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Leadership and unity

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, November 20th, 2012 - 152 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, david shearer, labour, leadership - Tags: , ,

I wasn’t paying much attention to politics back in the 80’s, so the current leadership stoush within Labour is quite an eye-opener for me. I have friends, people I admire, well informed people whose opinions I greatly respect, in each of the two Camp Davids. Tempers are running hot, and at the moment the risk of a serious fracture in the Labour Party seems very real. What to make of it all?

My position is on record. During the selection process last year I found Cunliffe more impressive, but I’ve been happy to support Shearer as leader. I support him still. I understand (and share) the frustration of those who would like to see a bigger and a quicker turnaround in the polls, but I think that their impatience has driven them to set unrealistic expectations of Shearer, and then abandon him far too soon. I think that solid unity around Shearer would have won the 2014 election.

But that was not to be. Impatience overflowed. Cunliffe positioned himself for a leadership challenge at conference (those who protest his innocence are naive in the extreme). It distracted attention from excellent policy, an excellent speech, and an opportunity to position Labour as the government in waiting. All very regrettable.

So much for the past. What about the future? The perception is that Cunliffe over-reached, and the tide has turned against him. There is a caucus meeting later today where, it is widely reported, Cunliffe is going to be demoted.

I understand the temptation for Shearer. When challenged on his leadership he wants to portray the strong leader. When pushed to show some “mongrel” he wants to bare his teeth. His supporters want “revenge”. It is what the political world expects, bread and circuses, the loser goes to the lions.

But there is a better way. A different kind of strength and leadership in turning the other cheek. In reconciliation. Overturning the conventional wisdom could see both Shearer’s leadership, and the Party, emerge much stronger.

Cunliffe is too good a politician to waste, and his supporters are too big a constituency to discard. Shearer should leave Cunliffe in his current role, reach out to him and the people that he represents. Cunliffe in his turn should admit that the game is up, put his leadership ambitions on hold for the foreseeable future, and publicly pledge his unconditional support until the next election. A joint statement, two men shaking hands, then they can both get to work on winning 2014. Cue picturesque sunset and closing credits.

Yeah I know, only in Hollywood right? Still, a blogger has to dream. Because the alternative, frankly, looks like a bit of a nightmare.

152 comments on “Leadership and unity”

  1. maffoo 1

    The way i see it, Cunliffe will only want to be leader if Shearer continues to be incompetent. If Shearer gets his s**t together, he is safe. All Cunliffe wants is a genuine shot at being Government in 2014.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yes, I agree.

      Shearer so far hasn’t shown the media performance that would ensure he wins the election. I’m sure he’d be fine as PM, but there’s that inconvenient ‘contest’ phase that he has to go through first.

  2. Can you please explain how Cunliffe positioned himself to be leader, other than the general impression of being more competent than Shearer?

    Is there anything to this allegation other than his refusal to disclose his vote? Because that doesn’t really mean anything. If he was positioning himself to be leader he’d outright say he’s voting for himself.

    • Agreed Matthew.  R0b makes a number of good points but I also agree that Cunliffe did not position himself at all.  I agree there is a perception but this was one created by ABC.

      It is weird really.  They trash the benefits of the conference and Shearer’s speech and try and blame Cunliffe for it.

      Talk about disloyal.

      But yeah, lets give peace a chance. 

    • r0b 2.2

      Can you please explain how Cunliffe positioned himself to be leader

      Gower wasn’t interviewing Cunliffe on his leadership aspirations just at random, he was interviewing him on his leadership aspirations because everyone knows that he has them. In failing to confirm his support for Shearer as leader, Cunliffe was positioning himself for a leadership challenge. It’s a standard political script, to pretend otherwise is simply naive.

      Cunliffe is perfectly entitled to challenge for the leadership of course, and I think he’s an excellent politician and communicator. But the timing of this particular piece of escalation could not have been worse.

      I can’t stick around for comments in the thread this morning, I’ll have to let the post speak for itself. Peace!

      • Bill 2.2.1

        In failing to confirm his support for Shearer as leader…

        But that’s just the point, he did confirm his support. In response to Gower’s squawking about what he’d do in February, (which is, as Gower would be aware, a secret ballot) Cunliffe quite clearly and unequivocally stated his support for Shearer.

        • IrishBill 2.2.1.1

          Grant Robertson also has leadership aspirations. And yet he wasn’t chased around the conference.

          • Bill 2.2.1.1.1

            Yes. But Grant Robertson is going to have to some fairly fancy manouvering come February if he wants to stand in a leadership race.

            Cunliffe will (presumably) be making a bid from the position of ‘underdog’…the guy who was consigned to the wilderness – at least for the summer.

            Shearer would not at that point in time (after the caucus 60/40 vote) ‘lost’ his leadership per se, and would be quite entitled to stand against Cunliffe. In fact, he’d be almost obliged to.

            Now where does that leave Robertson? Supporting ‘his’ leader or exposing himself as a two faced bastard and making it a three way race?

            edit oops. Not the comment I thought I was responding to. Still. Makes enough sense in the context here to leave it.

        • Dr Terry 2.2.1.2

          Precisely, Bill! Thanks for making this essential point.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.2.2

        No r0b, they werent interviewing him on a whim.

        Robertson also has leadership ambitions, but they didn’t interview him about them on the weekend.

        They interviewed Cunliffe because someone told them this was all about an actual challenge happening now.

        The Shearer camped cut Cunliffe off at the knees once it was becoming obvious that the Feb vote would be more favourable to a challenger than it otherwsie might have been.

        fallout is that everything else that happened has been buried in the deluge.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1

          fallout is that everything else that happened has been buried in the deluge.

          Notice how almost no effort has been made by the ABC’s to focus the media discussion on the substantive aspects of Conference, instead at every turn the hypothetical ‘leadership challenge’ has been repeated over and over again.

      • I feel no need to trust Gower to have any reliable information. His source could be as unreliable as an anonymous National Party tipster.

