

          I figure he is being employed to organise the membership, grow the membership and communicate with the membership.

      • Richard McGrath 16.1.4

        Mr Cunliffe, of course, would never indulge in tax avoidance through the use of trusts, etc., would he?

  17. Skinny 17

    The levy has finally broken a flood of front line campaign activists are coming home. I am glad time won’t be wasted procrastinating waiting for some beltway bureaucrat to review and slow the momentum of the wheel.

    Little bit concerned the absence of a ringing endorsement from the CTU, given the pivotal role Unions will play in unseating Key-National, especially with the pleading employment law changes. If there is disharmony or a lack of synergy at the top perhaps someone else could be drafted in for the campaign, someone with inspirational spark like Mike Treen.

    • karol 17.1

      Helen Kelly tweeted:

      Congrats to Matt on new role. No one will work harder. Game changing. He and David will make a great team and even have a bit of fun.

      • Skinny 17.1.1

        Really and “hardly likely” seems odd that’s all, however I guess like everyone Helen can get a bit precious at times.

      • big bruv 17.1.2

        Game changing?….really?

        The only change this will make to Labour is to see them drop below (well below) 30% in the polls. Cunliffe is the gift that keeps on giving, long may he stay as the leader of the Labour party, with Cunliffe at the helm the corrupt Labour party will never gain the treasury benches.

        • karol 17.1.2.1

          Another excellent recommendation. When the right does some concern consolling, the left must be on the right track.

        • Skinny 17.1.2.2

          I’m heartened by fools like yourself spraying nonsensical hysteria. The feedback is reassuring we are on the path to victory :)

    • xtasy 17.2

      Where there is Matt, Mike is not that far away, I suppose, both being senior Unite Union members or leaders. Did the media not long ago not quote David Cunliffe as saying, that Labour is a broad church, and it could also include one like Mike Treen?

  18. bad12 18

    Lets wait and see is my opinion of how well Matt McCarten will go as Chief of Staff to David arten who had the leaders ear than some Ivy Leaguer who thinks a Uni degree means they know it all,(and that is said with the codicil that i am not referring to any of David Cunliffe’s previous staff),

    A subtle message could be read into this appointment from David Cunliffe to the activist base and those inclined to vote Labour in 2014,

    Anything that has the ability to have Wee Matty Hooton become incoherent on National Radio must have scored a huge brownie point right from the get go, Matties performance on the radio this morning sounded like a mix of apoplectic rage and outright fear…

    • bad12 18.1

      Sorry about the garbled first paragraph of that comment, it should read from Chief of Staff to David Cunliffe, i would rather it was Matt McCarten who had the leaders ear etc etc…

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 19

    According to this new right wing benchmark, people shall be tarred with the behaviour of every organisation they have ever worked for. Take Merrill Lynch, for example.

    • Richard McGrath 19.1

      The Merrill Lynch takeover by BoA with bailout money was one of the reasons the corporate welfare bailouts should never have happened. Should have let the bloated dinosaurs die, and leave an example for the next lot of delinquent banks and corporations.

  20. Annette Sykes from Mana has put out a nice press release regarding Matt and his new appointment

    “On behalf of the MANA Movement, I’d like to congratulate Matt McCarten on his appointment as David Cunliffe’s Chief of Staff”, said Annette Sykes, MANA President.

    “It’s great having someone we know is committed to the same broad goals as us leading Labour’s election strategy.

    “Matt is a committed campaigner for justice and human rights and, as part of that, he helped in the establishment of MANA as our inaugural President.

    “Through the positive relationship he already has with us and the Greens, and now with Labour, we have no doubt his appointment will help build a strong and united coalition of the left to change the government.
    “This is great news”, concluded Ms Sykes.

    http://mana.net.nz/2014/02/mccarten-move-signals-unity-to-change-the-government-sykes/

    I think the fact that Matt is well connected to the parties of the left is the actual genius of the appointment. I feel that the left have a real chance to develop the momentum to kick out the gnats and it will take a ‘connector’ like Matt to help facilitate it – and if he has to step on some labour toes to do it – good job I say.

