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The least popular weasel wins

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, August 27th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: australian politics - Tags: ,

In the odd moments that I have to view and write about politics outside NZ at present, I happened upon a Wall Street Journal article this morning about the election contest in aussie that got me thinking.

Australia is leaning toward electing its first conservative government in six years, to be led by a man considered by some to have been unelectable due to his tough conservative views on issues ranging from climate change to abortion and gay marriage.

Tony Abbott, leader of the opposition, goes into the Sept. 7 election with his backing parties in pole position. His Liberal National coalition has pulled clear of the center-left Labor government in opinion polls, after both sides were briefly tied as recently as three weeks ago.

That is certainly the case if you read the most recent Roy Morgan poll. The majority is likely to be small but enough

However it was the other part of the article that I found most interesting.

Still, many voters are cautious about Mr. Abbott, whose personal ratings continue to lag those of Mr. Rudd, even as opinion polls point toward a big victory for the Liberal National coalition. “He’s still unpopular, that’s the paradox,” said Zareh Ghazarian, a Melbourne-based political analyst at Monash University. “It highlights how, in the Australia system, we’re looking at the parties rather than the people leading them.”

Mr. Abbott was unavailable to be interviewed for this article.

The opposition leader’s record as health minister in the last conservative government under John Howard is unpopular with some voters, especially his views toward abortion. Younger Australians, in particular, dislike his stance on issues like global warming. Mr. Abbott once referred to arguments about the dangers of climate change as “absolute crap.” He also opposes same-sex marriages.

My italics. With the aussies I’ve met over the last couple of years, this is definitely the impression you get.  Even more than in NZ, the aussies are voting for what they consider are the most effective parties rather than the weasel running them. And they are both weasels and are generally perceived by the public there as being weasels.

As a political activist I don’t have a high opinion of Kevin Rudd. His erratic egocentricity and factional style of politics has effectively allowed the room for the Liberals to consolidate. It is not that the Liberals are popular because they are not. Especially amongst the australians less than 40, who find the conservatism and clear misogyny of the current Liberal party almost unfathomable to understand.

What is clear is that the Australian Labour caucus with its self-destructive fractionalisation and triumph of egotism in its caucus has managed to make themselves unelectable to the majority of voters. The Australian electorate will be voting against them. Ironically, from what I am hearing from activists over there, is that the party machinery, targeting and mobilisation is as good as I have ever heard about. It is entirely possible that they may be able to scrape a slim victory for the left simply because polling techniques are becoming increasingly less effective as the dominance of listed landlines diminishes.

However the media in Australia are (to put it mildly) strongly partisan in their own interests, just as they are here. But the NZ Herald’s self interested campaign against constraining advertising in the electoral reforms bill of 2007 is miniscule compared to the type of media campaigns that the media baron owned media do in aussie. They come down on the side of the interests of the money that own them with scare campaigns on everything from refugees to taxation on mining. They seize on any signs of fractures in a left-wing parties.

This type of personal self-indulgence inside a left wing caucus both here and there is something that doesn’t favour the cause that activists put their time and effort into. It is something that can be ill-afforded both here and obviously in Australia.

As I slowly drift away from being active in the Labour party and concentrate more on other more productive interests, it becomes more and more apparent to me how much I detest unproductive factionalism. I spent the 90’s largely ignoring it inside Labour and focused on the task of how to win elections. This got steadily more difficult through the noughts as the Labour party shuddered in a stasis to avoid it.

That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago because here was a chance to do something outside of the stifling wasteland of an increasingly caucus centric party.

36 comments on “The least popular weasel wins”

  1. Progressive Paradox 1

    “detest unproductive factionalism. …. That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago”

    Yes, because the writers of the standard certainly haven’t been advancing their own faction choice over the last few days have they? Please.

    • lprent 1.1

      Read the about.

      Authors write pretty much whatever they want. This means you are likely to get a range of views just as we did in the previous leadership debates back in 2011.

      Most of the ~45 odd authors are probably in wait and see mode.

      I suspect that many of the commenters are like that as well.