        Refusing to disclose your secret ballot is not failing to support your leader, especially if you really do intend to vote for them. The whole point of a secret ballot is that nobody should be allowed to pressure you into disclosing your vote.

        I really don’t think you should be claiming Cunliffe is actively challenging for leadership with such circumstantial evidence. I was always under the impression he was simply waiting out Shearer’s term, however it ends, quite content to let that happen naturally and support him and his team in the meantime.

    • Uturn 2.3

      “Can you please explain how Cunliffe positioned himself to be leader…”

      Think of Cunliffe as a bottle of Coke. Now think of Shearer as a bottle of Pepsi. Do either of the bottles need to speak for people to know which they prefer?

      (Phil Goff is Royal Crown Cola. It once had the top spot, but they changed the recipe and it fell into bland obscurity.)

      Or think of Cunliffe as John Rambo in, Rambo: First Blood. The town burns and people die because all Rambo wanted was a snack as he passed through town. He said, “I didn’t do nothing!”

      In a ridiculous example of life imitating art, The Labour Party will burn and democractic principles will die because all Cunliffe wanted to do was take a pee at conference without being hounded by journalists. “He didn’t do nothing!”

      • maffoo 2.3.1

        Well im going to hold my vote for the amazing Dr Pepper, whoever he (or she) may be

      • You’re missing my point.

        Being better than Shearer at being an MP is not positioning yourself to be leader. There are publicity opportunities that one takes when one intends to challenge for leadership. We need the “Cunliffe is to blame for being so leadery!” people to meet their burden of proof by pointing out where he was doing that positioning and why some of us don’t see it, because it really just looks like they’re buying into a narrative that’s about selling David Shearer’s trainwreck of a defense of his leadership as some sort of secret coup.

        • Uturn 2.3.2.1

          Cunliffe is a good politican, no doubt about it. No one except Shearer can walk into a top job. To say that because Cunliffe hasn’t come out and admitted a secret coup means one hasn’t taken place, is forgetting the art of politics. Simple positioning, opportunism, works just as well and the proof is largely unproveable. But does it matter anymore? People know what their opinion is, nothing can change it now.

          In the analogy I used, it is too simplistic to assume that a talented poltician did nothing at all to position himself for a top job because no one wanted to acknowledge the groundwork. Even if someone handed the leadership to him, he still had to be in position to recieve it. If you want to find proof, look to what Cunliffe was doing and saying in a series of small, private, incidental, off the record events circa 2009 forward, maybe even earlier. Who would have that kind of information? Not the media. You’ll read about it in twenty years in someone’s autobiography. The proof I see now is Cunliffe’s reply to Shearer asking for support – he said yes, but only till February. It’s simple, and now blatant, positioning.

          • RedLogix 2.3.2.1.1

            The proof I see now is Cunliffe’s reply to Shearer asking for support – he said yes, but only till February. It’s simple, and now blatant, positioning.

            What? Are you saying that the mandatory February vote has to be a sham? That Shearer is not ever allowed to be challenged and is going to be Leader for life? Of course not.

            The Labour constitution madates a confidence vote at specific times. The voting is secret.

            It is absolutely not acceptable to pervert those intentions by demanding loyalty ahead of the vote. Count the numbers who will give you an answer yes, but to then demand the voting goes to the leader ….wrong, wrong.

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.1.1.1

              +1

              Q: when should the February vote be merely a formality and a foregone conclusion?

              A: when you’re not that serious about democratic processes and your underlying attitude is essentially Born to Rule.

              AH FUCK. Just realised.

              The coup/imminent leadership challenge messaging from the weekend has got finger prints of Right Wing media advisors all over it.

              • Y’know there’s a whole bunch of “Old School” right wingers that joined the Labour party?

                Why? …. Because they thought it the easier mark M8!

                Prove them wrong people, ditch would ya’s.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.2.1.2

            You don’t get to say that a secret coup is being planned and not have to provide evidence for it. I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I’m unwilling to take Shearer’s word for it that Cunliffe was actually planning to roll him, especially when Cunliffe did not spur calls for Shearer’s resignation, because it was pretty obvious that was a grass-roots movement.

  3. Well said rob.
    Your suggestion on how Shearer could show real strength in leadership is a good one, and precisely what a genuinely strong Labour leader should do.
    Instead I fear Shearer, and in particular his old guard cronies, will only be thinking about how Shearer will lose in feb, and so they will be desperate to nobble Cunliffe. Time will tell just how principled Shearer really is.

    • lprent 3.1

      One of the things I really admired about Helen was her way of getting her competent political competitors working with her without descending to the kind of empty and meaningless political gestures of the types I am expecting to see today.

      I’m going to watch it with considerable interest in between my coding sessions.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    Shearer tried “reconciliation” last time, kept him on the front bench, gave him a big job, and look what it got him, constant undermining and treachery from Cunliffe and his fellow conspirators, both inside and outside the Caucus. And still it goes on, even today. Ironic that they are using the same play book Roger Douglas used to see off David Lange.

    • maffoo 4.1

      Those that are conspiring is the Mallard camp, not the cunliffe camp. & he did not pick the timing of this, it was chosen for him for the shills in the MSM. Can you not see how those that are attacking Cunliffe & making these accusations are those with the most to lose? IE the right (they want Shearer to destroy his party as it is in their best interests) & the ABC (who know Cunliffe will sack their useless asses)
      IF anyone think Mallard, Goff, & Hipkins can lead Labour to an election victory, they are delusional ….

    • QoT 4.2

      constant undermining and treachery from Cunliffe and his fellow conspirators, both inside and outside the Caucus.

      [citation needed]

    • Dr Terry 4.3

      TG. “constant undermining and treachery from Cunliffe and his fellow conspirators . . . ”

      This is about the most spiteful and incorrect conclusion I have yet seen. It ought to be actionable.

    • pics or it didn’t happen?

  5. hush minx 5

    Just listening to Grant Robertson on rnz this morning it sounded like he was trying to de-escalate and put some distance between himself and shearer. I think he has realised that the party is watching closely-and he may want their support sometime soon!

