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‘Locked Up Warriors': 101 East

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 pm, November 9th, 2013 - 95 comments
Categories: class war, crime, health, Maori Issues, poverty, prisons, unemployment, wages, welfare - Tags:

I just watched “Locked Up Warriors” on 101 East on Al Jazeera.  It is pretty sobering to watch.  The message I got from it: Maori in soul destroying poverty; too much money spent on prisons; not enough money and government support of low income communities; some communities are doing some very good things on very little money, to support their people.

The article under the video says:

New Zealand ranks as one of the world’s most peaceful countries in the Global Peace Index every year. Yet despite a strong reputation for social justice and equality, the South Pacific nation has the second highest rate of imprisonment rates in the western world.

In the past two decades, the jail population has doubled. One international study examining law and order across western nations attributes it to a “tough on crime” approach by New Zealand’s political parties since the 1980’s, even though crime rates are low.

Today each prisoner costs on average $94,000 to lock up and the current government has described New Zealand’s prison problem as a moral and fiscal failure.

Making sure the punishment fits the crime is a widely debated subject in New Zealand but what is undeniable is the gross over representation of minorities in jails.One in two prisoners is indigenous Maori even though they only account for just 15 percent of the population. Maori are over represented in all sectors of the criminal justice system due to soaring rates of child poverty, school dropout, unemployment and family breakdown within indigenous communities.

It’s a long term problem and successive governments have failed too many people. The current government is doing way too little, and spending too much on prisons, while the crime rate is dropping.

CTU on unemployment in December 2012:

Maori unemployment is 14.8 percent, Pacific unemployment is now up at 16 percent, and youth unemployment (15-19 years) has gone up to an unacceptable 30.9 percent.

Maori health:

As a population group, Māori have on average the poorest health status of any ethnic group in New Zealand.

Mike Mather in the Waikato Times last month:

“Maori health is a shared responsibility.

“We have a long way to go, but by working together we can and are making a difference.”

Te Puna Oranga was involved in several initiatives to try to lift Maori out of the tough situations many in the Waikato found themselves in.

Chief among these was the Project 270 child poverty initiative, a key part of which was the Kai in Schools (KiS) programme targeting the 45 decile 1, 2 and 3 schools in the Waikato.

Children who had breakfast were more likely to attend, and be able to concentrate at, school, and therefore learn.

“It’s the major way of breaking the poverty cycle. You can’t learn at school if you are hungry.”

Educated children were more likely to grow up to get better paying jobs and lift their families and communities out of poverty, Mr Tamatea said.

Board member Martin Gallagher said he endorsed the food in schools programmes like KiS, as well as getting doctors or health professionals based at lower-decile schools.

Wikipedia says NZ’s Dept of Corrections is a growth area:

When National came to power in 2008, the Department built a new 1,000 bed prison at Mt Eden for $218 million[15] in a public private partnership and gave the contract to Serco.[16]

The Department’s growth has been such that in July 2010, Finance Minister Bill English expressed concerns that Government spending was “led by a rapidly expanding prison system which would soon make Corrections the government’s biggest department”.[17] As at December 2011, New Zealand had 20 prisons and the Department employed over 8,000 staff.[18] The Department’s operating budget is over $1 billion a year.[19]

NZ’s incarceration rate is an international disgrace.

The programme is available on youtube

The video is hard to watch in the first section, because it shows people talking about their violent crimes, and criminal experiences in gangs.

I worry that the first part of the programme focuses too much on the negative aspects of Maori lives.  The later part shows a more positive representation of initiatives being done to stop re-offending and embrace ex-offenders in their communities.

Do you think this is a fair representation of one aspect of NZ?

95 comments on “‘Locked Up Warriors': 101 East”

  1. adam 1

    Colonialist mind set, made one of a hell of a come back with neo-liberal economics. Zombie economics is a racist beast as well – who would have thought ah – that white privilege, would impose an economic system to help support there white privilege.

    I liked this programme – and yes there is some positive initiatives out there – but the current reality with the sensible sentencing trust – or as they should be called *racist hiding behind a sentencing trust* – and their ilk taking money from private prisons – ex-offenders are fucked. They have done the time – but they are being punished again and again.

    Fear is the winner on the day – funny how the white collar criminals are walking free and keeping titles. Whilst when your brown – your locked up. And then dumbed in a caravan park or a shitty state house when you get out. Why oh why didn’t I come up with a scheme to rip off millions of middle class white people. *SIGH* to honest I suppose.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 1.1

      Why oh why didn’t I come up with a scheme to rip off millions of middle class white people. *SIGH* to honest I suppose.

      The system has deteriorated so far that the top 0.01% is indeed ripping off the white middle class. Look at Spain, Greece, Italy, and large swathes of the US.

      Colonialist mind set, made one of a hell of a come back with neo-liberal economics.

      Yes. Multinationals see countries as either: markets, mines, or basket cases to be exploited.

      In fact, we are living in a kind of inverse dictatorship now. No figurehead dictator runs the game, but the machinery of exploitative capitalism moves on irresistably, directed by the sum total of perhaps a few tens of thousands very influential people world wide. Billionaires, banking bureaucrats, directors of the board.

      ex-offenders are fucked. They have done the time – but they are being punished again and again.