      Personally, I have a leaning towards Cunliffe simply because he has what I consider to be the requisite decade in parliament with significant ministerial experience. I also have reservations about him as being too inclined to being liked by everyone and saying what they want to hear. That is counter-balanced by his actual work record as a minister.

      Robertson worries me because he has had no ministerial experience, less than 5 years in parliament as an MP, and has displayed a monumental ignorance and lack of interest in how to win larger elections (Auckland is 35% of NZ’s population and he has been virtually unknown up here). I fear another experiment like David Shearer with a different shape and same result.

      But I will go and see what he has to say.

      Shane Jones is in my view a waste of time.

      • Progressive Paradox 1.1.1

        “This means you are likely to get a range of views just as we did in the previous leadership debates back in 2011.”

        On the front page, there is an article about how the union vote won’t necessarily go for Grant like claimed in the media, About how Cunliffe has “the moment of expectation”, that Shane Jones is the smoko room candidate (with NO mention of the fact that he is in Cunliffe’s campaign) and the same blogger who wrote this post writes, “Electorally this would be a effectively way of dragging “smoko room” votes to join to beltway votes.” which seems like another implicit endorsement of Cunliffe.

        I actually like Cunliffe and will probably vote for him and I like that the Standard bloggers can endorse whoever they want. But it seems to me that the majority of blog posts so far are overwhelmingly in the Cunliffe camp so claiming that “The Standard” is the bastion of breaking down factional barriers seems to me to be a load of tripe.

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          Many also say that they would like to see Robertson as deputy and the caucus united.

        • framu 1.1.1.2

          and if you looked at the front page on different days it will have different stuff

          i fail to see your point here

          • Progressive Paradox 1.1.1.2.1

            You’re right, but the point is that the articles re: Labour leadership are overwhelmingly pro-Cunliffe, as I say I don’t have a problem with that. I have a problem with the author saying that the Standard somehow breaks down factional barriers.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I have a problem with the author saying that the Standard somehow breaks down factional barriers.

              Please point where the author actually says this. I can’t see it.

              • Progressive Paradox

                “detest unproductive factionalism. …. That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago”

                • Colonial Viper

                  So the author doesn’t actually say that The Standard breaks down factional barriers. You’ve simply taken a possible implication and run with it.

                • lprent

                  That doesn’t say that it breaks down fractional barriers. The key word is “unproductive”. Disagreement is useful. That is how you discover better techniques to get from the current position to the desired objectives, and even to find out what those objectives should be. Not learning from it is unproductive and getting into little defensive circles with small groups only talking to each other is simply useless.

                  I’m interested in making sure that people argue about and are aware of each others arguments. Not only inside the NZLP, but also across the broader labour/left movement.

                  That is what the about states. That is what we do. We don’t expect agreement – even between authors. In fact we encourage disagreement – it is more interesting and informative when coupled with behavioural constraints.

                  What we’re interested in is getting rid of the bloody awful siloing that the left has been prone to over the years.

                  BTW: I’m pretty much a faction of one, as I’m sure that many will attest. I rarely get involved in politics outside of operations. However I’m known for expressing my personal opinions bluntly, forthrightly, and with malice aforethought (diplomacy isn’t one of my interests).

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.3

          majority of blog posts so far are overwhelmingly in the Cunliffe camp so claiming that “The Standard” is the bastion of breaking down factional barriers seems to me to be a load of tripe.

          Firstly “factional barriers” are Labour Caucus and Labour leadership (in the wider sense of the word “leadership”) generated. They’re very little to do with The Standard.

          Secondly, have you written and submitted a pro Robertson or Jones post yourself, to The Standard? It doesn’t need to be long. Put down 200 words and make the case for Robertson or Jones.

          Thirdly, this is politics. People choose sides and back teams. Rallying cries of “unity for the greater good” don’t hold much water. Especially when the people saying them don’t seem to believe in the “greater good” themselves.

          • Progressive Paradox 1.1.1.3.1

            Firstly, I don’t disagree but these are re enforced by Labour membership and left-wing blogs.

            Secondly,I wouldn’t as I said I’m personally leaning towards Cunliffe.

            Thirdly, this seems to contradict your earlier points and doesn’t reflect my comment at all. I’m just saying that the authors of the standard seem pretty pro-Cunliffe and I don’t think it was the best place to write an article decrying factionalism.