  21. Stuart Munro 21

    I like it. Matt will be a steady voice for the left, and sharpen no knives for DC’s back. He can also provide valuable perspective for folk should they become detached from core Labour values.

  22. chris73 22

    Well its caused Jim Anderton to say he won’t be doing any campaigning for Labour at the next election so thats good.

    • JK 22.1

      That because Jim A still has his knickers in a twist over an argument he had with McCarten decades back. Jim A is inclined to hold onto grudges just a little bit too long.

      • chris73 22.1.1

        Whos more likely to gain votes for Labour, Jim or Matt? Apparantly Jim did a good job in the recent by-election but I’m sure Cunliffe has a master plan :)

  23. big bruv 23

    McCarten owes the tax department $150,000. I do hope he is not being paid by the Labour party until this debt is clear.

    • and of course the most egregious soaking of the taxpayers by the right..(aside from that $5 billion in taxes they rip off each/every year..)

      ..was the south canterbury finance gouge/rip-off..

      ..how every financial-adviser in the land was telling their clients to get a piece of that action..

      ..they all knew the company was slowly going down the gurgler..but that didn’t matter..

      ..’cos not only did the govt guarantee the investment..they guaranteed the profits as well..

      ..so it was rightwing pigs in the trough..

      ..also useful to remind the racist whiners who go on about ‘bludging-maari/treaty-gravy-train etc..

      ..that the payout to these greedy pigs..

      ..was more than that paid out on all treaty-settlements to date..

      ..and that $5 billion each/every year..?

      ..’i do hope’ they are seriously gone after..’until this debt is clear’..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Herodotus 23.1.1

        I am amazed at your knowledge, that the supposed $5b as specified in the likes of the TV doco Mind the Gap, that the right are the source of ripping every year. From my work experience there are plenty who personify the labour man who are just as inclined to avoid paying tax. Unless you have some means of verifying your comment. But I think that there is none.

        • phillip ure 23.1.1.1

          yes..no rule is absolute..there are always exceptions..

          ..but the fact of the matter is that most low-middle-class workers..

          ..have their taxes taken from them in paye…eh..?

          ..difficult to ‘game’ that one..eh..?

          ..it is the rich/right/corporates who have the lawyers/accountants that help them in their thievery..

          ..so..yes..in the main..it is the tories/rightwingers who have ripped off this $30 billion..from the rest of us/the country..

          ..since key came to office..

          ..how can it not be..?

          ..phillip ure..

          • Herodotus 23.1.1.1.1

            I don’t know about you, but in my line of work, I come across many who support Labour – And they are far more into tax avoidance than any I know who lean to the right, but then most who are middle-right work for wages, most left are into trades or own their business.
            Hard to avoid PAYE, all employed workers be they low underpaid, middle or well paid. This is the one tax that is almost fully collected. And as we both agree hard to game PAYE yet this is were most make their attack into taxing the wealthily.
            The wealthy are not dependant upon paid employment to gain or increase their wealth. Their wealth remains untaxed- but then so does much that is acquired within the trades community.
            Find the real enemies of the state, then act

    • mickysavage 23.2

      Um no he does not. Learn some basic Commercial Law please bruv. Your overlords ought to be able to educate you.

  24. ghostwhowalksnz 24

    I wonder if the GST National Party didnt pay out of its broadcasting allocation in 2005 is still due

    WE all remember Finance Minister Bill Double Dipton English was found rorting the ministerial housing allowances by getting the government to pay him to live in his Wellington House.
    He got around that by getting the rules changed so that he gets the money no matter what

    • Richard McGrath 24.1

      There is a long history of politicians changing the laws to legitimise their misdemeanours. We are powerless to stop it happening. Bill English’s disgraceful conduct was one of the more florid examples.

    • UpandComer 24.2

      There’s so much fail in this comment.