      That’s the immorality of our system.

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.1

        And Phil Goff made sure it kept happening. Why is he still in Labour?

        To answer Karol’s question: I was heavily involved in that sort of scene nearly 40 years ago. From what I can remember, and what I still see, the depiction is accurate. Fairness is not a concept that can be applied to the Kiwi injustice system. Basically, what it does is try to break the Maori spirit and beat them down as a people, in a way that was never achieved during the colonial days. What we see is equivalent to the Klu Klux Klan teaching blacks their place in the US and A, except that we do it as government policy, and pretend we’re respectable and decent.

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          Thanks, Murray. Yes, it is s kind of neocolonisation. And when things like the Urewera raids, etc…. not a pretty picture of ways that Maori are dominated, driven the the margins etc and breaking of their spirirts.

          • Crunchtime 1.1.1.1.1

            The Urewera raids made me ashamed of my government, my police force and my country.

            They are just the most visible and newsworthy example of how Maori are treated like crap in this country. Treated like criminals in their own country! Supposedly we’re better than the aussies at showing respect for the indigenous people… But I’m sorry, we’re still appalling.

  2. xtasy 2

    “Yet despite a strong reputation for social justice and equality, the South Pacific nation has the second highest rate of imprisonment rates in the western world.”

    Yep, New Zealand is amongst the “leading” countries within the OECD in a number of areas.

    It is a disturbing reality, and it shows signs of a “failed society” – in some ways.

    Much of the blame can – besides of systemic issues, be laid with the now rather ruthless economic system, the never ending bias by media (portraying Maori, Pasifika and also those “lazy beneficiaries” in often negative light), and I must say, an also largely bigoted and predominantly white, Anglo Saxon “middle class”, that does not want anything to do with the “unwashed” at the bottom. Why do we have “better off” suburbs in the main centres, same as they have in the US? Why would certain people not want to live in South Auckland, and would do all to not to “have to” send their kids to schools there?

    Or is it that some are simply “born bad”???

    I would say it is the same issue behind this, that is found in most societies, where minorities are having higher “fail” rates in education, health and employment, in crime and substance abuse. It seems that belonging to a minority predetermines people to end up in a poverty trap. The same is the case with the native Australians, the Indians in the US and Canada, and in some Latin American countries, with gypsies or Roma in Europe, with certain migrant communities there and elsewhere. Also do similar problems persist in many Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries.

    This should compel governments, and in this case surely the New Zealand government, to sit down and listen, to face up to the real root causes.

    Inequality is one of the roots of all this evil, and it seems to lock people into it. All we get is stupid “welfare” policies that further stigmatise, marginalise and blame, that pressure and punish the ones dependent, rather than actually support and help them in effective ways. We get social policy that now even puts pressure on sick and disabled, where they suspect people to rather malinger than be truly ill.

    For Paula Bennett and this government to listen to such nutcase “experts” like Professor Mansel Aylward and a Dr David Bratt, rather than apply common sense and fair measures, that also include the voice of the affected, that is showing how out of touch this government is. Well, actually they are knowingly applying their draconian approach, as the goal is cost cutting and saving, nothing else.

    Until there is a proper, radical change in welfare and other policies, and above all a change in the minds of the bulk of the population, I fear “we” (as a society) will continue to lock people up and keep them suppressed and marginalised.

    • vto 2.1

      xtasy: “Much of the blame can – …, be laid with the ……., the ……. and also ……., and I must say, an also largely bigoted and predominantly white, Anglo Saxon “middle class”, that does not want anything to do with the “unwashed” at the bottom.”

      What a load of horseshit. Care to back up any of that crapploa?

      • xtasy 2.1.1

        Just one example: “Beggar bans” and policies in that direction, like in Auckland City!

        It got a fair bit of support from that particular “middle class”, when having read a fair bit of feed-back on various websites, except here and the Daily Blog, of course.

        In politics – it took ages for New Zealand to bring in a weak or moderate kind of Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, while many other “developed” countries already had so for much, much longer. I know a person who has suffered from having been imprisoned at a young age, growing up in a small town on the South Island, where the cops just disliked him to challenge some “middle class” conservative social views, so they set him up, charged him, beat him up a few times too by the way, and with lies got him convicted to a prison term.

        That runined his whole life, and still now, anyone with a prison term will not qualify for a clean slate record, no matter for what trivial “conviction” the sentence was.

        I have more, but will not bother you and not stress you out more, as you already seem to be “distressed” about some realities in New Zealand. It is people that vote in governments, and one needs to be realistic about that, that there are a fair number that are not that “liberal”, fair and “social” as some want us to believe.

        But similar “middle class” bigotry and judgmental views are of course common in other places also, and yes, it is not just the “white” ethnic persons, who may fall into such modes of behaviour. Every country and society has its issues, here, if I am right, it is about New Zealand, and particularly Maori getting a rough deal. But to make you feel better, I have enough white middle class bigots in my own family!