            Also, this isn’t just something I’ve come up with. My local Labour MP mentioned their opinion that most of the Standard’s bloggers were in the Cunliffe camp.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Is it factionalism to express support for a particular leader? Or are you saying the people expressing support for Cunnliffe here undermined Shearer when he was leader and thus were part of the factionalising they decry?

            • karol 1.1.1.3.1.2

              The support for Cunliffe is noticeable here because it goes against the line spun by the ABCs via the MSM. Cunliffe also has been getting more support than Robertson in MSM and other polls. So, actually, the support of Cunliffe (allegedly) by the majority of Standardistas, is actually pretty much in line with the polls of the wider population.

              Gordon Campbell on the political factions in Labour & National:

              The notion that Labour in Opposition is somehow inherently more divided than National really is nonsense. National, at the best of times, has always been split between its traditional rural conservatives and its radical urban neo-liberals – and give National five minutes in Opposition and those divisions become screamingly apparent. In the not too distant future, the jostling and the undermining between the Joyce faction and the Collins faction will match and mirror any current divisions in the Labour ranks. That will be so, regardless of whether the current declarations of unity between the Labour contestants are genuine, or not.
              […]
              Keep that in mind over the next few weeks as you hear National MPs parrotting the lines of their leader about the divisions in Labour’s ranks. Not true. Eleven years ago, Bill English was the National Party’s equivalent of David Shearer. Then National changed its leader, got on the comeback trail, and lo, the divisions closed over and were heard from no more. Until next time.

              • expatriot

                +1 to this. I remember when coup rumours started swirling around Goff, the media were quick to point out Labour’s history of infighting etc…, as if it had been Labour who had rolled a sitting Prime Minister in their previous term in office, parachuted in an extremist mascarading as a ‘mainstream New Zealander’ to replace the ineffectual policy wonk they had as leader (under threat of the money disappearing) and later leaked private emails to the media to facillitate the replacement of the extremist with the toupee’d multi-millionaire ‘man of the people’ they have in charge now.

      • pollywog 1.1.2

        Shane Jones is in my view a waste of time.

        …and space. He’s the equivalent of a political black hole!

        If the Labour party cross that event horizon by electing him leader, expect all the light to be sucked out of it and all information entering him to be lost and reconstituted as garbled mish mash.

        In my not so humble opinion 🙂

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    That was why I took to The Standard with such vigour slightly more than 6 years ago because here was a chance to do something outside of the stifling wasteland of an increasingly caucus centric party.

    That’s a money quote, right there.

  3. Bill 3

    A bit of a follow on from comments made on this topic yesterday Lynn.

    Factionalism and power struggles in a caucus that is built around individuals – and that fails to espouse concrete principles or values – is almost inevitable and, of course, destructive.

    But in a caucus constructed around clear principles and values, is it not then sensible to insist that people either a) get on the bus or b) take a hike?

    Otherwise, the risk is that the dynamics of factionalism present in a caucus built around individuals/personalities will eventually become reasserted – meaning that any momentum gained by basing policy on core principles/values will stall and be lost.

    Like I commented two or three days ago – all too often the ‘good guy’ cuts the ‘bad guy’ some slack…just enough for the ‘bad guy’ to wrap around the ‘good guy’s’ neck at some later date. So, whereas some brutal clear-out would be insane and counter productive, I firmly believe that if values are going to be rediscovered by Labour and policies based on those values elevated, then it’s necessary that everyone in caucus has genuinely bought in to some degree or other.

    As for the others? Time to catch another bus, no?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      As for the others? Time to catch another bus, no?

      Basically. The Labour Party has been used as a vehicle by people with too little belief in Labour ideals, for far too long.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Well, that’s kind of my point. And I’m curious as to how that will be dealt with. Vacuous announcements of ‘loyalty’ to the leader only plays into the ‘caucus hanging from individual/personality’ bullshit all over again and sets the scene for factional power struggles in the future. As to how you judge the genuine level of ‘buy in’ of any given individual (assuming a return to core values and principles) is a tricky one, but one that has to be tackled imo.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        The concept of a Broad Church does not necessitate that Labour maintains a “neoliberal sector” or “lifetime careerist sector” amongst its caucus or members.