    • Clemgeopin 24.3

      “WE all remember Finance Minister Bill Double Dipton English was found rorting the ministerial housing allowances by getting the government to pay him to live in his Wellington House”

      Bill English is also the individual who was caught speaking during one of their conferences into what he thought was a switched off microphone when he said that he wants to sell off the Kiwi bank.

      When confronted, denied it.

      Remember that episode?

    • There is no evidence that National paid its GST debt and there is evidence as to whomepaid the Dancing Cossacks huge bill.

  25. Clemgeopin 25

    Cunliffe presents his new COS to the media.
    Matt answers some media questions.
    Report and video below:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9763705/Matt-McCarten-new-Labour-chief-of-staff

    • heh..!..key is shitting himself..

      “.. “He [McCarten] is hard-Left,” Key said..”

      ..phillip ure..

      • Clemgeopin 25.1.1

        I often genuinely wonder how a lot of people in this country are easily fooled and have not understood or seen through the hype, BS, lies, propaganda and nastiness of Key and his government yet.

        • phillip ure 25.1.1.1

          the media is very much to blame..

          ..this recent investigation into possible left-wing media bias has me gape-jawed in incredulity..

          ..when the whole corporate/access media is so resolutely rightwing/neo-lib apologist..in nature..

          ..a large part of the/any blame as to the ignorance of the general populace..has to be directed at them..

          ..with a few exceptions..they are irredeeemably dire in the execution of their jobs..

          ..just serving up pap/crime/distractions..

          ..sellout hacks..most of them..

          ..wouldn’t recognise journalism if it came and bit them on the arse..

          ..phillip ure..

  26. Scott1 26

    If Matt is there in order to develop a strategy to drag votes away from the greens then I suppose it is an OK move.

    If he is there to try to win the next election for the left block I would be surprised if that is effective. I doubt someone who has served in roles like he has has the sort of understanding of the center voter or of the National strategists that he opposes. And I think these are things that Labour already is having some issues with (hence the low poll numbers) relative to National.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      LOL mate

      Allowing the “National strategists” to dictate the rules of the game has been the problem so far, and few know that better than McCarten.

      • Scott1 26.1.1

        Colonial,
        Yes but if you want to trap them you need to understand them. It is hard to understand people who are far from on the political spectrum because their and most of their associates prior assumptions are completely different.

  27. TightyRighty 27

    I see more dipping into taxpayers funds to pay for another pledge card coming up. Opm means nothing to labour and unite when power is at stake, so this is a match made in heaven.

    • Skinny 27.1

      Wink wink nudge nudge :) the intention is to enroll voters by some of us activists and the wealthy academic’s with a social conscience pledge to reward the effort by donating to the previous non voters charity of choice. Wining don’t you think?

      • srylands 27.1.1

        I would be surprised if there are many wealthy academics.

        Is the plan to reward them just for enrolling, or do they need to vote to get the reward?

        • Skinny 27.1.1.1

          “I would be surprised if there were many wealthy academics”

          Of course that depends on what one deems as wealthy. However as an example, the assets held by the Princess St LP Branch would contradict your view :)

          “Is the plan to reward them just for enrolling, or do they need to vote to get the reward?”

          It’s a win win situation, the charity gets the donation of the enrollee’s choice, the enrollee will be encouraged to vote, followed up to ensure they actually vote. Of course you can lead a horse to water….

          The reward for the voter (assuming they vote) is engagement in a democratic process. Nice and simple and perfectly above boards.

  28. Richard McGrath 28

    Amazing that a guy who once believed a certain Labour politician to be as phony as Mitt Romney, and thought his every nuance and action seemed calculated, is now his chief of staff…

    Just sayin’.

    [lprent: Just warning.

    You should avoid "just saying". Its like "pwned" or "owned" - after watching people use it for years, I regard it as a clear signature of a troll because of it's clear "I have an escape route" as they try to light a small brushfire war.