    • Foreign Waka 2.2

      Your comments are coming to this conclusion:

      “Inequality is one of the roots of all this evil, and it seems to lock people into it. All we get is stupid “welfare” policies that further stigmatise, marginalise and blame, that pressure and punish the ones dependent, rather than actually support and help them in effective ways. We get social policy that now even puts pressure on sick and disabled, where they suspect people to rather malinger than be truly ill.”

      You seem to belief hat it is whites that cause this, but inequality has no color, no boundary and certainly no unifying colloquial language.
      What you have to look at is actually quite simple: Who or what is winning and follow the money trail.
      This will lead you to the people whose only cause to live is getting more of the same at all costs. It is in their interest that you belief in the story of whites and colored peoples war of class into the next 2000 years because that will aid their purpose of quietly acquiring the very bed you sleep in.
      I am not saying that there is not an element of fear of loosing any status with some of the people (regardless of color!) but by and large its just manipulation to divide.

      • xtasy 2.2.1

        “The same is the case with the native Australians, the Indians in the US and Canada, and in some Latin American countries, with gypsies or Roma in Europe, with certain migrant communities there and elsewhere. Also do similar problems persist in many Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries.”

        Of course it is not necessarily and simply a “race” matter, but to some degree that tends to come into play here and in other places (ethnic, cultural and religious belonging playing roles in all this). And I did mention a few other places, where they also have their own particular social and socio economic “issues”.

        What I tried to explain is, that belonging to a “minority” tends to lead to forms of discrimination and disadvantages in many areas, as a result of marginalisation. Being raised poor and as a member of a minority means in many cases as facing an uphill battle. This is not unique to New Zealand, but clearly also happening here, whether we like it or not.

        And when I think of “rednecks” I come to think of one predominant group in this place. As societies evolve, any problems can and should be realised, raised, discussed and tried to be resolved, so we can look for improvements, hopefully.

    • binders full of women 2.3

      Why the “—” on ‘leading’ in OECD? Is this sarcasm and you are insinuating that we’re leading the bad stats? Cos we’re not, in fact we are leading in all the good stats! Fresh out this week ‘OECD How’s life? Nov 2013′. NZ leading (as in 1st place) in health, top also in gender equality, in the top 1/2 dozen for education and others. And that whinge de jour about inequality (from all those people who buy that ‘Spirit Level’ pseudo science) well okay we are below the OECD average- but only by one place and the difference between NZ and the 6-7 countries that are better is a couple of percent. And the good news is our levels of income inequality are dropping since mid 90s.

      http://www.oecd.org/statistics/HsL-Country-Note-New-Zealand.pdf

      But back to the video- I have met Mr Henare OKeefe.. lovely man. Wise words.

      • Mike S 2.3.1

        “our levels of income inequality are dropping since mid 90s.”

        Only because there are many wealthy people, as well as those who are well off, who declare very low or no income.

      • xtasy 2.3.2

        “Is this sarcasm and you are insinuating that we’re leading the bad stats?”

        So all is well then? It was a bit of sarcasm behind my comment, as New Zealand is indeed much at the top with incarceration rates per population, while other stats are not so bad. Also are there diseases here that children and adults get, which are not known in most OECD countries, and which some describe as “3rd world diseases”.

        Add the poor home insulation and so forth, and things do not look so “hot”. And I have seen that “warm up NZ” insulation in Housing NZ homes, it is in many cases a “cheapo” solution, delivering rather mediocre results. Sticking some foil underneath floorboards and padding on top of ceilings does not add that much more warmth in cold winters, when windows and doors are allowing draft through, and when walls and so have no insulation inside.

        While NZ is indeed showing good results in some statistics, that does not apply to all. But some do not want to hear that, as it is supposed to be all “sunshine” all about, 24/7, I suppose.

        But welcome to the “brighter future”!

    • SPC 2.4

      You should have said indigenous minority in other countries, it does not apply to every minority.

      Becoming an underclass in one’s own country must be quite crushing to the human spirit. Migrants tend to flourish, including some of the indigenous minority when they travel offshore.

  3. photonz 3

    Within weeks of abolishing the youth hourly rates a few years ago, youth unemployment doubled.

    Repeat – doubled within weeks.

    As an employer, if I can employ a 30 year old mum with work experience and recomendations, but it costs the same for a pimply faced 17 year old with a bad attitude, who do you think will get the job.

    The left naively though abolishing youth rates would help them. If any body on the left had ever employed any youth, they would have realised they were kneecapping them.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 3.1

      Hey photonz,

      Apart from being a disloyal lying shit head, you should consider the fact that we are simply underspending into the economy. Severely underspending. That’s why there is a shortage of jobs.

      The Right naively think that valuing young people less than other people in society is the way ahead.

      The fact of the matter is of course that the Right focus on depressing labour prices as that (and stealing public assets) is the only method they know of increasing corporate profits.

      • infused 3.1.1

        Remove head from ass and you may be able to see the light.

        Youth rates are a stepping stone. Simple as that.

        • Foreign Waka 3.1.1.1

          Infused, it should at least go hand in hand with an apprenticeship.This is the obligation of any civilized country, to make a future for the next generation . It is laissez-faire policies to abscond from it.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 3.1.1.2

          Youth rates use young people as a stepping stool. Simple as that.

