web analytics
The Standard

Large representative bodies – “slow”, “unwieldy”

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, October 4th, 2013 - 22 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Steven Joyce - Tags:

That would be Steven Joyce describing university councils, but he could be describing any democratic governance – including parliament.

Dictatorship is so much more efficient.  That’s why we praise the likes of Bainimarama.  The getting rid of “large unwieldy representative bodies” is such a good aim.  Makes things faster.

Even better to appoint, rather than elect the small ruling elite.  Democracy can be so messy, people might not vote for the right thing (see ECAN).

So universities, those independent institutions, with academics free to critique and keep in check intellectually such people as the government…  Will have the government limit their governance and appoint up to half their ruling councils.  Staff and students will not have guaranteed (elected) representation on institutions in which they are the vital part.

Does that sound like an attempt to neutralise any opposition to you?  Of course they scarcely need to – they have academics by the funding.  Ever tighter funding, with academics spending more and more time helping more and more students achieve the grades to keep funding, never mind the research – and they wonder why our university rankings are dropping.

We’ve talked on this site about National’s contempt for democracy before, but here it is explicitly stated again, this time by Joyce.  Getting reasonable representation by having a decent size body with elected interest groups is “slow” and “unwieldy”.

Yes small appointed groups will make faster decisions.  But they may well not make better ones, or fairer ones.  Democracy is an important check and balance on power – as are independent academics.  This move by Joyce is an attack on 2 important conventions.

22 comments on “Large representative bodies – “slow”, “unwieldy””

  1. ianmac 1

    We must be vigilant about anything that Steven Joyce says. Ulterior motives? Yes.
    However according to far back Parkinson, the best size for a committee is 7 with max of 9. Thereafter committees break into factions which diminish effectiveness.
    Mind you Joyce would prefer a committee of just 1. Himself.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Most city councils have more than 10 members. What are we going to do next? Chop them all back to single digits, in the name of “effectiveness” (effective for whom?).

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    The Wisdom of Crowds.

    As for Joyce?

    Preaches free markets.

    Practises partisan intervention in every market.

    Out of his depth at the shallow end of the pool.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    “…Dictatorship is so much more efficient…”

    Except that when they collapse, they are always revealed to have been corrupt, venal, destructive and wasteful.

    What bothers me most about this move from Joyce is it shows yet again the contempt that this government of authoritarian managerialists has for the warp and weft of democracy. It is yet another hollowing out of civic society in the name of the cult of managerial efficiency. Aspiring young student politicans start to have the rough edges knocked off them when they see the complexities of governance on a council. Staff representatives who stand for election to a councils learn how to get elected, how to run an election campaign (however modest), and those electing them understand how to achieve a voice in their governance peacefully. It is This sort of democracy that is actually the DNA of democratic societies. Constantly eroding will simply ensure than when power shifts, those that get it are unready to use it – with the sort of disasterous consequences you see in those countries in the Middle East which try to have democracy without a civil society.

  4. marsman 4

    As well as his meddling in democratic governance of Universities Steven Joyce is telling them what they should be focusing on teaching, large animal studies was one of his choices. The man is a malevolent moron and the sooner he’s made inoperable the better for NZ.

  5. Tracey 5

    Yup. He views everything as a business. He has no concept of the social contract aspect of society despite having a leader who depended on that very contract while growing up. Its one thing to run sonething efficiently but another to demand it makes profit and behaves like a corp board.

    social contract and democracy are something this govt and its supporters are waging war against

  6. Bill 6

    really wish people would make the distinction between democracy and representative democracy. The former is quick and efficient while the latter – a name with no/little democratic substance – is a dog due to it’s reliance on bureaucracy. Anyway…

  7. Tracey 7

    can you point to a large democracy without bureaucracy?

    • Bill 7.1

      Representative democracy is necessarily woven around or shot through with bureaucratic structures. And insofar as ‘all’ nation states manage their societies via representative democratic means, the short answer is ‘No – I can’t’.