    Just argue your position and put up with the attacks on it and some degree of pointed abuse. It is a damn sight safer around here to have other commenters noticing you than it is to have me noticing a troll behaviour pattern - especially one that should have died in the ark. ]

    • idlegus 28.1

      2 years ago….so far the ammo of the right has been….weak.

    • mickysavage 28.2

      I am impressed at Cunliffe’s ability to forgive and forget. He is obviously concentrating on the common good and not worrying about any personal insults that he may have received in the past.

      • phillip ure 28.2.1

        i did commentaries on q-time of the clark govt..

        ..and also ripped into him..

        ..he was defending/part of what i saw as a total sell-out govt..

        ..but that was then..this is now..

        ..and now i still have an open mind..

        ..and am ever more hopeful that cunnliffe has realised he just needs to talk past those hold-out neo-libs/abc’ers..in his caucus/party-machine..

        ..to just sideline them..

        ..and to communicate directly with the voters..

        ..especially those working-poor..

        ..and those disenfranchised 800,000 +..

        ..and mccarten is just the man to help him do that..

        ..and key is smart enough to know that..

        ..which is why he/the right is freaking out..

        ..(and really..he can talk..?..chem-trails-col’..?..anyone..?..)

        ..phillip ure..

        • Scott1 28.2.1.1

          Phillip,
          Here is a classic mistake in analysis.
          Key is freaking out because his strategists told him it that associating Labour with left wing policies was a good idea and that Matt is going to give him a great opportunity to do that.

          What Labour needs to do is out-think national on these issues, not just assume national isn’t thinking at all.

          • phillip ure 28.2.1.1.1

            @ scott..

            ..i’ve said it before..

            ..i think more so than any election for a long time..

            ..policy is going to matter this time..

            ..the voters will be looking at what policies the parties have..

            ..(and those parties not yet aware of this new fact/consideration..are going to hurt..)

            ..unlike previous elections..’branding’ won’t be enough..

            ..and that is what key is trying on..

            ..simplistic ‘left’/boogey-man ‘branding’..

            ..and so so easy for cunnliffe to answer/counter/throw back into keys’ face….

            “..if being left means i am going to both end and turn around our shocking slide downwards in the areas of child-poverty..and childhealth..and the return of third world diseases of poverty blighting our children..

            ..then call/brand me a ‘leftie’..

            ..if being ‘left’ means etc etc..”

            .(you get my drift..)

            ..cunnliffe must seize and brandish what he is offering..

            ..not keep it hidden away..in case anyone finds out..

            ..he has to take that direction-argument directly to key..

            ..he has to both own..and be proud/defiant about his/labours’ plans to repair new zealand..

            ..such a stance will show up key/national as the uncaring ideologues they really are..

            ..phillip ure..

            • Scott1 28.2.1.1.1.1

              I would certainly respect such an approach and it would also be good if policy mattered rather than just looking good in a suit…

              But I have a very good election sense (Even better than the polls which are themselves reasonably accurate) and it often contradicts what I might want to occur.

              • is yr gut telling you the tories will get a third term..?

                ..(did you hear the one about the person who promised to eat their leather stetson if matt mccarten got the c.o.s job with cunnliffe..?..he also was relying heavily on his gut..)

                ..i think the progressives will win..

                ..a token wager..?

                ..something symbolic..?

                ..phillip ure..

                • Scott1

                  Yes,

                  I guess we will take that into account next time Tiger makes a prediction.

                  Anyway I will certainly make an elaborate post about how your election prediction skills are incredible, just don’t let me forget!

      • JK 28.2.2

        DC said something like – ” I don’t want sycophants around me ” well, he sure hasn’t got a sycophant in Matt …… and I’m “not saying” his other staff members are sycophants either ….. that was DC saying he was okay with anything Matt might have said about him in the past. Great stuff from DC !

  29. Ennui 29

    To the double-dealing, duplicitous Matthew Hooten…Far Left in your terms today really means slightly to the Right of Centre, simply because you and your ideological fellow travelers have moved Right to somewhere to the other side of eternity.

    To Mr McCarten, delighted to see you in the role, well done, all he best.