    • rosy 5.1

      Grant Robertson was responsible for that piece of rubbish ‘Shonkey and the Nine Clowns of the Apocalypse’ wasn’t he? Absolutely stupid idea and there’s no way he’d get my vote – that’s a big misreading of the electorate, imo.

      • just saying 5.1.1

        In fairness to Robertson, his conference speech wasn’t directed at the wider electorate. He was playing to the audience at hand.

        • rosy 5.1.1.1

          Fair enough, but if the media didn’t have a manufactured leadership crisis to ramp up then I reckon it would have been the clowns that got the MSM time. They know how much the public says they hate this stuff.

          We’ve spent a whole lot of time going on about how Key uses derogatory terms for people, one of his favourites is ‘clown’. Robertson stooped to the same tactic.

      • Fortran 5.1.2

        Andrew Little will get te vote come February with David Parker in support – then we shall see some real Labour action, not the half hearted middle ground Labour as at present.

  6. maffoo 6

    As has been pointed out elsewhere this morning, there is a ridiculousness is making accusations against Cunliffe because he refused to say who he would vote for IN A SECRET BALLOT…. a secret ballot that is supoposed to be in a closed meeting …. & the media are pissed because he wont tell them who he will vote for in secret in a closed meeting? how very arrogant of them….

  7. just saying 7

    Rob I respect your position.

    But Shearer is going to be the butt of this christmas’s BBQ jokes and that’s not down to Cunliffe.

    It is ludicrous for a major party to have a leader who must be wrapped in cotton wool and kept away from the public eye to maintain any kind of credibility. The elephant in the room has long taken up residence and it is an insult to the the public’s intelligence.

    • Greg Doolan 7.1

      Agreed. Mumbles Shearer is an irrelevant joke to all New Zealanders , except the apologists who keep insisting that the emperor is really wearing clothes.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Hi R0b. Thanks for offering everyone an alternative course of action to consider in these circumstances – a path of real leadership and principle.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    I have never been a Shearer fan those who post on the standard and I told David Shearer to his face that I didnt think he had what it took to lead the party.

    I have always based that on can this guy win an election. Having worked on his Mt Albert selection I saw first hand how scared he was. As just saying has said, shearers lack of experience in politics and poor performance is the Elephant in the room. Sadly his ability to be manipulated is going to have a huge effect on the Party and its all negative.

    • Hami Shearlie 8.1

      We always seem to agree CGE! I feel exactly the same way! Shearer is boring, uninspiring, unbelievable, grey, very very bland, no vitality, doesn’t even act like he wants to be there!! Labour needs a great salesman to sell their policies – It ain’t Shearer and it ain’t Robertson either!! It’s a pity they keep forgetting about the 800,000 who didn’t vote and keep chasing a few swinging middle voters who are never loyal anyway!!! Mike Hosking said this morning that when he talked to him, Shearer showed his anger by using language full of expletives. To display that to a journalist shows another reason why Shearer shouldn’t be leader – no control of himself in public! Shearer’s obvious shortcomings are his own fault, not David Cunliffe’s!!

  9. jaymam 9

    If Cunliffe is demoted, I don’t think Labour will win the next election.
    I have not been impressed by Shearer’s TV interviews in recent weeks.

    • Dr Terry 9.1

      One would almost think that Labour, in point of fact, does not want to win the next election. Perhaps they are afraid that they might!

  10. PlanetOrphan 10

    Gotta agree Anthony, bout time Shearer and Cunliffe worked together , layed down the law and started leading M8!

  11. tracey 11

    I concur with anthony. Disagreement is healthy. It is not healthy when those who dissent and dont prevail get punished. Shearer can show the leadership he promised by giving culiffes strengths a chance to help nz. And perhaps he cld consider demoting those who dont understand how to play nicely together.

  12. BM 12

    The Public don’t like Cunliffe, but they do like Shearer.
    Unfortunately politics is about personality first, then policies.

    From what I’ve read on a few boards and talking to people, the majority view is that Cunliffe is a sneaky back stabbing weasel who needs to be dealt to by Shearer.
    That may not be true but it seems to be the public perception.

    Shearer has no choice now but to get rid of Cunliffe otherwise he’s had it as the leader.

    • Uturn 12.1

      Shearer’s had it anyway, because the way he’s protecting his position is contrary to the current public perception of how it should be done. He literally forgot what time it was. But nevermind, the collapse of the existing Labour Party is a good thing for NZ. It’ll force the heart and soul of Labour to reform around principles that match their efforts.

      • BM 12.1.1

        To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the Labour party to splinter.
        Too many people with different visions on how the Labour party should operate, that’s the problem.
        No business or organization can operate effectively under those conditions, it’s just a recipe for failure, everyone needs to be on the same page.

        • Uturn 12.1.1.1

          This is one of the defining points of identity that differentiates Labour from National – it’s eagerness to attempt to hold many views in one place successfully. The Labour party have been operating under certain rules consistently for a long time, it’s just that those rules have trouble accomodating all the members without the whole thing flying apart. If reports from conference are true, this is changing, but the reluctance of the leadership to let go is getting in the way. Being on the same page is important, but it doesn’t naturally exclude diverse views. Though closely linked, the problem seems to be coming from a misunderstanding of how things can be done, not what should be promoted in policy.

          • BM 12.1.1.1.1

            Do you need that sort of set up in a MMP environment though?

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Course ya do because this is about the membership deciding the course of the Labour Party, not the frakking MSM.

              • BM

                Personally I think a better strategy for the left would be to have 4 left parties

                1. Mana – Maori vote
                2. Greens -liberals,hippies,gays
                3. Workers party – trade unions, communists,
                4. Labour -centre left, Catholics, islanders.

                Be near on impossible for National to win if the Left set themselves up under this sort of system.

            • Uturn 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes and no. In a transitional sense, which is my first point – whatever happens next, will be good for NZ.

              Fragmentation is good, within an MMP environment. If several smaller parties formed to represent the factions that once tried to stand together under the old Labour banner and they had to form a coalition government, they’d still all have to be familiar with accomodating alternate views to make it work. The difference being that instead of several views clashing, the smaller factions need only concern themselves with one or two where spheres of influence overlapped. So the job of accomodating diversity of opinion would be absorbed by the fluidity of the overall group, rather than the tensions caused by top down central leadership.

              Attempting to fix, even an attempt that fails to fix, Labour’s organisational problems can only put the people who make change happen, ahead in the necessary learning curve. MMP is an indication that generally the public are moving away from fixed positions and traditional top-down stuctures. Once parties know how to dissolve and reform as necessary, they won’t need to have damaging internal conflicts so often. They achieve stability by continually moving and eliminate the risk of stoppinig in an unstable position. The chances of one faction hi-jacking a nation’s politics reduces to almost nil and we move closer to a fuller expression of democracy. Obviously, that’s going to scare a number of powerful people.

    • Greg Doolan 12.2

      What facts do you have to back up the claim that the public likes Mumbles Shearer? The dismal polling numbers as preferred leader of the country that the adoring public give him?

      I am so tired of Mumbles Shearer apologists making these blatantly untrue statements that fly in the face of the facts. This is exactly why the Labour Party is in the wilderness. A group of people running around trying to convince everyone else that emperor is wearing a splendid robe of popularity and visionary leadership. Wake up!

      • BM 12.2.1

        What facts have you got that people want Cunliffe to replace Shearer as leader of the labour party.

        • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1.1

          lol can’t you even back your own words BM?

          No wonder your comments are so irrelevant, when you fill them with weasel words and fantasist drivel.

          Greg, BM is a Tory shill.

    • Dr Terry 12.3

      BM. You sure have some nerve, speaking on behalf of the entire NZ public! Then, following your absolute statement, you come up with “That MAY NOT BE TRUE but it SEEMS to be the public perception”. (Capitals mine) Do you base your life on fantasy and this kind of frightful guesswork?

  13. ak 13

    Spot on as usual r0b. Ae, naievity’s the word that’s been hovering in six-foot letters over this whole debacle ever since the first commenter here started gunning for Cunners over Shearer.

    On the one tiny positive hand it displays the increasing influence of the ‘Stan. On the other hulking mitt, anyone who ever thought the media wouldn’t savage the Left mercilessly at the most minute indication of infighting, has been in bed with Pollyanna since 2004. Fast asleep. The Helenhate cucifixion a tragic,wasted lesson.

    Crucially, that includes Cunners and the majority of caucus. Learn, you ignorant pikers, or continue to put the knife into tens of thousands of our most vulnerable. Every day.

    And listen to r0b. And the original founder of world Labour. Turn the other cheek or let Gower et al slowly carve it into chunks and chew it to the bone. Promote Cunners, weld those smiles and handshakes on with an industrial mig on full, and bite your tongues till they bleed.

  14. tracey 14

    It seems to me its the people behind the main two who need the demotion. Hipkins hasnt impressed me. He oozes game player. The focus is nz and nzers. Anyone who doesnt get it, act on it needs to be gone.

    • Hipkins is a Clark creation. Hatched in the wellington incubator. Less in common with the working man than John Banks.* Despite Cunliffe now being a Herne Bay residing squillionaire he has proper working class credentials and actually worked prior to getting on the taxpayer funded gravy train.
      Hipkins is the face of your Labour party. Student politicians living and working in a 5km radius of the beehive.
      The only way this will be fixed is a split in the party. Auckland v Wellington.
      *I really hate John Banks.

      • Greg Doolan 14.1.1

        Hipkins has revealed himself to be a nasty piece of work. He obviously want to be Mallard’s heir.

        • KJT 14.1.1.1

          Hipkins on the news last night was totally embarrassing.

          If Shearer wanted to really show some leadership he would haul up him, Shane Jones and those who are destroying the party by bad mouthing Cunliffe.

          All the Right wing joining in bad mouthing Cunliffe, proves my point. He should be the leader.

          You know a man by his enemies.

          I would not vote for anyone the RWNJ’s, who pretend to be reporters, are endorsing.

  15. Santi 15

    Reconciliation only after punishment. Demotion is the only way Shearer can assert his leadership and stay on top.

  16. Bill 16

    So, what’s the odds for Shearer striking a truly anti-democratic deal along the lines of “I’ll leave you where you are – or promote you – if you give an undertaking not to run in February”?

    Nah.

    Although I suppose he might try to strike such a deal.

  17. tracey 17

    Bm if the public like shearer as the people you talk to claim it doesnt even begin to reflect in polls. When right wing bloggers backed shearer in the leadership race it was a rather big clue

    • BM 17.2

      People don’t mind Shearer.
      People don’t like the Labour party, that’s the problem.
      If you vote Shearer you get the Labour party.

      • thatguynz 17.2.1

        Sorry mate but that’s not entirely correct.  You are right in suggesting that there is public antipathy toward the Labour Party but they also think Shearer is not leadership material.  They are two distinct issues as opposed to the LP dragging Shearer’s popularity down.
         
        All in all this is a clusterfuck of monumental proportions.  Shearer has been toothless during any of the multitude of Government balls-ups and now decides to bare his teeth within his own party.  Wrong message, wrong time and wrong approach.  To alienate Cunliffe supporters both within the party and outside is a grievous misstep which I believe Shearers handlers have completely underestimated.
         
        Although I have never been a Labour voter, I was starting to waiver after hearing some of the talk coming out of the conference.  ie. notwithstanding those that haven’t voted at all, I am just the kind of voter they should be appealing to.  Unfortunately however any goodwill that was built throughout the newly found democratic approach at conference has been completely undone and I can unequivocally state that Labour will not have my vote.  Not now, not 2014 and not while the inept old-school troughers within the party continue to run roughshod over what the party membership are trying to achieve.  Mallard, King, Street, Cosgrove, O’Connor etc all need to go.  The party seems to have moved on and they are hanging on by their fingernails and quite frankly – fucking up the party that a lot here seem to have some long held love for.

      • Dr Terry 17.2.2

        BM. Again you talk grandiosely on behalf of “the people”. Really, of course, you can speak only for yourself – that is all you are achieving.

        • DJ 17.2.2.1

          I’ll do it again for you.

          “You people” on here have fucked the labour party good and proper.

          Good on ya mate …………

  18. Shearer is is wielding his power behind the curtain of Mallard & co, it’s dictatory and
    self serving.
    Cunliffe is the only candidate that could take labour to victory in 2014, there is no one
    esle, in the ‘free’ world he has a right to take up the challenge of leadership.
    There are members in the caucas who seem fit to diss many internet users and that was
    a public flogging, saying those ‘hidden’ identities were ‘irrelevant’ ‘nonsense’
    ‘that they dont take any notice of’, here’s the rub you ignorant lot of trough feeders
    we do ‘take notice’ and if Cunliffe is relegated to the back bench, then any support you
    may have had from the ‘internet’ world will collapse overnight and in turn so will the
    support of labour.
    You have more riding on your ‘dictatory’ shoulders than your own ignorance.

  19. tracey 19

    Bm, just tell tge truth. You have no idea whether people like shearer or not.

    • BM 19.1

      The people I talk to don’t mind Shearer, definitely prefer him over Cunliffe.

      One of the criticisms I hear of Shearer is that he’s too nice for politics,bit dickless, so dealing to Cunliffe in a violent and brutal way should do wonders for his popularity.

      • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1

        Let’s all bend an ear to BM and her imaginary friends. On second thoughts…

        • BM 19.1.1.1

          What makes you think l’m a she?

          • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1.1.1

            Affirmative action. I think of you as tall, with large hands and feet, a horsey girl who rode under the low branches once or twice too often.

            [lprent: Flame igniting is a very very dangerous sport. Do you really want a holiday now? ]

          • King Kong 19.1.1.1.2

            He is trying to insult you because women aren’t as clever as men.

            [lprent: Flame igniting is a very very dangerous sport. Do you really want a holiday now? ]

            • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1.1.2.1

              Equal opportunity insults. Monkey see monkey do.

              • Santi

                What are you trying to say One Tane? Are you a Cunliffe supporter?

                • One Tāne Huna

                  I’m trying to say that BM is unreliable as a political weathervane of either gender, and that King Kong is a monkey.

                  As for Cunliffe, I was warming to Shearer, especially after hearing how well Parker and Cunliffe work together (good team implies good leader) and the speech, although I remained concerned about his apparent lack of conviction. I am very encouraged by the policies unveiled so far.

                  All that changed in the last forty eight hours. Today’s little charade isn’t leadership, it’s weakness.

                  • lprent

                    My feelings exactly. I just can’t shake this impression of some crap advice in there somewhere and people trying to work around it.

                    But I am rather fond of BM in all of his incarnations and KK. They show a tenacity in sticking in here despite the obvious hostility of other commentators (and yes – including me) that tends to make them worth knowing.

      • Dr Terry 19.1.2

        I think it not too hard to guess what kind of people you talk to (probably only one or two anyway!)

  20. Peter 20

    R0b, your analysis is normally better than this…

    I mean, seriously, “Cunliffe positioned himself for a leadership challenge at conference (those who protest his innocence are naive in the extreme”.

    You know the party’s rules as well as I do – you can’t challenge for the leadership at a conference. Cunliffe’s plan has always been clear – sort it in February, maybe. From what I can see, and I didn’t attend conference, nothing has changed, and it won’t change, even after today’s so called vote.

    What I’m finding very distasteful currently is how some party activists, nominally of the “left”, have suddenly found themselves so afraid of Shearer’s faction and their supposed wrath that they are voting against their best interests. Young Labour is a classic – all of Labour’s next generation dutifully trotting to conference to vote according to Grant Robertson’s orders…

    What are we afraid of by standing up to some in caucus? Honestly, the worst that they can do is deny you a Parliamentary Services position, and most party members wouldn’t have a bar of it.

    I think in reality that Labour is still so used to maintaining order at the cost of democracy (Clark’s legacy) that for some older members, this is the default setting. It’s certainly reflective in your post. But we all should be better than that.

    If there’s a fight on for the heart and soul of the New Zealand Labour Party – the driving force behind much of New Zealand history – I sure as hell know which side I want to be on

    • dancerwaitakere 20.2

      Just to make it clear, there are SOME members of Young Labour that are capable of acting as more than a Robertson/Ardern fan club.  :P 

      It’s just a pity that at Conference most of YL lived up the expectations set by other former student politicians. 

       

  21. ianmac 21

    ROb says it all: Cunliffe is too good a politician to waste, and his supporters are too big a constituency to discard. Shearer should leave Cunliffe in his current role, reach out to him and the people that he represents.
    My view as well and all the weird stuff being said in comments on the Standard read like a bunch of fanatic supporters of one rugby team trying to shout down those of another team. Democracy. Fine but end result will be counterproductive.

    • kiwicommie 21.1

      Well to an outside observer it does look a bit that way, hopefully they mend each others wounds before the February vote or they will just be giving what the MSM want i.e. a divided Labour party they can attack so that their neo-liberal idol has a greater chance to stay in power.

  22. Fisiani 22

    So no matter what Shearer does today with Cunliffe , there will still be a leadership contest in February. Cunliffe still wants the job and will work tirelessly to achieve it either on the front or back bench. All the media focus will be on this throughout the summer and no Labour policy will make headway.

    [lprent: Typo e-mail? Should I fix it? ]

    • One Tāne Huna 22.1

      Like the media needs a way to keep Labour policy out of the headlines? On Planet Fisiani, is it?

  23. KhandallaMan 23

    R0b
    I agree with your analysis with one reservation.

    It is the membership that has been pushing for a Leader to fill the vacuum created placing below par performance of Shearer in his current position.  Cunliffe does not have to (and did not) make a bid for leadership at the weekend. The membership is willing him on. 

     

  24. Dr Terry 24

    All things being said (and so many things!) reconciliation always has to be a desirable thing.

    • Crimson Nile 24.1

      I agree here. Capable, mature adults need to take a professional approach and need to be seen to be taking a professional approach.

      “Going nuclear” is simply unnecessary, as is having MPs commenting against each other in public, leaking unhelpful hurtful comments about colleagues. It’s time for the Labour caucus to get it together and to cease being unreasonable and reactive.

    • seeker 24.2

      Agreed Dr T. -if the media and the likes of Chris Hipkins will allow it. Which is where a strong, wise leader who is his own man would come in handy. This could be Shearer’s real chance.

  25. pete 25

    The problem isn’t Shearer/Cunliffe.

    The Labour Party needs to be eviscerated and rebuilt. That should have happened four years ago.
    Leaders of the nation? Laughable when a group can’t even organise themselves, no?

    That will be the public perception in the coming months.

    The Greens will be happy….

    • George D 25.1

      The Greens will be happy….

      This Green is getting pretty upset at it all. Labour’s incompetence and inability to deliver a prospective government is screwing our ability to make the kind of change we’ve always wanted to see. Yes, another 5-10% support would be nice, but not at the expense of government.

      Oh, and no-one who mumbles and is unable answer questions with adequate conviction and clarity should be in public office. Goff had his problems, despite being a competent minister and excellent communicator in front of a crowd. Shearer is just an embarrassment.

      • weka 25.1.1

        As a Green I’m not happy either. I want co-operation politics and a good solid coaltion left wing govt after the next election. If Labour MPs think behaving like a pack of bitchy little kids is ok then we’re all in serious trouble.
         
        On the other hand, I’m feeling inspired by what’s happening with the membership.

    • Anne 25.2

      The Labour Party needs to be eviscerated and rebuilt. That should have happened four years ago.

      That is precisely what has been happening pete but it takes time. It started about 3 years ago with a lengthy round of regional meetings where the rank and file (for the first time in an eon) were allowed to have a proper say in what kind of Labour Party they wanted. The info. was collated and prioritised and sent back to the electorate organisations for comment. The practical aspects of the rebuild began about two years ago and the final building blocks were set in place last weekend. I refer to the constitutional and organisational remits.

      That was the point when the power clique inside Caucus lost the plot and decided to have their tantrum. It took everyone by surprise and it’s fair to say most of us are still reeling. In retrospect, I think it was always on the agenda because they knew there was a good chance the members and affiliates
      would succeed in reclaiming some of their former power. The problem is, they didn’t want people to know the real reason for their angst and anger, so they looked to the obvious scapegoat. Enter David Cunliffe from left stage.

      • pete 25.2.1

        I don’t think rebuilding it to come under control of the Unions is what is required. Nor is going even further left. It will be a disaster.

        The GFC changed the game. Tax, borrow and spend does not work under these conditions. The only thing that can possibly work is a sustainable economy built on earning more than we spend. Why can’t Labour and the Greens grasp this fact?

        • Anne 25.2.1.1

          You are reading something in my comments that isn’t there pete. It has nothing to do with the Unions gaining control… We’re talking about fundamental practical steps to ensure the Party operates at a more democratic level where everyone can fully participate. Union affiliates represent only a small part of that equation. Nevertheless its an important part. They represent thousands upon thousands of ordinary workers who are being drummed into the ground by this Nat. led government.

        • One Tāne Huna 25.2.1.2

          Pete, why are you talking about “tax borrow and spend” as though it represents the party that ran surpluses all the way from 1999 to 2008 and paid off debt incurred by Bill English?

          Are you one of those who thinks he’s entitled to his own facts? Grow up – you aren’t. You aren’t even expressing your own opinion – merely parroting lies you’ve heard.

          • pete 25.2.1.2.1

            Those “surpluses” were from over taxation. Obviously. We were also in a global boom (a fake one, as it turned out) – which is why we dived into recession when it came to an end. We’re a boat bobbing on a tide we can’t control (world markets). When they fall, so do we.

            There is only one sustainable economic position and that is to earn more than we spend. To grow the *size* of the pie. We can’t redistribute our way to prosperity, as many on the left seem to think. We can’t print fake money. It hasn’t worked anywhere.

            “You are reading something in my comments that isn’t there pete.”

            Well, I know it’s not being said. I *suspect* the Unions are gunning for control.

  26. Tangik 26

    When you have a weak leader you will find there will always be room for a challenge. To me Shearer has not performed and to close our eyes to this leaves the way clear for the National party.

    • Murray Machiavully 26.1

      Agreed, and yet it would seem whenever you have Cunliffe in the room there will be a challenge. “Naked ambition” has been the standard descriptive term used for him ever since he got into parliament. Closely followed by “arrogant” and “naked self-interest”. He is extremely competent in many ways but has managed to get every second person offside with him – not a great recipe for party politics, elections or PM under MMP. People can smell his demagogical insincerity a mile off.

      If he could only see past himself, he would do what Michael Cullen did, step aside for the muddling but affable and improving Shearer and pledge his unconditional support in exchange for being no.2. And then becoming the Opposition attack dog that highlights the government’s failings in no uncertain terms, and takes the resulting popularity hit in his leaders stead (NZers hate whingers, even when it’s totally justified). And help to set the policy agenda for Labour.

      The problem now is that all his shenanigans are coming home to roost and he is losing the trust of the party. If his own ambitions mean more to him than his party’s (or his country’s) then maybe he should be set loose. It’s all very well having a strong left wing policy agenda, but if you aren’t prepared to compromise on your own ambitions in order to further those policies…

      • Anne 26.1.1

        MM:
        I’ve had some personal experience of what can happen when some of your colleagues feel threatened by you. In my case, it was the management of a small Public Service agency in the late 1980s and early 1990s who were conducting at that time… what could best be described as a rort against another Public Service agency. I had previously been closely associated with some powerful politicians and – despite my persistent denials to the contrary – they were convinced that association still existed.

        They used every trick in the book to try and get rid of me, including spreading false stories and other tactics which, in my case, bordered on unlawful activity. They found nothing because there was nothing to find. As a result of that experience, I can smell a smear campaign a mile off and this one against Cunliffe is positively stinking!

        • Murray Machiavully 26.1.1.1

          Trevor Mallard and his disciple Chipkins are doing what they have always done, in fact, performing much the same role as i do in the National party ;-) [In Trev's case, well that's him to a T but could Someone please get rid of Chipkins] It seems like a smear but they are providing more smoke where there is already a fire so to speak. Jane Clifton’s column in the Listener is to the point.

          http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/david-cunliffe-shearer-coup-history/

          Of course Cunliffe could long ago have avoided the ire of his caucus, including the smear department, if he’d been better at playing or at least pretending to play the team game. But he can’t – as Clifton points out he lacks the EQ – and that is his tragic flaw.

          I love his speeches on paper as much as the next lefty, but when you can see the video, the impression of a smarmy career politician saying what will please his audience is hard to swallow. The electorate went for a slightly smarmy Key but i doubt they will go for the Uber-smarmy Cunliffe. Any more than they would for Chipkins come to think of it. These guys raise all your average kiwis collective heckles when it comes to “damned politicians”.

  27. lprent 27

    I wasn’t paying much attention to politics back in the 80′s, so the current leadership stoush within Labour is quite an eye-opener for me.

    This is nothing. I didn’t get particularly active until the 90’s and those party conferences were pretty damn tense. This one was actually fun to watch.

    I do remember going to see a public meeting in 89? in Freemans Bay when Richard Prebble was still the Labour MP for Auckland Central. Now that was tense. That’s when I decided I’d rejoin up in Mt Albert

    • prism 27.1

      Did you hear little Richard this morning on Radionz. Cunning little weasel at working out tactics. He has no shame that guy. And when you’re a neo lib in some popular quote ‘You never have to say you’re sorry’. FYI he thinks there will be a challenge in Feb and someone else will win it but not Cunliffe.

  28. Hami Shearlie 28

    The way I see it is this -politically, Cunliffe is HOT HOT HOT, Shearer is NOT NOT NOT!! Cunliffe would attract the female vote for a start! Shearer is like a many times reheated sausage roll – the taste doesn’t get better with time! A leader who can’t speak eloquently in public is a total embarrassment!!

    • Santi 28.1

      True, Shearer should improve his communication skills, but the assertion Cunliffe is “HOT”, as you put it, is totally baseless. What female would could he attract? Are you blind?

      Shearer for his centrist positions is the best to take on Key.

      • felix 28.1.1

        Centrist smentrist. The people Labour need to attract are the people who currently don’t vote, and they aren’t ever going to vote for a right-wing party like National or a right-wing dickhead like Key.

        The handful of hypothetical dickhead voters in the imaginary middle can get fucked. (Or vote National, same thing.)

        • One Tāne Huna 28.1.1.1

          “get fucked”. (Or vote National, same thing.)

          +1

        • pete 28.1.1.2

          There’s nothing right-wing about Key.

          So you’re gunning for the vote that is so left they even see Mana as being too neo-lib, so they currently don’t vote?

          • felix 28.1.1.2.1

            “There’s nothing right-wing about Key. “

            Yeah sure, plenty of non right-wing people think Fox News is a good source of learning.

            “So you’re gunning for the vote that is so left they even see Mana as being too neo-lib, so they currently don’t vote?”

            No. I’m talking about the voters that see Mana as too radical, the Greens as too liberal, National as a bunch of cunts and Labour as a big boring irrelevant waste of time.

            If you need it spelled out any simpler for you, they used to be known as “Labour voters” and now they’re known as “non-voters”.

  29. As an outsider, it seems to me that the best solution for the Labour Party in the current situation is for Shearer to go directly to the party for his mandate (under the 40-40-20 split, I suppose) – perhaps in February, but announced now.

    Labour needs to be united behind a leader the entire party can accept has been elected appropriately, rather than just by the caucus. ‘Appropriate’ now means by the new rules, which all sides appear to see as progress (Shearer’s supporters here note that he ‘championed’ the review leading to this system of choosing leaders so presumably they’d be on-side with this.). Rather than just demanding all members be ‘loyal’ it would actually legitimise the leadership beyond any question.

    This is Shearer’s current problem – his lack of broad legitimacy in the party. Doing as I suggest would show real leadership by him – even if, ironically, it led to him losing. That is the kind of ‘leader’ Labour needs – someone willing to sacrifice their ambitions for the basic cause. As reward, I imagine even if he lost he would be given a senior position on the front bench. If he won, then, ‘yes’, time to unite, shake hands, etc., etc..

    As Gordon Campbell pointed out in his piece on this, the real division is within the party more broadly over what part of the political spectrum it should occupy.

    Anything else will be a band-aid that simply delays the process of repositioning the party along the lines desired by most of its members.

    Basically, I’m just advocating use of the new, more democratic process. That shouldn’t be controversial.

    I think it would also look quite principled to the public – if not, it could certainly be defended in that way (rather than simply looking ‘tough’). 

    • Lanthanide 29.1

      Yeah, I agree.

      Announce now that the vote in February in caucus will be pro-forma with *all* MPs voting for the leadership challenge. Shearer says he will put in his bid for leadership, all other MPs are requested and required to not declare their candidacy more than 2 weeks out from the caucus vote and media inquiries will not be entertained until then.

      Let the wider party decide. That way if Shearer wins, it looks genuine, as does any other winner.

      • George D 29.1.1

        He and his need to regain legitimacy, desperately. Doing so, and then reshuffling immediately afterwards to include the losers and the talent that supported them, is entirely necessary.

  30. There isn’t a contradiction between unity in the battle against the Nats and open debate inside the left. Labour’s opposition needs to get factional:
    http://www.readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/labour-and-f-word.html

  31. Fisiani 31

    Will Shearer act decisively and cut all the cancer from his caucus? He will not be allowed to do so. Imagine the fratricide that would take place if 11 MP’s were expelled from caucus.
    Plan B is now in play. Rig the list and selection process with Cunliffe loyalists over the next two years, win power in 2014 and then overthrow Shearer the day after the election. The Plan B Coup. A PM appointed by the unions for the unions without the consent of New Zealand.

    • Santi 31.1

      Will Shearer act decisively and cut all the cancer from his caucus?
      He has to. He must purge disloyal elements and get on with life.

      • One Tāne Huna 31.1.1

        “Disloyal”?

        Citation needed. The more you make this bold statement without a shred of backup the more I question your sincerity.

        • r0b 31.1.1.1

          OTH – I may be able to save you a little time here.

          It was a while ago, perhaps folk have forgotten, but Santi is a full fledged right wing troll. S/he seems to have come out of retirement just to enjoy the current mess, and is only here to wind people up.

          Sorry to spoil your fun Santi.

          • One Tāne Huna 31.1.1.1.1

            Thanks R0b – I hadn’t seen the handle before but the conclusion was becoming inescapable.

            Another Tory backing Shearer. Can’t imagine why.

            • lprent 31.1.1.1.1.1

              In the search box try typing this
              @author Santi
              In the advanced – set to comments

              Easy way to find commentators and what they have said before.

  32. Michael 32

    While Shearer will probably hang on to the caucus leadership today, I expect he will be rolled early next year, after the rest of the caucus eventually conclude they have no chance of forming a government with him at its head. The interesting question today is who benefits from defenestrating Cunliffe? While it may gain Shearer a bit of breathing space, and perhaps the chance to cut a decent exit deal, I just don’t see him staying at Labour’s apex for long.

  33. Fisiani 33

    Even better scenario. Assume Shearer improves and wins. Then the day after election get a new leader. Shearer loyalists and Cunliffe loyalists will thus fight list placement and candidate selection tooth and nail. This could end in mutual destruction and a flood of votes to the Greens.

    • mike e 33.1

      Fishy anal Democracy a little hard to handle!
      That won’t happen as the whole party will be behind the winning leader you sound like you have been to the Matthew Hooten school of skull skulduggery!

  34. Treetop 34

    I thought that an opposition leader needs to attack the opposition and not his oponent. In other words Shearer expects loyality from Cunliffe and he appears to not give loyality as the leader.

    Waiting for the result from caucus to then see the level of Shearer’s disloyaly toward Cunliffe. If Cunliffe is demoted BIG MISTAKE.

  35. Santi 35

    Shearer should run a mile from him: http://newstalkzb.co.nz/wellington/news/nbpol/1405737597-goff-urging-labour-to-endorse-shearer

    Labour’s former leader is urging his colleagues to endorse the incumbent. Phil Goff says an endorsement for Mr Shearer today will be a useful exposure of the leader’s support.

    I think it’s important the caucus makes absolutely clear our overwhelming support for David Shearer as our leader taking us through to the next election.

    Mr Goff says he’ll be voting for Mr Shearer today and in February.

    • felix 35.1

      Readers should run a mile from Santi. He hates Labour and wants the party to fail.

      Best ignored.

      • Santi 35.1.1

        No, felix. I call it as I see it.

        Shearer is trying to modernise Labour (along the Tony Blair lines) to be credible enough in the eyes of middle NZ to steal enough of the centre off National, whereas his party wants to out flank the Greens on the left.

        • felix 35.1.1.1

          Correct, you call it as you see it.

          And as you see it, Labour is the enemy.

          As above, best ignored.

        • mike e 35.1.1.2

          Trying to be a grinch santi .All your Xmas’s have come at once . Yeah out flank like don brash did for National aye at Orewa!

    • QoT 35.2

      Right, so Goff doesn’t understand how the new constitutional rules work … and we’re meant to listen to a damn thing he says?

  36. AmaKiwi 36

    Shearer has demoted Cunliffe.

  37. SPC 37

    As a total outsider my guess based on human nature – protecting ones privileges – is this.

    The Labour caucus is known to be one dominated by factions. One gets a share of the spoils by being in one. So when caucus primacy is threatened by greater party determination of leadership, the entrenched established power base in caucus has its self interest to protect. And the faction in power in caucus most of all. So all those who have status in caucus now, through seniority or patronage, are going to react.

    The attack on Cunliffe was an attack on party members challenging the status quo. He is a personification of the fear the old guard feels about a new order in the party caucus ranking and loss of control over policy development.

    It’s also a declaration of war over candidate selection in 2014, so the party cannot storm their centre of power in caucus (by determining leadership or new intake) – Kiwiblog is personifying party aspiration for democracy as a Cunliffe device – in this Farrar is serving the interests of the Labour caucus elite. Why?

    It would seem Shearer is not seen as his own man – not by his own caucus supporters who use him as their front or by political opponents. The right don’t fear him as an opponent in a campaign or even as a PM (thinking they can break him to the centre 2000 media style if in government).

    Shearer was the candidate for a new beginning for Labour, one not part of the past. This allowed fresh policy thinking – it worked well with party rejuvenation. He had a good resume but was inexperienced. He seemed someone the old guard could safely use to retain influence while the party itself went through renewal and rebuilding. It could have worked, if those in caucus embraced change and democratisation without fear for loss of their control (their privilege).

    But they were not big enough people to do the right thing. So they now have to live this down and make better choices in future.

    National will hope they can encourage more self-destructive protection of their own nest by the Labour caucus, so that they do not face an opposition united with any conviction that they are in this for their party and the country, rather than developing their own career within a caucus faction.

  38. michael 38

    I think it’s long past time for Labour to move back to where it came from and where its base remains – left (in the NZ context, meaning it’s nothing like North Korea, Cuba, or even Chile under Allende (and we know what happened there – Rogernomics with guns). Over one third of the electorate no longer votes. If Labour can get one-third of the don’t votes into the booths, it will become government again (with help from the Greens and ?). To do that, Labour must offer the people something better than New Right economics – even the Pepsi version it currently peddles. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable.

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    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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