      The slightly longer answer is that it makes no sense to view democracy as some singular or unitary structure…that can only lead to an insistence on representative democracy.

      Non-representative democracy can only be fluid and multi-facetted ie,structured but impermanent and always being recreated by those participating in it into whatever new appropriate configurations suit matters are at hand.

      Eg. democracy allows for absolute dictatorial decision making where the decision does not affect any person beyond the person making the decision. And it also delegitimises any decision made without appropriate input from affected people.

      • Sanctuary 7.1.1

        I have seldom had the misfortune to have wasted my time reading such a load of wishy washy hogwash as I have just now. Your post makes about as much sense as a piece of parsley on a stale turd.

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          So are you’re saying you have no grasp on what democracy is or how it operates in the real world? Or that you have no interest in democracy? Or maybe you’re suggesting my attempt to briefly summarise is unhelpful in some way and that you have something useful to say that you haven’t submitted as a comment yet?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          Made perfect sense to me. Perhaps the problem is that you don’t have enough understanding of democracy.

  8. Tamati 8

    Just how many people sit around the Cabinet table Steven?

    I can think of a few bureaucrats around that table which would be well worth cutting.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Its seems to some sort of immutable law that cabinet is fixed at 20, with another 8 or so with training wheels.

      But of course the real work and energy comes from only 5 or 6 members. But that is the same with any group of 20. But you need that 20 or so to have a pool of skills that are useful

  9. xtasy 9

    Education has over more than two decades now increasingly been turned into a “commodity”, and this trend started with the introduction of student fees.

    Fees have continued to rise, curricula have been changed and “reformed” again and again, and it is not surprising that a National Party Minister pushes all the way to turn all tertiary institutions into “businesses”, designed to deliver “output” and “results” that serve the interests of business before anybody else. A government that caters primarily for business and their private sector lobby groups will feel obliged to do this, and hence we have this plan to limit the number of representatives to university councils.

    “Streamlining”, creating “efficiencies”, in a “competitive” environment, that is the slogan headed direction, and the day will come that many arts degrees, when history, political studies and much else that guys like Steven Joyce despises, will be abolished, so that all will just study business, science and technical subjects, none else.

    Democracy is only useful to them, if it is allowed only in the form of letting the brainwashed and ill-informed (by a collaborative privately dominated mass- or mainstream media) citizens vote once every so many years, merely to appoint a government that represents the ideology the public have been inundated and totally conditioned with. They will have lost all ability to think critically, alternatively and independently, and only vote for the supposedly “necessary”, undisputed policies, a bit like reaffirming self-fulfilling prophecies.

    I sadly see the vast majority of students at universities and other places of study being nothing but career minded individuals, that are totally focused on “buying” the “commodity” they need, to advance their career, and to ensure them a secure, well-earning job that guarantees a good living standard. There is regrettably too little questioning and participation, and collective spirit basically needs to be re-invented and rekindled, as most have not learned much of this, having grown up under nothing else but slight variants of neoliberal governments, all following free market, laissez faire dogma.

    So yes, opposition to this is needed, and I would appeal to all students to inform themselves and take a clear stand on this, and to stop the government “commoditising” them as “customers” or “buyers” of “commodity education” from “university businesses”!

    There is more to education and life than buying, selling, consuming, working, career aspirations and self interest. Some will only learn this when it may be too late.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      I sadly see the vast majority of students at universities and other places of study being nothing but career minded individuals, that are totally focused on “buying” the “commodity” they need, to advance their career, and to ensure them a secure, well-earning job that guarantees a good living standard. There is regrettably too little questioning and participation, and collective spirit basically needs to be re-invented and rekindled, as most have not learned much of this, having grown up under nothing else but slight variants of neoliberal governments, all following free market, laissez faire dogma.