  30. Denny 30

    This is great news for the working class poor! Matts a great motivator and has more talent in one of his little pinkies than the entire National cabinet! They’ll be shitting it for sure! Watch-out for that prick key to call a late mid holiday election ….mid Jan 2015! Prick!

  31. millsy 31

    Drat.

    There goes the only reason to look forward to reading the Herald on Sunday.

    • xtasy 31.1

      Yep, we can’t have that “conflict of interest” there. While (especially left leaning or liberal) politicians, political staff and journalists (that may be members of a party) have to ensure they have no such conflict, the ones without such “commitments” can feel free to be as biased as they like, as we see with so many talk back hosts, reporters, political commentators, editors and whatever else they call themselves.

      Strangely the most of them sing from the same song book like the National Party and ACT do, who are also the ones catering for the business lobby, and the corporate interests that OWN the media (and that make generous donations to those parties).

      It is a bit like that “trust” business, is it not?

  32. Red 32

    So…

    [If you want to troll then at least be accurate and chose a more neutral name? - MS]

  33. geoff 33

    Good stuff, nice appointment. Hopefully Dave and Matt will enjoy a long and happy relationship, crushing the venal right.

  34. floyd 34

    Fan bloody tastic. I have always read Matt’s column and it has always resonated with me, not so much as to the way I feel, but more to the feeling that everything he says is his true feeling and he is ABSOLUTELY true to his convictions. He will no doubt get a lot of flack from naysayers but he will counter-act that with the ha-ha am I boveerd that the people scrambling to discredit him will be seen to be the absolute know-nots that they are. Key can’t do much as there is to much on-line proving what an absolute pretender that he is. There is a list somewhere getting longer by the hour. Wasn’t sure about him(Matt) promoting ratprick gower but due to the time-line I am presuming that this is throwing down the gauntlet to the rodent to actually prove his so called political reporting chops. BTW I am one of those people who are unable to speak in the language of the politically aware. I just know who I can trust and conversely who I can’t trust. Matt I trust. Labour needs to remember that any dirt they find on Matt OR anybody can now be countered on-line with the MANY MANY cock-ups, lies, mistruths etc. that can be attributed to key and his poor deluded men and women of his Company. They have yet to realise that they are ‘a means to an end’ Poor deluded brain-washed previously quite intelligent people. When I think of key I am reminded of the the old saying “if you lie down with dogs you will end up with fleas’ Start scratching english.joyce,bennett tolley.brownlie,parata, ryall, collins, and all the rest of you that no longer have your own thought or opinions. I do hope the end result is worth the cost of selling yourselves out.

  35. captain hook 35

    National and its trolls can spin on this one till they rotate out of here but Matt McCarten is going to get the job done with no concessions to the banal mediocrities of the present government and give them their packing orders.
    Get right to it Matt and give them hell.

  36. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 36

    I like this move – especially for the connections McCarten has with all the parties of the Left – very good person to help all the parties of the left work together where they can…and also for McCarten’s unapologetic attitude toward his commitment to peoples’ rights.

    I wish Mr McCarten good health

    Very good appointment.

  37. Murray Olsen 37

    Matt McCarten is a bit too right wing for my liking, but I think his personal attributes will make him great for this job. The one thing Labour seems to need is someone to kick the ABC Rogernomes, either into line or into retirement. I think they should get rid of one of them within the next week, just to encourage the others. I’d settle for either Goff or Mallard. As long as their are no consequences to their careers and their parliamentary super, they’ll hang around forever. They need to be put on notice, and I think McCarten might be just the right person to do it.

    The fact that the extreme far right hate and fear McCarten makes me even happier. They know he can get things done.

    • freedom 37.1

      Hi Murray, straight up question
      (being asked purely for the knowledge and experience inherent in another’s opinion,)

      I would like to know why you view Matt McCarten as right wing?

      • Murray Olsen 37.1.1

        Basically, I see him as a social democrat. I don’t think social democracy, which looks for answers within a managed capitalism, has much future in an epoch of capitalist crisis and decline. I don’t see a decent future coming from arguing with capitalists about what is a fair share of the profits. Once we accept that they have a right to profit, we lose.

        I do realise that my position is fairly extreme as far as positioning on the political spectrum is concerned, and that someone holding my views would not be a good chief of staff for a parliamentary party. I suffer from fanaticism rather than stupidity :-)

  38. burt 38

    On the issue of unpaid PAYE…

    Criminal Charges for Failure to Pay PAYE – Taxation Today, November 2007

    Note below (bolding added)

    Staying Out Of Trouble

    Employers get themselves into serious trouble through ignorantly regarding PAYE deductions and the attendant obligations as just another civil debt. When cash-flow is tight, the creditor whose support is seen as being the most important or who makes the loudest noise at the earliest opportunity is likely to get paid first. This creditor is usually not the tax man, so the temptation to pay other debts in priority to PAYE is obvious. However, as this article illustrates, PAYE deductions are regarded at law as trust funds, with criminal sanctions for their misappropriation. Failure to account for them may have personal consequences far more severe than non-payment of any debt.

    One bit I didn’t bold;

    “Failure to account for them may have personal consequences far more severe than non-payment of any debt.”

    Seems to be one of the few errors the author has made.

  39. freedom 39

    thanks to the pigman for the elucidation
    http://thestandard.org.nz/labours-new-parliamentary-chief-of-staff/#comment-779208

    Shall we quote from the good lady herself? I hear Libertarianz are genetically programmed to explode upon hearing the words spoken aloud but only suffer massive evacuation of the bowels when reading them. (it’s ok, Richard’s a doctor, how’s it go? Physician, heal thyself)

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

  40. Jenny 41

    Matt McCarten has formidable organising skills, this is undeniable and the Right have reason to be afraid on that ground alone. But more than that, what the McCarten appointment represents is a flash of genuine independent leadership. On so many levels this is an inspired move, yet one that very few past Labour leaders would have taken, requiring not just political shrewdness but conviction and courage.

    Matt McCarten has publicly critiscised Cunliffe as being a “phoney”. That David Cunliffe has seen past that, shows a statesman like confidence that goes beyond ego and easily bruised personality.

    This appointment shows that Cunliffe values courage and integrity.

    On the record; Over the decision to commit NZ troops to Afghanistan. McCarten very publicly showed that he puts principle above personal advancement and political power. This was a decision that cost him dearly at the time, but in hindsight has since proven to be the right moral stand to have taken.

    The Left should celebrate Matt McCarten’s personal advancement as a human triumph over dirty back room deals and shameful political compromise and cynical horse trading measured in human lives.

    But more than this, the Left should celebrate the McCarten appointment as a sign that the Labour Party has someone prepared to lead. And a Labour Party leader that is not afraid to lead is a Labour Party leader that puts the fear of God into the Right.

    In my opinion David Cunliffe has all the traits nececessary to be one of the greatest Labour Party leaders, and if given the chance one of this country’s greatest Prime Ministers. Cunliffe has the innate intelligence, the necessary knowledge, the required experience, and now with this appointment he has shown he has the necessary courage. As Churchill said of all the human traits courage is the greatest because with out courage all the other abilities can not be excercised properly or fully.

    I hope to see many more courageous decisions like this from David Cunliffe over policy, particularly over tax and the environment.

    Bravo David Cunliffe, may this new political partnership serve you well.

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    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores US military warning of “...
    So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to...
    Hot Topic | 19-10
  • Improving AT’s Patronage Reports
    This week we should learn about the patronage results for September and with this post I want to explore whether Auckland Transport are delivering the results to the public in the best way that they can. Currently we get patronage results a...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Andrew Littles probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • Secrets, Lies and Revelations
    There is a lot this National Government doesn't want us to know. They have made it clear that we shouldn't measure child poverty, that we don't need independent environmental reporting and any official information requests are delayed indefinitely, especially if...
    Local Bodies | 19-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
    SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be...
    Skeptical Science | 19-10
  • Putting people at the centre of policy
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
    As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some...
    Skeptical Science | 18-10
  • Dunno what to say about this, really
    Donald Trump and Russell Brand are having a spat on twitter.  It puts me in mind of Oscar Wilde's quip about fox hunting - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."  Though in this case, more a matter of the...
    Left hand palm | 18-10
  • We must join the fight against Islamic State
    We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?...
    Imperator Fish | 18-10
  • The Splits: Epsom / Ohariu Split Vote
    Epsom voteAct 2011 Party-Vote 3% (939 votes),   Candidate-Vote 44% (15,835)       2014 Party-Vote 3% (1,023),         Candidate-Vote 43% (15,966)Nat 2011 Party-Vote 65% (23,725),     Candidate-Vote 38% (13,574)       2014 Party-Vote 64% (23,904),      Candidate-Vote 32% (11,716)Lab 2011 Party-Vote 16% (5,716),      ...
    Sub zero politics | 17-10
  • Blinding Flash of the Obvious re composing encrypted emails – Avoid auto-...
    I recently reviewed Edward Snowden’s instructions for setting up and using PGP/encrypted email available on Vimeo: GPG for Journalists – Windows edition | Encryption for Journalists | Anonymous 2013. It’s a good tutorial. One of the points it makes about...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • An Auckland Urban Redevelopment Agency?
    Details are starting to emerge from the Council’s review of its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to see if any changes need to be made to them. The CCOs were set up in 2010 by the government as part of the super city...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • What A Real Labour Party Member Sounds Like.
     HARRY SMITH, 92 years old, describes the world in which he was raised. A world of poverty in which the ravages of ill health simply could not be resisted by ordinary working-class families. Harry lost his sister to tuberculosis and...
    Bowalley Road | 17-10
  • Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
    This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean....
    Skeptical Science | 17-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #45: What if Renters….
    #45: What if Renters had the choice to have Rights and Responsibilities like Commercial Tenants? Home ownership is of course a daily debate in this city of Auckland. In the absence of anything else, the New Zealand Herald will always...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Enjoying the unexpected – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa is looking forward to bringing her wide-ranging experience, including in education and public healthcare, to her new role as an MP. That’s coupled with her determination to achieve better outcomes for the people of Manukau East....
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Walking in the footsteps of the greats
    Introducing Peeni Henare Peeni Henare, new MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up surrounded by inspirational leaders. From his grandfather, soldier and kōhanga reo pioneer Sir James Henare, to David Lange, who was “like a quirky uncle who popped by every...
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Treasury cherry-picks its data
    Yesterday we learned that Treasury didn't like food-in-schools. And now we know why: because they cherry-picked their data to support their preferred conclusion of leaving the poor to starve:A report behind Treasury advice that said school breakfast programmes did not...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • Read Nicky Hager’s search warrant
    How we want it to be: How it sometimes is (click to read documents): Documents from New Zealand cops raided home of reporter working on Snowden documents by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher (The Intercept). Worth reading to see how...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • TPPA would criminalise journalism
    Wikileaks leaked the latest version of the TPPA intellectual property chapter last night. There's some nasty surprises from the US, including its efforts to revive the defunct Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement by the backdoor and its efforts to ensure poor countries...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • The OIA Abuse
    Yesterday, the Prime Minister admitted that his government withholds Official Information Act (OIA) requests for longer than necessary when it suits his government politically to do so. This is not allowed under the Official Information Act. The OIA is an...
    frogblog | 17-10
  • Bugger
    As everyone already knows, New Zealand has won a term on the UN Security Council. I'm less than overjoyed by this. Why? For the simple reason that I do not trust our government to do the right thing in the...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • Precedent: Octavia Boulevard, San Francisco
    Multiway boulevards remain a workable street form that can resolve many of the problems related to movement and access in urban areas, especially the need for balance between the needs of of the city as a whole and those of...
    Transport Blog | 16-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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