    • SPC 3.2

      Did youth unemployment increase while the unemployment rate remained unchanged?

      If not, the problem was an increase in unemployment – lack of new jobs to those leaving school.

  4. photonz 4

    You’ve clearly never put out your own money on the line to employ anyone.

    Funny how the left say we’re underspending, say the govt should have borrowed more, and in the next breath criticise the level of debt.

    Yet more evidence of the appalling level of economic education in schools.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 4.1

      Orthodox economics is a big fat vat of laced Kool Aid. False, misinterpreted, and to be avoided at all costs.

      Funny how the left say we’re underspending, say the govt should have borrowed more, and in the next breath criticise the level of debt.

      You’re rambling.

      If you weren’t such a dickhead, you’d have noticed my many assertions that the NZ Government can spend money into the economy to get necessary work done. Borrowing more is not necessary. Regardless, Cullen gave English the fiscal space needed, by paying down debt pre 2008.

      You’ve clearly never put out your own money on the line to employ anyone.

      Meh. You’re only talking about yourself.

  5. photonz 5

    Tat loo says “If you weren’t such a dickhead,”…”Apart from being a disloyal lying shit head,”

    If lack the ability to debate intelligently, you could try resorting to personal abuse.

    Oh – you already have.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 5.1

      Ducking for cover, you disloyal lying shit head? How does it feel to be advocating for lower wages for young New Zealanders? Does it give you a warm feeling to be playing a pivotal role in further depressing the income share going to labour in this country?

      As for inability to debate intelligently – nice derail. Now get back to arguing the economics. If you can, that is.

  6. photonz 6

    Tat loo says “How does it feel to be advocating for lower wages for young New Zealanders? ”

    How does it feel to be advocating for unemployment?

    At $15 an hour, I have a job for someone.

    If it costs me $18, then I have no job – because I have to pay nearly 3 months wages every year for ZERO work – add up 4 weeks holiday, a weeks sick leave, 11 days statutory holiday, and the equivalent of 4 weeks a year in paid coffee breaks.

    And besides that, the current minimum wage (adjusted for inflation) is much higher than it was for anyone ten or twenty years ago.

    For example, in 1999 the minimum wage was $7 which is $9.95 in today’s money, So today’s minimum wage in nearly 40% higher.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 6.1

      Forget it mate. Everyone can see the billions of dollars being extracted out of NZ annually. There’s no shortage of money. The question is, as always, who is pocketing it.

      Also. All your stats are shit. Advocating for a slave economy should be below you.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2

      The fifth Labour government raised the minimum wage nine times in nine years and unemployment went down to its lowest level in NZ history. The standard model dogma you are spouting is not found in the real world.

      Not. Found. Eat that.

    • KJT 6.3

      Photo.

      So you think we should subsidise your business, which cannot pay a decent wage, so you can pay your workers less than they cost.

      You can’t have much of a business.

      And, Ignoring the fact that, due to Unions, in the past, very few people were on minimum wage.

      Now a large proportion of workers are.

      I was on much more in my teens.

      Apprentices in the 70’s got $64 a week. Work that out in today’s dollars.
      Funny that, with the high pay there were still plenty of apprenticeships.

      How much do they get now, Photo, if they are paid at all?

    • Foreign Waka 6.4

      You argument is circular but I guess you have noticed that when you wrote it. Less pay, less buying power, less business, less pay ….. etc you get the picture.
      Having a business is an investment, not just in plant and buildings (less and less so unless manufacturing something) but also into the community. Unfortunately, share markets just talk the talk and do not walk the walk. It is high time that people who are investing into their business and community take back what is rightfully theirs. However, this is not done by taking the last penny from the ones on the bottom of the heap.

    • joe90 6.5

      So today’s minimum wage in nearly 40% higher.

      So?.

      Housing
      that cost $100.00
      in quarter 1 of 1999
      would have cost

      $231.08

      in quarter 1 of 2013

      http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary_policy/inflation_calculator/

    • Will@Welly 6.6

      photonz – yes, but what you are not factoring in, is that in 1991, the then National Government deliberately reduced benefits which had the effect of reducing overall wages in New Zealand, particularly to those in the lower sectors.
      When you do you budgets for the year, you should factor in the cost of holiday pay, etc, so that it evens itself over a 12 month period. As for paid “coffee breaks”, imagine working an 8 – 10 hour day without a break – I have, I have worked in hospitality for a number of years, so alot of us know that when it’s busy, breaks go out the door – the breaks are good for staff morale, and usually result in better productivity.
      You come across as a mean old bugger, just wanting to exploit your staff.

  7. photonz 7

    tat says “Also. All your stats are shit.”

    Is that the best response you’ve got ? That’s pathetic.

    Stats are all correct.

    Show me what’s wrong – I’d love the opportunity to prove you’ve got no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 7.1

      Your “stats are correct”

      Really? Feel free to show your calculations and sources then. Go on.

  8. photonz 8

    Happy to prove you have no idea what you’re talking about

    Minimum wage 1999 – $7
    http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/pay/minimumwage/previousminimum.asp

    Inflation calculator $7 in 1999 = $9.95 today
    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary_policy/inflation_calculator/

    • Tat Loo (CV) 8.1

      Does that inflation calculator take into account the doubling of accomodation and housing costs? No? Whoops

  9. photonz 9

    Tat says “Does that inflation calculator take into account the doubling of accomodation and housing costs? No? Whoops”

    Wrong (again) – the CPI includes housing and rents.

    • KJT 9.1

      Really.

      We have already established that the CPI understates the rise in costs for those on lower incomes, by a considerable amount.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 9.1.1

        Also there were several years of negligible minimum wage increases under Ruth Richardson, pre 1999, which motivated Labour to actually catch it up with larger increases relatively quickly.

        Photo’s chosen time period deliberately cuts that out from consideration.

    • Foreign Waka 9.2

      OK photonz – I am not inclined to give something for nothing but your comment is just way way off the reality path here.
      Let’s see about these costings:
      1999 – in a Wellington suburb $210.00, in 2013 – $ 395.00 _ Same house, same flat no less. So here is the true measure – and this looks to me a rise of 88%.
      Food – since I do the household shopping in my family, I can reassure you that the average grocery bill per week has gone up by around 82-83%.
      Both items are true measures – from the real life out there.
      By your standard, the minimum wage – that is the minimum one needs to live on and to survive would be measured in : 1999 – $ 7.00, 2013 with the inflation calculator should be $ 12.95.
      Now lets not forget that there are many retired people out there who have also a right to life (what do you think?) and they have to survive on 60% of that.
      The policy of envy and sandpit bullying – NZ grow up!

  10. photonz 10

    I only calculated employees taking a weeks sick leave per year when it seems the average is half a week more than that –

    http://www.statschat.org.nz/2011/07/01/do-women-really-take-more-sick-leave/

    • Tat Loo (CV) 10.1

      So how do tea breaks allow foreign shareholders to take around $8B out of NZ per year?

      • infused 10.1.1

        Run out of arguments, lets change subjects and use big numbers.

        Tat, you’re a moron. Do yourself a favor and stop posting.

    • karol 10.2

      photonz,the stats you have been ignoring: all that money spends on prisons and corrections & the contracting out to dodgy corporations like Serco.

      • KJT 10.2.1

        Photo is noted elsewhere for;
        Regurgitating planet Key stats that only tell half the story.
        Thinking that the economic “theory of the household” applies to countries.
        Trying to justify everything this Government does. No matter how evil.
        Peddling bennie bashing welfare myths such as the “hordes of feral solo mums” overwhelming NZ.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.2.1.1

          I wonder whether Photonz is a genuine lying piece of trash, or just a genuinely gullible idiot who doesn’t know any better than to mindlessly repeat the lies of others.

          Either way, we need better wingnuts.

          • KJT 10.2.1.1.1

            To give Photo credit I think he is, like Wayne, a true believer who has swallowed the Neo-liberal line.

            Like those people in the Street who think they are doing you a favour, by giving you their tracts.

    • KJT 10.3

      Have you calculated the working hours of the Port Lyttelton Manager who got a 600k bonus for playing golf, while his workers were driving cranes that shook like a fairground ride during earthquakes.

  11. tracey 11

    “add up 4 weeks holiday, a weeks sick leave, 11 days statutory holiday, and the equivalent of 4 weeks a year in paid coffee breaks”

    would you like a fiddle nero?

  12. tracey 12

    photonz

    how much do you earn each year by way of drawings salary and including any income maximising methods. where do you live?

    honesty is appreciated.

  13. Ad 13

    A balanced review. Very impressed with the community volunteers who took initiative, but even more impressed with the grandparents who were raising children without functioning parents.

    I definitely feel safer with a declining NZ crime rate and criminals locked in jail. Even the Hawkes Bay Councillor Mr O’Keefe acknowledged that the problem will always be with us, and the existing system will never fully work for Maori. Any programme starting from now will only soften a huge peak.

    My only 2 points are these. Bulldoze the gang headquarters, burn them to the ground, attacked their bank accounts, rip their patches off, and laser off their tattoos, and do it all on tv. Gangs will always be with us, but they can be almost destroyed. They are the intergenerational crime-breeders.

    Secondly, the Labour housing programme should build papakainga housing in small towns for grandparents looking after children, interest and principal free while the children live there. The hope is with the next generation.

    • karol 13.1

      Bulldoze the gang headquarters, burn them to the ground, attacked their bank accounts, rip their patches off, and laser off their tattoos, and do it all on tv. Gangs will always be with us, but they can be almost destroyed. They are the intergenerational crime-breeders.

      I think you’re being a bit harsh on the Merril Lynch gangsters that enriched our current PM. And the headquarters of their NZ branch is a historic building (albeit bought through dodgy processes), so I wouldn’t want to see it bull dozed.

    • KJT 13.2

      Since when did a “decrease in the rate of convictions” and a “decrease in reported crime”, (because the statistical basis was changed), become a “decrease in the crime rate”?

      I have already taken the Herald to task for their misleading headline claiming the same thing.
      Especially when their own article under the headline qualified it.

      Just as well for the crime rate, though, most of our present young adults grew up under the previous Government. Before NACT’s swath of destruction of our schools and communities.

    • Murray Olsen 13.3

      Did you apply to join that gang in Boy and get turned down? You are so full of hate and despair. That’s not how to run a justice policy.

  14. Ad 14

    So droll Karol. If Al Jazeera had done a program on corruption and financial crime you would have had a point. But they didn’t, so you don’t.

    • karol 14.1

      ad, my point is that you mention of bulldozing the gang headquarters is attacking the symptom and not the underlying cause. And to get to the underlying causes, you need to look at what is happening at the top of the tree.

      I agree with your idea of a Labour-led government building houses: I’d like to see more state houses in the regions (along with their idea of revitalising the regions), as well as in the cities.

      If you’re suggesting sending Maori to small towns…. why not other people as well…. and I would still like to see provisions for Maori and all low income people in the cities. Otherwise it looks like abandoning cities like Auckland to the better off classes.

      • KJT 14.1.1

        When you have the example of cruel, antisocial, mendacious crims at the top, including outfits such as Serco, and our present Government, it is not surprising that those at the bottom think it is OK, to try and get their cut..

    • Foreign Waka 14.2

      Just a question: what is does the statistics on convictions say for all criminals in NZ and what is the breakdown between ethic groups? I think this would be more telling. Without this information all that is done here is propaganda and mudslinging.

  15. as far as being a high-quality doco/current-affairs piece..it wasn’t all that..

    ..far too much reliance on personal-anecdotal..

    ..lazy journalism..(shoot ‘n hope..)

    ..it could have been far more potent/powerful..

    ..phillip ure..

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      I think we need to remember that it was for an international audience, many of whom will think of Aotearoa in terms of LOTR scenery. In many cases, this will be their first introduction to the fact that we live in a highly punitive and unequal society. In fact, people I’ve met in my travels are shocked to hear how many Kiwis are, or have been, in prison. Most Germans, for example, don’t know anyone who has been in prison, whereas most Kiwis would know at least one person. The people who run our country are intent on turning it into a social and environmental wasteland. This program gives a peek at one aspect of that. I wouldn’t be too hard on it.

      • Tat Loo (CV) 15.1.1

        Once Were Warriors remains shock therapy for foreigners who have only had exposure to the 100% Pure image of NZ.

  16. Ad 16

    Attacking symptoms is vital to any illness.

    I couldn’t see the programme saying that inequality caused violent crime which in turn caused high incarceration rates. I saw it saying there is a major rehabilitation problem.

    I am very confident that there’s a relation between high inequality and the diseases of poverty. But I haven’t seen evidence that decreasing inequality causes low violent crime.

    what I did see on the programme is that violent crime and poor parenting is a Maori problem. So yes papakainga housing for elders with mokopuna should be limited to Maori. Remember the last time a labour tried a broad Maori-focused social programme? It nearly killed the government.

    • karol 16.1

      The programme didn’t really go very deep, as phillipure says above. But it’s main focus was on the high incarceration rate in NZ and the high proportion of Maori being imprisoned, while NZ’s crime stats show a decrease. The programme also highlighted the amount of money put into imprisoning people compared with little put into positive community initiatives to support communities. It also focused on the fact that the gang members came from very poor areas with limited opportunities for the young.

      I was concerned that the programmed focused too much on the criminal behaviour and not enough on the wider social conditions that give rise to marginalisation and criminal subcultures.

      The result is some people blame the gangs and don’t ponder enough on the bigger picture.

      There is indeed a correlation between high levels of income inequality and violent crime internationally.

      There is also a correlation in NZ between crime and poverty.

      NZ Herald in 2010 on the book The Spirit level.

      The greater the gap between rich and poor, the more likely people will grow up a drug user, a criminal, less educated, obese, pregnant while a teenager, even less trusting of others.

      That is the main thesis of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by British researchers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, which tracks income inequality against social indicators including health, education and crime.

  17. Ad 17

    Correlations are a fools errand.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1

      That is true. However, The Spirit Level describes causal relationships between inequality and social ills. Further, as a meta-analysis it proposes no new conclusions, but is merely a summation of extant knowledge.

      • Ad 17.1.1

        Agreed. Loved the book. Plenty of social ills DO get cured with redistribution. Fully agree with redistributed wealth being the only route to national wellbeing.

        Just couldn’t agree with the overstretch of the post.

        In political terms, too, saying “Oh it’s simply about everything, so we have to change everything” is the saddest wrongheadedness I’ve seen time and again from both radical sides of our political spectrum.

        We are a society getting safer ever year, according to the crime statistics, except for violent crime.

        If this country had a thousand of those kuia and young social workers absorbing and changing the damage violent offenders do, we would be better off than any grand social policy reform we could devise.

  18. One Anonymous Knucklehead 18

    The Dutch closed eight prisons this years because they don’t have the convicts to fill them. This country desperately needs penal reform. Instead of following international best practice, which has recidivism, for example, at around twenty percent, we allow ourselves to be dragged around by failed right wing drivel.

    Private prisons should be a prime candidate for compulsory acquisition without compensation to SERCO or any of the other leeches. Make it clear to them: when you usurp basic functions of the state you will lose 100% of your investment. Caveat emptor.

    • Ad 18.1

      what if their results show they do a better job?

      • Tat Loo (CV) 18.1.1

        Are you making the case to leave the door open to privatisation of core govt functions and assets?

        Imprisonment is one of the most serious and coercive powers the Crown has over its citizens. The responsibility should never be contracted out to private for profit corporations.

        Btw if Serco is found to do a few things better, Corrections should simply copy it as best practice.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.2

        What if the Moon is made of blue cheese? Wishful thinking makes for poor penal policy, cf: Blameless Babes by Dame Sian Elias.

        Plus what Tat said.

    • Wayne 18.2

      Anonymous,

      Fortunately NZ govts will not follow your continual injunction to expropriate whatever you don’t like without compensation.

      I assume you are a Marxist of some persuasion, since this was a favorite theme of twentieth century hard left socialists of all kinds. But those days are in the past.

      Expropriation without compensation simply does not happen in democratic societies, mostly because Govts like to get re-elected. And in democratic societies there is a large amount of private property spread across all social classes, even if unevenly. If people see a govt expropriate without compensation, they worry it could happen to them.

      For instance, as general proposition, the middle 20% of voters change govts. By and large this group are not socialists. They own their own houses. Many will have a second rental property, or operate a small businesses. They will be aspirational to do better.

      And they will happily vote centre left or centre right, depending on circumstances. A govt that expropriates without compensation will frighten them as being unpredictable and reckless (and not meeting the centre left test).

      Anyway enough of my homily, since I am sure you know all of this anyway.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.2.1

        Ah, I’m not proposing it for Marxist reasons (I have no beef with private property), but as a punitive measure. We have to take these measures because the National Party sells legislation to its clients. End this treachery and there’ll be no need to punish the perpetrators.

  19. Wayne 19

    Everyone cites that NZ has the second highest imprisonment rate after the US, and put like that it is true, but it is also misleading.

    NZ is in a cluster of Australia, Canada and the UK, where the rates of imprisonment are quite similar, though NZ is often at the head of it. The US imprisonment rate is 4 times higher than this cluster, and is really an extreme outlier among OECD nations. European rates tend to be quite a bit lower than NZ, Aus, Canada and the UK.

    So why do NZ, Aus, Canada and the UK form a cluster? I think it because the they have similar legal and social systems. All of them are more diverse than most European nations. Sentences are typically longer than European nations.

    In 1996, when I first became an MP, the prison muster was 4,500. Today it is 8,000. The main reason is that most sentences are longer. For instance in 1996, the standard “tariff” for rape was 3 to 4 years. Today it is 6 to 8 years. The same for most other offenses. Drunk driving (multiple convictions) is much more likely to lead to imprisonment than used to be the case.

    You will recall the huge public pressure for longer sentences, and successive govts have responded to that over the last 15 years.

    The Maori/Non Maori rates are pretty much the same today as 18 years ago, so this is not the key driver.

    Offending rates have reduced over the last few years, but it will take time to reflect in a reduced prison muster, though I think you will find it is just staring to be reflected, since the muster now is lower than 1 or 2 years ago.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.1

      You will recall the huge public pressure for longer sentences

      I recall Graham Capill frothed at the mouth while the rest of you motherfuckers showed zero leadership, and in some cases deliberately fanned the flames and passed worse and worse penal policies with zero regard for facts and both eyes firmly on the populist rewards available.

      Duck for cover and hide behind public opinion til the cows come home, Dr. Mapp. The damage inflicted will take decades to repair.

      • Wayne 19.1.1

        Tat Loo,

        You are right. In recent years we have tended to be at the top of the group of nations, but we didn’t used to be. Once we got over 7,000, we have been at the top of this group. The figures do change annually, but since sentences of 4 years or more tend to slow the rate of annual change, it takes a while for lower annual imprisonment rates to reduce the overall “muster”.

        The Corrections Department will have a good idea of what the muster is likely to look like over the next several years. Someone might like to check with the Department or on recent official documents.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 19.1.1.1

          Hi Wayne,

          I think they are predicting a gradual decrease in prison muster. I am frustrated at groups like the SST being over represented in the media. And some politicians…Mr English excepted…who still seem to struggle with the idea that prisons are moral and fiscal failures.

          Prisons are far too much like crime universities.

      • Wayne 19.1.2

        Well the public pressure across the board was pretty strong and widely held that there should be longer sentences, and inevitably politicians will respond. And they did, in all the major parties, including Matt Robson. And the judges also were aware of the public mood.

        Though there does seem to be some recognition that we, as a society, have gone as far as we should. The pressure for longer sentences now seems to be abating.

        However, in the event that any of the roast busters are convicted, it is certain that most people will want to see them do a few years inside, not just say 2 years.

        Politicians have resisted the more strident demands. However, most people seem to think 6 to 8 years for rape is about right. Typically the offender will do 3 to 6 years inside before parole.

        As a general proposition, non violent offenders serve 33% to 50% of the sentence in custody, and violent offenders do 50% to 66% of the sentence in custody.

        And think of the widespread demands that fraudsters do more time than they currently do.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 19.1.2.1

          And there it is: that failure of leadership I mentioned, because the best guide to penal policy is what “most people think”. Not.

          What a craven abdication of responsibility. How cowardly to hide behind popular sentiment while enacting legislation that has the opposite effect to its stated purpose.

          Shame on you.

        • Murray Olsen 19.1.2.2

          I think the demands about fraudsters concern more the disparities between someone who steals $10 and a NAct supporter in a suit who steals millions. It’s not necessarily that the fraudsters should do more time, but is often that they should not be allowed to keep their ill gotten gains.

          As for the roast busters – I would want them to serve whatever sentence a judge thought appropriate. If that were two years, and the action taken lowered the chances of child rapes of this nature happening again, I’d settle for that. A judge needs to think of a lot more than keeping WhaleSpew, McVicar and Laws happy.

        • KJT 19.1.2.3

          Public pressure my arse.

          Pressure from a vocal minority led by the SST.

          If public pressure made any difference we would have tougher measures for white collar crims, and no asset sales!

          It was just that polls told politicians that swing voters liked “tough on crime” measures.

          Real leaders would have been explaining why more jail does not work.

          Instead of censoring people including a high court judge that said “tough on crime” measures just makes for more crims.

      • Murray Olsen 19.1.3

        That’s what I remember too, AOK. A few noisy brain dead morons like Capill and McVicar, and an outbreak of collective cowardice on the part of our elected representatives.

        BTW, all the evidence I’ve seen about Serco says they do things a lot worse than the state. In Britain, I think some of their executives could well be behind bars in the near future.

    • Foreign Waka 19.2

      You may have the answers to my question at 11.42am:
      what is does the statistics on convictions say for all criminals in NZ and what is the breakdown between ethic groups?

    • RedLogix 19.3

      For some reason I cannot fathom I’ve tended to collect Dutch friends all through my life. (My father was the same too …).Indeed with just one exception, ALL of the people I count as good mates are NOT from an Anglo background, yet I’m a sixth generation New Zealander.

      No this doesn’t make me any kind of expert on the Dutch (or anyone else’s culture) but the common thread I think that draws me to them is this: (At the usual risk of generalising of course.)

      1. They are a very practical people who value skill and achievement of all kinds.

      2. They tend to be much less judgmental about other people’s foibles and follies, preferring to get on with dealing to their own life.

      3. At the same time they’ve always been generous to me with their time, energy and money. If I needed any help I could count on it in spades without a massive burden of reciprocal expectation attached.

      Quite a few years ago one of them (very late one night working as it was) explained how the Dutch tend to see the question of crime and punishment: that they were willing to tolerate a very wide range of behaviour …but once you stepped over a line you got hammered.

      They liked to see their police and courts as the last resort for dealing with their problems …

    • Tat Loo (CV) 19.4

      NZ is in a cluster of Australia, Canada and the UK, where the rates of imprisonment are quite similar, though NZ is often at the head of it.

      And sometimes by a long way. We’re a bit higher than the UK in incarceration rates, but half again more than Australia, and almost twice as high as Canada. That’s a couple of thousand of extra prisoners, and maybe $300M pa in excess costs, easily.

  20. Foreign Waka 20

    I looked it up myself and found this:
    http://www.corrections.govt.nz/resources/facts_and_statistics/quarterly_prison_statistics/ps-Dec-2013.html

    Therefore: Male Prison Population is about 8100, Female 500. Biggest portion Maori 50%, European 34%, Pacific 12% (all rounded). Proportion of Offense: Violence 39%, Sexual assault 23%, Dishonesty 18% and Drug offenses 12%.
    No analysis is available as to what offence is perpetrated by what ethnic group and compared. This would be of greater interest n terms of the severity of offence committed and could be quite telling. No use of having all the dope smokers listed who are too high to get off their behinds having 12% of the stats, but no in debt analysis is being done as to who and why violence and sexual assault is being committed. Perhaps such behavior a the roast busters recently is part of that greater picture. Just saying…

  21. captain hook 21

    al jazeera are troublemakers.
    their staff borders on the infantile and they are psychopathically obsessed with the United States.
    They dont have any solutions and there was no list of percentages since malefactors were firs incarcerated in New Zealand for crime against the laws of New ZeaLAND.

    • karol 21.1

      ch, I have no idea what you are on about: some examples and/or citations might help…. maybe?

    • Murray Olsen 21.2

      Strangely enough, captain sook, the role of a news agency in Qatar is not to provide solutions for the mess we have made of our injustice policy. Unfortunately, politicians on both sides seem to think Fox News plays this role.

      What Al Jazeera does is give a slightly alternative view of the world. I’m glad they exist.

    • Morrissey 21.3

      Captain Hook, your comment is the most fatuous and ignorant posting to appear on this normally excellent forum in some time.

      You appear to be utterly clueless.

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    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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