      QFT

      • Rodel 9.1.1

        I think the rot began when someone first talked about ‘delivering’ education as if education was parcel or product involving one way delivery only (as in a legitimate a business model) rather than using the verb ‘to educate’ which is an interactive process . Ministry bureaucrats and politicians seem to like the ‘delivery’ concept.

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.1

          Very true, Rodel. Education that is “delivered” can be left at the door, much like an unregistered letter. There is no onus on the “supplier” to ensure it is appropriate or received. Perhaps the worst aspect from my point of view is that this philosophy allows students to think of themselves as passive buyers rather than participants in a process. As well as being the favourite model of bureaucrats and politicians, it is loved by lazy, incompetent students as well.

          • Rodel 9.1.1.1.1

            Yes ..good added thought on the effect it has on recipient students…well delivered.

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    Well we do need less MPs, what do they do all day? Auckland has 3 times as many MPs as councillors, surely aligning the electorates with the council wards and even having your MP as your councillor would make things a lot less unwieldy.

  11. tracey 11

    zaphod, why not just have auckland cede from the rest of the country

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Actually I think that there is some popular support for cutting the Cook Strait cable.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    40 mins ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 hours ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    5 hours ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    21 hours ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    22 hours ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    1 day ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    1 day ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    1 day ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    2 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    2 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    2 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    2 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    2 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    3 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    3 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    5 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    6 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    6 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    6 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    6 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    6 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    6 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    7 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    7 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    1 week ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago

  • ‘Count human health in your climate calculations’
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    29 mins ago
  • Salaries for Members of Parliament
    The Remuneration Authority has issued its determination on the salaries for Members of Parliament following amendments to the provisions in the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 earlier this year. ...
    1 hour ago
  • Government must not abandon health and safety reform
    While resistance in the National Party caucus delays the passage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says there should be no health and safety law exceptions for small businesses and farmers. ...
    2 hours ago
  • MasSiVe Hikoi welcomed by Human Rights Commission
    The Human Rights Commission is welcoming this week’s MasSiVe hikoi led by Kiwi men who oppose sexual violence. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Ongoing celebrations for Supreme Court ruling
    Recreational fishers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that changed the fisheries management landscape in New Zealand. In a landmark decision in 2009 the Supreme Court confirmed the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, ...
    3 hours ago
  • Banks investigation “not subject to political interference”
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found that the Police investigation into John Banks’ return of expenses and donations at the conclusion of the 2010 Auckland Super City Mayoral election was thorough and robust and was… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Using racism to win means you’ve already lost
    The Human Rights Commission is urging everyday New Zealanders to stand up to racist sports fans and players. ...
    3 hours ago
  • Jim Butterworth
    Jim Butterworth was the elder statesman of our great union. He served to protect and advance the interests of New Zealand working people over many years of union organising and leadership. Jim led the northern region of the Engineers’ Union… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Closure of Relationships Aotearoa
    The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) Chief Executive Lucy Sandford-Reed is concerned about the closure of a national service which provides a wide range of services to rural and urban communities throughout New Zealand.  ...
    4 hours ago
  • Three Years Since Villaggio Fire
    Jane and Martin Weekes, the parents of the two-year-old triplets, New Zealand citizens, who were killed in the Villaggio mall fire in Doha, Qatar, on 28 May 2012 will be reflecting on the short lives of Lillie, Jackson and Wilsher… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Count human health in your climate calculations
    The government may be asking for public input on New Zealand’s planned action to address climate change in the lead-up to global negotiations this year in Paris, but health is left out of the equation, health groups say. ...
    4 hours ago
  • PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay DHB’s decision on food services
    The PSA welcomes Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s decision to reject Health Benefits Limited’s proposal to outsource food services to multi-national company Compass Group. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices and Volumes)
    We are combining the Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices) and Overseas Trade Indexes (Volumes) into one release as of next week’s 2 June publication. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Core government cap disappointing and disingenuous
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Government’s continued focus on capping the size of core government administration is counter to providing New Zealanders with the services they need and depend on. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Saudi ‘Compensation’ Not in Full And Final Settlement
    The Taxpayers’ Union is has uncovered that despite building a $7.5 million ‘Agri-hub’ and paying $4 million to the Al Khalaf Group, no settlement agreement or liability waiver was secured in relation to the apparent claim the Government is using… ...
    22 hours ago
  • SkyCity still holds winning hand
    SkyCity still holds winning hand despite having to pay more for Convention Centre The Problem Gambling Foundation says it is not surprising SkyCity was prepared to put more money into the Convention Centre considering the Casino has been granted ...
    22 hours ago
  • Doctor, I’ve got a 7 year itch
    Young Labour supports the campaign by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association to have the 7 year lifetime limit on student loans scrapped. “This policy by the National Government makes no sense. It means that medical school students may be… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Vulnerable people will be most affected by closure
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is concerned that vulnerable clients are being left in the lurch in the wake of the abrupt closure of Relationships Aotearoa. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Young Nats call for Govt to back Med Students
    The Young Nats support the New Zealand Medical Students Association’s campaign to exempt medical students from the seven year equivalent full time study cap on borrowing for course costs, and want the cap extended to nine years for this group… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Review of fire services a major opportunity for future
    Wellington, Wednesday 27 May 2015 - Rural and urban volunteer firefighters make up 80 percent of New Zealand’s fire services. Their representative organisation, the United Fire Brigade’s Association (UFBA), says the Minister for Internal Affairs, ...
    1 day ago
  • Fire Service review rules out fairest option
    Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton says “the Government has made a mockery of genuine consultation by ruling out the fairest, most cost effective and sustainable way of funding the Fire Service” in its release of the Fire Services review… ...
    1 day ago
  • NZMA supports students’ call on loans
    The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the call by the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) for the Government to urgently address the impact of time restrictions on the student loans of many medical students currently ...
    1 day ago
  • No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm
    Exclusive: No Rights of Access to $11.5 Million Dollar Saudi Farm WEDNESDAY 27 MAY 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Taxpayers’ Union has uncovered that despite taxpayers forking out $11.5 million to build an ‘Agri-hub' in Saudi Arabia, officials failed ...
    1 day ago
  • Abduction attempt blamed on lax politicians
    Commenting after yesterday's attempted abduction of a five year old boy outside a Hastings school the Sensible Sentencing Trust has lashed out at politicians for “putting our kids at an undue and totally unacceptable risk”. ...
    1 day ago
  • Press Release from SuperGrans Aotearoa
    SuperGrans applaud the government for providing an extra $25 per week for low income families and further supporting Whanau Ora, Children’s Teams and CYF. These are all initiatives that will enhance collaborative effort to support our precious and ...