    • lprent 3.2

      Bill: drat, you just reminded me that I had something to reply back to you. I’ll look it up tonight… busy busy…

      The “take a hike” route invariably just goes down the religious schism route as the nutters keep finding smaller and smaller things to obsess about (and expel others for). Eventually it winds up as discussions about how you hold your pinkie while eating or the differences between sunni and shi-ite, or the strange doctrination differences between socialists in the late 19th century (or any other religious or political or social division you care to name).

      I’d agree that a general set of agreed principles is a good idea. But for any kind of broad movement these will be equally broad – because otherwise it is a narrow movement. The probability of getting two people to agree on a whole range of specifics is about as likely as it is in any marriage.

      So creative tension between people about the ways for proceeding from A to B are just inevitable. The trick is to figure out how to use those creatively without it spilling over into excessive inter-personal conflict. Most of the time this comes down to a set of accepted rules to confine the inevitable conflicts to being useful.

      So no. I think you’re wrong on this.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        So no. I think you’re wrong on this.

        Nah. No I’m not. 🙂 Look at it this way. Any political organisation requires a degree of genuine buy-in by participants. It’s not a case of how much or how pure – so in extra parliamentary activism, that could range from signing a petition or tooting a horn through to giving up free time to attend to organisational requirements etc.

        A crucial difference though – unlike the case of parliament and its salaries – there is no real incentive to be cunning or sly or dishonest about your involvement. The involvement of people is generally genuine – undercover cops or someone involved because they have the hots for somebody aside.

        Now I know that the more cult like left orgs get into this whole ‘holier than thou’ bullshit and ‘I’m toeing and understanding the party line better than you’, nonsense. I think that’s what you have in mind in your comment above and, insofar as that’s the case, I agree with you on where that winds up.

        But since I’m more interested in what you term ‘broad churches’ and getting as much involvement and participation from as many people as possible, the problem for me is protecting the integrity of that broad church by avoiding capture by personalities and cliques while also resisting dilution of core values via the adoption of lowest common denominators in the name of ‘unity’.

        So, where in extra parliamentary politics you might ease out the person who’s only there because they want into the pants of who-ever, so it has to be with the Labour Party for those in caucus who aren’t there for any of the right reasons.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          So, where in extra parliamentary politics you might ease out the person who’s only there because they want into the pants of who-ever, so it has to be with the Labour Party for those in caucus who aren’t there for any of the right reasons.

          That is a current question, hopefully with some kind of resolution coming up later this year.

          In the past with electorate seats you’d find that the selection became contested or the MP would lose their seat if they weren’t meeting the needs of their local membership and/or electorate. It didn’t happen often but it sure as hell was a bit of a permanent threat in electorates. MP’s in a large part became reflections of a goodly part of their electorates/membership or they didn’t survive. It didn’t mean that they reflected teh party as a whole. For instance think Damien O’Conner or George Hawkins or Helen Clark or Lianne Dalziel. Each are quite different to each other, have worked hard to retain majorities, and in large part they listen very carefully to their electorates.

          The problem in the NZLP and other parties under MMP is that the list selection rather than becoming place to bring new people on board, instead became a lifeboat for failed MPs. Personally I think that there is a place for electorate MP’s to be on the list is they found a home in a very marginal electorate. Someone who had a large majority shouldn’t be on the list at all. It gives them an incentive to work on retaining their majority. Mt Albert hasn’t been a natural labour electorate since I was a kid there, and especially since the widescale boundary changes from 1996 onwards. However both Warren Freer and Helen Clark managed to make it a safe Labour seat.

          The real question is how the MP’s and candidates get on the list. Right now there is little or no relationship between what goes on in selection meetings and what comes out at the end. It seems to most who get involved in it at regionals that they put in a list and then something completely unrelated to *any* regional list comes out. Hopefully that will get cleared up at conference. We see a series of golden parachutes instead for factional alliances..

  4. tc 4

    Yup it’s quite head shaking that Abbott will likely be PM in Oz, a barking loon let in by a self destructing labor party who simply can’t get to grips with the reality most of the hard work was done by Hawke/Keating/Button in the 80’s and 90’s.

    This laid the foundation of broader tax base (FBT, CGT) and compulsory super which saw Oz forge ahead, sure the minerals boom helped but there’s no taxes from it flowing into roads, schools etc as that’s PAYE/state taxes on property stamp duty etc doing that.

    The Lib’s added GST under johnny H.

    The minerals boom helped sections of Oz and it’s balance of payments but make no mistake the broader tax base and making people self fund their retirement are massive assists in balancing a gov’ts books.

    Kev will go close, that’s why he’s their as polling was predicting a slaughter under Gillard.

    • lprent 4.1

      Oh I agree that it will be close. However I think that much of the reason that Gillard was in trouble was because the Rudd effect was still stirring on a back boiler over the whole current term

      • Murray Olsen 4.1.1

        Rudd and Abbott have one thing in common – they will both do anything to be PM. Due to the way they read the Australian electorate, this includes a lot of obscenely bad rubbish such as refugee policy and intervention in the Northern Territory. The difference is that this obscenely bad rubbish is at the core of LNP beliefs, whereas Rudd can only adopt it by weakening the values of Labor. Australia really needs to rebuild the ALP, just as Kiwis need to rebuild Labour. I think Cunliffe is the right person to do it in Aotearoa, but I have no idea who can lead and inspire a rebuild of the ALP. Maybe Penny Wong, but she doesn’t seem to have the number of personality defects required when you look at Rudd, Gillard, Latham, Beazley…….

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 4.2

      I know some good people in the ALP, reasonably high up the food chain. At a recent function – yes, it was a barbecue – one of the attendees, a sitting MP, confided to me that many in the party regard a narrow defeat as the best possible outcome. It sounds like a big chunk of the ALP would rather lose than have Rudd as Prime Minister. Their own Leader.

  5. Greywarbler 5

    Cripes that graph looks like my 3 year grandchild’s art work! Full marks for colour and modern, edgy design.

    the stifling wasteland of an increasingly caucus centric party.
    …an increasingly party-centric party. And outside Party Centre the hoi polloi mill disconsolately noses pressed to the glass watching the streamers fly and a brief blooming of political vitality then a gradual reversion through the seasons back to wasteland.

    We must make the desert bloom and stay blooming well on the job.

  6. JonL 6

    “Kev will go close, that’s why he’s their as polling was predicting a slaughter under Gillard.”

    Trouble is, he’s acting like a cornered chook looking for the escape hole in the cage from an axe wielding Coalition party, flinging harebrained policies around like chaff! Mind you, Abbotts “we’ll solve the people smuggling problem by buying all the boats” must take the cake for sheer loonyness!

    The Libs are trying to place themselves as “fiscally responsible”, but, if the State governments are anything to go by, nothing could be further from the truth! And Abbot’s fronting grandiose schemes involving tens of Billions of dollars, whilst saying he’ll lower taxes, personal and company!!!! So, rightly so, everyone is saying “where will the money come from” and we all know where – the standard slash and burn tactics the right usually employ on the average citizenry whilst enriching the already rich “to stimulate the job market”. Bollocks.
    People here are voting against Labour (thanks Rupert Murdoch) , no-one likes the Greens (thanks Rupert Murdoch) and are very uneasy about the Lib/Nats but feel they don’t really have a choice (thanks again Rupert Murdoch)

  7. Sable 7

    Abbotts a baboon. It would be very bad for Australia if that creep wins. He’s every bit as bad as Keys.

  8. Mjoy 8

    I have just finished reading Kerry-Anne Walsh’s book, “The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How the Media and Team Rudd Brought down the Prime Minister”. Worth reading, because of what it reveals about the unethical behaviour of the Aussie MSM. Worth remembering that those same Aussie media companies dominate the NZ News market. Rudd and Abbott are both weasels and Murdoch is very dangerous.

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  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    21 hours ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 day ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
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    1 day ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
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    2 days ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
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    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
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    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
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    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
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    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
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    2 days ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
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    2 days ago
  • Some big news, for me
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    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
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    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
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    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    12 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    13 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    14 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    16 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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