    1 day ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa welcomes discussion
    The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) advised by phone this afternoon (26 May) that five agencies have been selected to undertake the work Relationships Aotearoa (RA) had been contracted to provide for MSD. “Since 15 May, RA has been working… ...
    1 day ago
  • Human Rights Commission welcomes Rotorua partnership model
    Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has welcomed news that Rotorua District Council has agreed to a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership model. ...
    1 day ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. ...
    2 days ago
  • Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve
    Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve Christchurch City Council wants public input into a plan that could help make Banks Peninsula's Takapūneke Reserve a National Reserve. The Council is currently seeking written suggestions to help draft a Reserve ...
    2 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    What the Dickens is going on at SDHB? Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping ...
    2 days ago
  • Maori Party Labels One Man, One Vote Supporters as Racist
    The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better. Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government proses weakening the Health and Safety law
    “The Government’s suggestion that the new workplace health and safety laws will be weakened is very disappointing”, says Hazel Armstrong health and safety lawyer and member of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel. ...
    2 days ago
  • Giving faces to the faceless
    Powerful films and unforgettable documentaries can highlight human rights in ways speeches and documents never will says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. ...
    2 days ago
  • Deaf Aotearoa applaud NZ On Air funding announcement
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with the announcement that NZ On Air will be providing additional funding for captioning on TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR. Independent captioning and audio description service Able will receive $400,000 more in the coming year,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scott Technology lays off Christchurch workers
    Thirteen workers at Scott Technology, which manufactures, services and installs equipment for the appliance industry, were informed last week that they have been made redundant. This announcement, which came as a shock to the workers, comes after ...
    2 days ago
  • Smaller Convention Centre Should Mean Less Pokies
    Family First NZ says that with the downsizing of the SkyCity Convention Centre, the legislative concession for allowing an increased number of pokie machines should be significantly reduced, if not scrapped. “As we said from the outset, this deal ...
    2 days ago
  • Parliament missing in action on RMA reform
    Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said recent indications of ‘no change’ to sections 6 and 7 of the Act means it is now clear that after six years Parliament is incapable of delivering anything more than the lowest common denominator –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Government wants safer workplaces… or does it? Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010,… ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders reckon they’re doing pretty well
    The majority of New Zealanders say they’re highly satisfied with their lives, and slightly more rate their sense of purpose highly, Statistics New Zealand said today. These are the first results from Statistics New Zealand’s survey of nearly 9,000 ...
    2 days ago
  • Rural hospitals’ services vulnerable
    “The Southern District Health Board’s efforts to tighten its financial belt are clearly going to have very serious consequences for rural hospitals,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists ...
    2 days ago
  • Settlement and iwi unity overwhelmingly important to Ngāpuhi
    The settlement of historical Te Tiriti Waitangi grievances and iwi unity are growing in importance to Ngāpuhi, says a Horizon Research survey report released on 24 May. ...
    2 days ago
  • Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous”
    26 May 2015 Media Release Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous” The government must not water down changes to health and safety legislation which are vital for New Zealand workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “The ...
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayers Short-Changed by Skycity Deal
    The Taxpayers’ Union is outraged over the latest details of the SkyCity convention centre released today, specifically that the number of delegates the centre will be able to hold has been reduced for a second time. Taxpayers’ Union Executive ...
    2 days ago
  • Parental Notification Supported by Parents & Teens
    Family First NZ is calling on politicians to reflect the concerns and wishes of parents and also teenagers, and ensure that young pregnant girls in a crisis situation receive the family support they deserve and need. ...
    2 days ago
  • Integrated approach needed for Māori economic development
    Business and asset development, employment opportunities and wealth creation must contribute to Māori well-being, according to iwi at the launch of a Māori economic development research report in Whakatāne. ...
    2 days ago
  • Unions stand together on rejection of poor pay offer
    The Public Service Association (PSA) supports the decision by New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) members to reject the settlement offer made by DHBs in their Multi-Employer collective agreement, announced earlier today. ...
    2 days ago
  • Government forces closure of Relationships Aotearoa
    Negotiations between Relationships Aotearoa (RA) and government agencies failed late yesterday afternoon (25 May 2015) when the negotiation’s lead agency, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), broke good faith provisions. ...
    2 days ago
  • 10-Year Passports Welcome But Cost Still Above Average
    The  Taxpayers’ Union  is delighted with today's announcement from Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dunne, that New Zealand passports will have a ten-year validity from the end of the year. ...
    3 days ago
  • Judd and Fox presenting at Māori Governance Hui
    New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd and Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox are the latest to join an exciting line up of speakers and presenters attending this weekend’s Te Tatau Pounamu Maori Governance and Representation Conference in Palmerston North. ...
    3 days ago
  • Sri Lanka bans Glyphosate imports
    The President of Sri Lanka has banned the importation of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) [1] due to the increased incidence of chronic kidney disease associated with the use of these glyphosate formulations. Argentina [2] has also published evidence ...
    3 days ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere