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Lower the voting age?

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, October 11th, 2011 - 47 comments
Categories: democratic participation, political education - Tags: ,

It’s a suggestion that comes up every now and again.  Here it is in its current incarnation:

Lower voting age: Mana

The Mana Party is calling for 16 and 17-year-olds to be allowed to vote. The current voting age is 18 but Mana says young people should be given a say on what sort of country they will inherit.

Mana’s social wellbeing spokeswoman Sue Bradford said the lower voting age should be introduced alongside measures to include civics education as part of the school curriculum.

“As a nation we are very keen to find fault with our young people, but slow to recognise their contribution and to give them the opportunity to participate in the decisions that determine their future.”

Mana wanted the core curriculum to include education about political conventions and mechanisms, as well as the underpinnings of central and local government and the legal system, she said. ….

I’m in favour of both proposals. Politics should be about the future, not the past. Get young people informed, and get them involved early. Any of the counter-arguments to 16 year olds voting apply equally well to vast chunks of the “adult” voting population, and besides, I don’t see how the young can make any bigger mess of things than we are making.

47 comments on “Lower the voting age?”

  1. The Baron 1

    Interesting idea. I support with the hope that 16 & 17 year olds are up to the responsibility, and educate and inform themselves accordingly.

    With that in mind, age is a bit of a blunt criteria for determining political franchise. I’d rather see people being required to pass some sort of basic test to determine whether they are sufficiently informed to participate fully. If you can pass the test at enrollment, you can vote – regardless of age.

    • Chris 1.1

      Couldn’t happen though. Would be too easy for a government that felt inclined to interpret informed as siding with them.

      i.e. Question 1 Do you know the main parties
      Question 2 Are you aware how National is proposing to close the deficit?
      Question 3 Are you aware Labour caused the deficit?
      Question 4 Are you aware that partial privitisation is an efficient way to raise funds?

      Answer no to any of these questions and you can’t vote.

      • logie97 1.1.1

        Question 5. Do you agree to a government being able to send you away to foreign shores to fight and be killed in a war. If yes then you have the right to vote.

    • Peter 1.2

      No need for a test. Just give everyone the franchise at birth, with their parents holding their proxy either until they take it up themselves, or they turn 16.

    • McFlock 1.3

      I get what you’re saying (and civics classes in schools would be a good idea to go alongside), the trouble is that it screams “literacy test”. Something that’s either open to local tampering or merely forces society to conform to arbitrary national standards. Both of which are bad.
       
      Personally I fail to see a natural dividing line for the vote, so 18 seems like a reasonable level. A lot of 15 and 16 year olds are still, well, idiots. So are a lot of 18y.o., or even 40 y.o., but 18 is around the point that idiocy-related hospital admissions tend to peak and begin to decline. Sort of a common-sense analogue.

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        actually, allow me to retract – a tory is terrified it will open the floodgates of naive teens voting in socialist policies, which is an aspect I hadn’t considered. It smacks of gerrymandering (demographic not geographic), but call me neutral on the idea 🙂

  2. This sounds like a reasonable idea. I especially like voting being introduced while they can be taught about it at school. This will get some complaints of teachers telling kids who to vote for but there can easily be ways of monitoring that.

    Should this be decided by a referendum? Of 16+ or 18+?

  3. Jimmy 3

    Given the poor electoral enrollment levels for under 25’s at this time I think our focus on youth voting should be elsewhere.

  4. Phaedrus 4

    On principle, I like this. However going by the reported lower enrolments in those 18+, it seems we’ve got to engage these people first and bring them into an active role in voting. Merely changing the eligibility, without first bringing meaning to the process, seems to be a ‘cart before the horse’ approach.

  5. <curmudgeon mode=’extreme’>

    Having looked at the appalling voting and enrollment record of 18-24yo’s for a while, I’d stipulate that I’d agree if the voting for teens (and 20’s) must be compulsory. If we’re going to put it in to help then get used to voting, then why not go the full hog and make sure that they do it?

    While we’re at it, make sure that failure to vote when required is a criminal offence in adult court. That way if we don’t get them to have the educational experience of voting, then we can give them the educational experience of being in the dock of an actual criminal court and possibly prison for repeat offenders.

    (grumble)

    </curmudgeon>

    • Jenny 5.1

      Personally I am in awe of the enthusiasm and optimism of our young.

      Why do 18 to 24 year olds fail to take up the opportunity to enroll?

      Maybe years of telling them that their opinions are irrelevant.

      Get them young I say.

      ACLF (Anti-Curmudgeon Liberation Front)

    • Rich 5.2

      So what your saying is that the state is allowed to use violence (which is the ultimate sanction behind all laws) in order to force people to express an opinion. Why don’t you go the whole hog – waterboard recalcitrant non-voters until they make a choice.

      What’s wrong with the idea that not voting equates to voting for whatever everyone else decides?

      • Rich 5.2.1

        [I would however make enrolment automatic and transparent, which isn’t hard to do.

        The “motor-voter” idea is about the easiest. Applying for a driving license results in a person’s voting eligibility getting checked (e.g. against passport and immigration records) and their being enrolled. Same thing with passports and tax numbers, for those that don’t drive.]

  6. Tribeless 6

    Dreadful idea. Nine out of ten kids would vote Left because through necessary immaturity – as with our PM – they’ve mistaken socialism with social caring, thus we would be destroyed by Left politics completely.

    Age and maturity teaches the lesson the Left is the problem that has no solution, thus I want mature voters who’ve had a chance to learn from life, and read some philosophy.

    Indeed, I think there is a very good argument for saying only those who are paying tax should have the vote … now that would correct a whole lot of societal and economic problems quickly.

    (Mind you, democracy, itself, is the problem. A constitutional minarchy is really what we need, but there are so many brute, busy body Statists who want to run everyone’s lives for them, it’ll never happen in my lifetime, unfortunately.)

    • McFlock 6.1

      “Indeed, I think there is a very good argument for saying only those who are paying tax should have the vote …”
       
      Nah, it’s just a tory wet dream. Even if you managed it, all that would happen is that there’d be a real revolution within a few years and your ass would get kicked out of the country.

      • Tribeless 6.1.1

        Well if the Tories had learned the politics of brute force and Statism from the Left masters of it, yes I agree. No doubt.

        But I’m no Tory, I’m classical liberal, and just want the sort of freedom and liberty no Lefty or Tory Statist is ever going to give me, even though I can’t name one politician in my lifetime who is or has been qualified to run my life for me.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          Lol – “classical liberal” – 70% of the population are “free” to starve, work lethally dangerous jobs for a pittance, or wait for the local hob-knobbery to throw a few crumbs their way. 
           
          “Classical liberal” is synonymous with “selfish idiot”.

          • Tribeless 6.1.1.1.1

            Not hard to see why Western civilisation is falling to Statist barbarity and bankruptcy. As our welfare states decline into the violence from the unloved children of the unloved.

            The shallowest thinkers I have met equate socialism with caring and classical liberalism with greed. Along the theme of this thread, you think in the straight lines of a child.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah, I’ve just seen to many idiot tories like yourself to bother reiterating the “you see, normal people tend to give a shit when we see a hungry child. The fact that you want the so-called ‘freedom’ to refuse to help it is a deficiency in YOUR character, not ours” debate.

              • Tribeless

                [I’ve let this long ramble through because it’s a nice example of how you can make anything true given the right premises: for example, all socialists are arseholes because of this story that Tribeless made up. Eddie]

                How old are you – nine?

                I think you need the parable of the piss-head – I reckon you should change your handle to Toohey.

                Classical Liberal Society:

                Freewoman Dagney walking along the street sees a person whose been injured. He’s fallen off his bike trying to learn a new trick to impress his kid with. She rushes to him, checks him out, thinks he doesn’t look too good, so pulls out her mobile – one of those great innovations of capitalism – and rings an ambulance – yes, the free, classical liberal society still has ambulances – and sits with him until it comes, keeping him comfortable. She finds out his name is Freeman Hank.

                Why did Freewoman Dagney do this?

                Because she was human, she loved her life, going about it excitedly pursuing her happiness, why would she not help someone in trouble.

                Freeman Hank spent three weeks in hospital, paid for by the insurance that was part of his salary package, and over the next decade went on to become a billionaire after inventing a bicycle helmet that used GPS to warn of cars driven by the teenage children of drunken social(alist) democrats, and he used a great part of the proceeds to set up a charity teaching philosophy throughout Africa after being almost killed in a tribal war while cycling through Zaire on holiday. His Non Initiation of Force Principles 101 is now being taught throughout that continent.

                Social(alist) Democracy

                Social activist Toohey is driving hungover from the party after last night’s demo, and accidentally hits a cyclist. He pulls up, runs to him, checks him out, curses that he’s been so busy campaigning for the imposition of the capital gains tax to achieve equity in the tax system, and what with the excise tax rise increasing the cost of his tobacco, and the 73% excise tax on his whisky, he couldn’t afford to keep up with his mobile plan, making it impossible to call St John, so he comforts the victim with the sense of social justice that gets him through his own life:

                ‘Hold on comrade, I’ll selflessly organise a protest march on parliament seeking aide for you. The problem is the rich pricks aren’t having enough taken from them to pay for our necessities of life, I can’t even afford to run my mobile. The injustice,’ gesticulating with his fist as he warms to his topic, ‘of it all is intolerable, I mean where do you think they are, those two doctors, sitting on their yachts swilling wine I bet, I’m glad the IRD has dealt to them. You wait, the Big Kahuna will force them all to give the two of us equal incomes so we never need be in this appalling need. Oh, this is great, thank goodness I’ve knocked you from your bike; I see it all now, your misfortune here has taught me a lesson I’m never going to forget. I’m going to demand of the State a caring society. A compassionate society where no one needs to be dying … mate? Mate?’

                ‘Oh, I think he’s dead.’

                ‘Look!’ to a passerby, ‘those damned rich pricks, they’ve let this guy die in the street.’

                [Social(alist) Democrat Toohey got diversion for a first offence, and ultimately entered politics at just 37 years old, winning his seat largely on the strength of a stunning performance in a TV debate where in five minutes he managed to use the word ‘fair’ 155 times. He staked his political flag with United, because he was excited by their scientific approach. After his second electoral win, he was made a Minister in Cabinet and after cleverly figuring out how to ‘fairly’ tax everything, set to making law after law after law – ultimately he could pass law as easily as the wind he got from eating the rich food at Ballamy’s. His biggest achievement was law to deal with New Zealand’s shocking child and adult murder rate; he passed law enacting the monitoring of all individuals by the State from birth to age of 45. In this way he made history, as a man who from nothing made something of himself …

                … while destroying a society.]

                • Ianupnorth

                  FFS get a life man, stop believing in Act and brash!

                  • Tribeless

                    ACT are compulsion touters. I vote freedom: Libertarianz.

                    Why jump to these conclusions about me? You don’t know me. Try thinking about ‘stuff’. Don’t think in straight lines, forcing everyone into little pigeon holes restricted by your own limited experience; life is much bigger and better than that. Or at least the lives of free men are: get out of my life, you and your brute, barbarian Police State.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      There’s no difference between Act and Libertarians.

                      BTW, the US health insurance scam system costs three times as much as our public health system, is about as good and only reaches 5/6ths of the population.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You vote freedom? Do you even realise that your stupid ideas have created a prison for your own mind?

                    • Tribeless

                      For the two below, there is no comparison between ACT and Libertarianz: none. The first persists in wanting to partake in a social(alist) democracy whereas Libz want the free Classical Liberal minarchy.

                      You cite the US medical system as a privatised failure, yet the biggest single spend of the US government is Medicare: that’s no part of a free market.

                      Look at all your posts. What invests them all is aggression. Just as the State does, you all attempt to work by misrepresenting – normally through not having the ability to understand me – me, and then bullying.

                      All the classical liberal wants is a peaceful free society, where you have no influence over my life, or me over you. The main role of the limited State to police the non initiation of force principle. So, given I initiate force against no other, I can do whatever the hell I want, and you the same.

                      But your society is the opposite. Bully and cajole. You think you represent the compassionate society, but even the tone of your posts shows the opposite.

                      The classical liberal wants only to be left alone, to pursue his or her happiness, within the love and life for his family and friends. Whereas your bullying posts show you to represent the darkest places the 20th century Statist took society.

                      You would sacrifice my life on the bloodied altar of the common good. You are toxic, as is this site.

                      You carry on your coercive ways without me.

                      [but, then, who will we coerce?]

                    • RedLogix

                      All the classical liberal wants is a peaceful free society, where you have no influence over my life, or me over you.

                      All society is influence over others.

                      The classical liberal wants only to be left alone, to pursue his or her happiness, within the love and life for his family and friends.

                      Now you have me confused; first you want to be left alone, next you want family and friends. (As if these spring from nothingness to serve you personal vanity.)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      For the two below, there is no comparison between ACT and Libertarianz: none.

                      They say the same things and follow the same ideology and it’s an ideology of greed and power. Greed for ownership of the communities wealth (privatisation) and, through that ownership, power over the community itself.

                      …yet the biggest single spend of the US government is Medicare: that’s no part of a free market.

                      It’s two things:
                      1.) The state having to step in to fix market failure
                      2.) Politicians, who have been bought out by the capitalists, giving subsidies to big business.

                      All the classical liberal wants is a peaceful free society, where you have no influence over my life, or me over you.

                      Ah, yes, the mythical non-existence of society. The delusional belief that your actions don’t affect me when it’s plainly obvious that they do and because they do affect I thus have a say in what you do.

                      So, given I initiate force against no other, I can do whatever the hell I want, and you the same.

                      Except that’s not actually true is it? Whenever you do something that affects me and I have no say in that then you have initiated force against me. The many to many relationships that would be required for your utopia to work are, quite simply, impossible and that’s why we have government – the administrative arm of society. It has, of course, been taken too far by National, Act and other right-wing parties in that they do want it to be a dictatorship by the rich.

                      But your society is the opposite. Bully and cajole.

                      Now you’re just lying. Bully and cajole? Nope, just want people to participate in society and to be aware of what’s happening around them.

                      You would sacrifice my life on the bloodied altar of the common good.

                      Again, you’re lying. All the bloodied altars are caused by the capitalists. Poverty throughout the world is a direct result of capitalism as the capitalists take and restrict the wealth of the community.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Oh, BTW Tribeless, I suggest you read this. I will warn you though, it could hurt as it has reality in it and shows up your ideology as the myth that it is.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s amazing what happens when one goes off for a quiet evening.
                      Libertarians really need to read more John Donne.

    • even beneficiaries pay GST, that’s a tax.

    • Ianupnorth 6.3

      Bullshit, I’ve got more left as I have become older. Your argument may have some merit – the older you become the greedier and more vindictive many people become.

    • felix 6.4

      From my observations, smart people tend to lean more to the left as they mature.

      As an adolescent it’s not unusual to be attracted to ideas of individuality, as they resonate well with the new found personal freedom associated with coming of age.

      Only the dull or greedy stall there forever.

  7. Worst Idea ever.

    16 year olds to have the vote??? I mean really????

    Hone must be desperate.

    [Why is it a bad idea? If you only voice conclusions, not reasons for your views that can be debated, you’re trolling. Eddie]

  8. JS 8

    Why not 12? Probably most Year 8 intermediate aged children will be studying the election in social studies next term and will be more informed about the process and the issues than many older people. It’s also about their future.

  9. Lanthanide 9

    I have some problems with this that I don’t think I can properly articulate.

    Sure, I’d like it if 16 and 17 year olds could vote, but as many above have said, a lot of them are uninformed idiots and a good bunch of them won’t vote anyway.

    I guess Sue is trying to deflect that argument by calling for civics education. I definitely agree, but think we should be having that sort of education anyway. And even with it in place, I don’t think it’ll do much good (also a lot of kids drop out from school at age 15 or 16 anyway). I do vaguely recall having some discussions about voting, the electoral systems and referenda in 4th form social studies, but I don’t know for how many classes that was, whether it was a formal part of the curriculum or not or just something the teacher wanted to cover. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a test on it.

    I keep coming back to some way of letting 16 and 17 year olds have a limited form of voting (like electorate only). But then the question is “why”, and also “well if they’re not going to get a full vote, why bother giving them anything?” I don’t really have sensible answers to those questions.

    A lot of adults are uninformed idiots as well. I don’t have any solution to that problem either.

  10. Herodotus 10

    As under the law under 18 year olds are unable to sign contracts obtain credit cards or do the time for the crime, required to have an adult present when questioned by the police, require parential consent regarding medical operations, not be able to enter into marriage. Why are they now by some being pushed to be able to vote. You are either an adult and capable of making adult decisions in all aspects of life or you are to young.
    So I hope Sue will be pushing for 16 & 17 year olds to be treated in ALL aspects of live as an adult NO exceptions.

  11. A foetus 11

    gimme the vote you fuckers !

  12. Hilary 12

    Some of these comments above would not be out of place in 1892 before women won the vote, or in the early 1970s when it was still at 21.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      But I agree with giving women the vote, and I think 18 is a better age than 21.

      That doesn’t mean I should also be in favour of dropping it to 16-17. The question then becomes, why stop at 16?

      Actually one thing I would be in favour of: you’re eligible to vote if you turn 18 within the same calendar year as the election is held. So people who turn 18 on the 31st of Dec will still be able to vote.

      I missed out on voting in 2002 because HC held the election early.

  13. gingercrush 13

    I’m all for it. If 16 and 17 year olds want to vote then they should be allowed to do so. My only concern would be there is already difficult getting 18-24 year olds to be enrolled. Therefore, for 16 and 17 year olds don’t make it mandatory to be enrolled and if you are 16 or 17 and you do wish to vote you must be enrolled early.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    In traditiional indigenous societies only those who have white hair are regarded as having sufficient wisdom to make important decisions for the tribe. And they are required to consider the effect any decision they make will have on the seventh generation to come. In some traditional socieites only women had the vote, and they elected men as ‘guardians of the future’.

    The problem with our present system is that uninformed fools have to right to vote for uninformed fools, opportunists and saboteurs, most of whom are mostly working to the agendas of money-lenders and corporations. Altering the voting age will not alter that state of affairs.

    One way round the problem would be for every potential voter to sit an eligibility test that establishes their capability to make an informed choice. We could well find that many 16-year-olds are beter informed than so-called adults, and better able to make informed choices about the future, though I suspect the majority of 16-year-olds would be fairly clueless.

    By the same token every political candidate should be required to pass an eligibility test to demonstrate they have the knowledge and skill necessary to govern properly. That test should include scientific and mathematical literacy -something sadly lacking amongst our so-called leaders at the moment.

    Let’s face it, 80% of current voters would fail such a test. since most have no idea what or who they are voting for and don’t particularly care, and I am sure more that 80% of current politicians are worse than useless. That is exactly why NZ is in such a dreadful mess (along with most other so-called ‘democratic’ nations).

    As have pointed out on numerous occasons, it is the young people of this (and other nations) who are going to pay the horrendous price for the profligacy and stupidity of their elders, who have been in power or are currently in power: the youngsters will have to cope with attempting to live on a resource-depleted planet that is undergoing abrupt climate change and collapse of the food system.

    Each day that passes brings the day of reckoning closer for the criminals and clowns currently in power.

    However, it’s all rather esoteric, since the system is so close to point of collapsing nothing can alter the outcome at this late stage in the game. The only thing we can affect is the degree of suffering: permaculture gardens or riot police, tanks and gas canisters to quell the masses?

    .

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    The white boomer rebel is a farce.     Fox Searchlight Pictures/BBC Films The Absolutely Fabulous movie has been out for three weeks, and is now entering the end of its cinema run. Thank God. I have the ...
    21 hours ago
  • Profits, Dividends or Customers?
    The Herald made a valiant attempt to explain last Friday how Air New Zealand had managed to produce a record $663 million profit.  They quoted the Chief Executive, Christopher Luxon, as attributing the result to the tourist boom, the fall ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    22 hours ago
  • From Student Farce To American Tragedy.
    The Governor: "With his wing-collars up and his undergrad gown on, he looks like a cross between Dracula and Batman". Paul Gourlie wasn’t interested in the votes of the student “activists” who wore badges and carried placards. The votes ...
    22 hours ago
  • What’s going on at NZ Fashion Week?
    Underdressed and overrated, The Wireless sent Lucy Zee to rub shoulders with the most stylish attendees of New Zealand Fashion Week. Presented and produced by Lucy Zee. Video shot and edited by Eddy Fifield. This content is brought to ...
    23 hours ago
  • Even worse
    I spent the weekend in Christchurch at the (excellent) Word festival, and someone reminded me of poetry – although technically song lyrics – even worse than McGongall’s: I don’t want to see a ghost It’s a sight that I fear ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    24 hours ago
  • Even worse
    I spent the weekend in Christchurch at the (excellent) Word festival, and someone reminded me of poetry – although technically song lyrics – even worse than McGongall’s: I don’t want to see a ghost It’s a sight that I fear ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    24 hours ago
  • August 16 AT Board Meeting
    Today the Auckland Transport Board have their latest meeting and I’ve taken a look through the reports to pull out the interesting bits. Firstly and surprisingly the agenda for the closed session is surprisingly bare. The only non-regular item is Tamaki ...
    1 day ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #35
    SkS Highlights... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Rebuttal Article Update... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 ...
    2 days ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35
    A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Sun Aug 21, 2016 91,000 Electric Cars Sold In Europe In 1st Half Of 2016 by James Ayre, Clean Technica, Aug ...
    3 days ago
  • Guest Post: Rail Safety Week – A HSEQ Perspective
    This is a guest post from Harriet.  Recently we have had Rail Safety Week, the aim was to increase awareness of level crossings and their danger. Unfortunately we have had many deaths and injuries, with countless more near misses over ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • A wheely suitcase in Europe #6: San Sebastian to Gijon
    After four nights in San Sebastian, Basque we journeyed further west to Gijon, Asturias. Again we decided to use BlaBlaCar, mainly because the alternative rail and bus journeys were slower and more expensive respectively. The route we took is illustrated below, which as you ...
    Transport BlogBy Stu Donovan
    3 days ago
  • PFLP statement on Bilal Kayed hunger strike victory
    Support from the Palestinian people and international solidarity were key to this victory The following statement was released by the PFLP on Wednesday: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced the suspension of the hunger strike of Comrade ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
    This is a re-post from Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children," is an oft-quoted proverb, frequently used to explain the importance of environmental preservation. Unsaid, however, is ...
    4 days ago
  • Glasgow Celtic fans defy UEFA, step up support for Palestinians
    Taken from The Electronic Intifada (see our links section): Glasgow Celtic fans have launched a fundraiser to match any fine that Europe’s ruling football body, UEFA, will give the Scottish club for an expression of Palestine solidarity at a recent ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: It’s Carter/Docherty Day; or three short – and wholly unrelated – things
    I’m big on making sure voters know how to make the best use of their votes at elections, so last week I went along to the Transparency International Mayoral Forum.After short-opening statements, the candidates were asked about governance, and avoiding ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right
    Back in March I wrote this post in which I expressed scepticism about Auckland Transport's rationale for having a by-law that prohibits the display of election advertising anywhere that is visible from a road, except for the 9 weeks before an ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • Sailing to the Arctic with the people who call it home
    The courageous Inuit community of Clyde River is standing up to protect their Arctic home from devastating seismic blasting.The circumpolar Arctic is home to four million people representing a diversity of cultures. As northerners, they share many connections, but in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do
    Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before ...
    4 days ago
  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?
    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    4 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    4 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Housing is popular
    I’ve written several blog posts talking about challenges facing local democracy and consultation processes. This is an important issue. Harvard economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson make a convincing argument that inclusive political institutions, such as broad electoral franchises and ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    4 days ago
  • Increasing cycling and walking in New Zealand cities
    This is a post from Caroline Shaw and Marie Russell who are researchers at the University of Otago Wellington Having high levels of walking and cycling for transport in our urban centres is a crucial component of having a sustainable, people-oriented, 21st century transport ...
    4 days ago
  • Movement or Moment.
    Barring some disaster, Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential election in November. That poses an interesting question for the US Left, because the defensive support for her offered by Sanders supporters and other progressives in the face of the ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Global warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast
    A new study measures the loss of ice from one of world’s largest ice sheets. They find an ice loss that has accelerated in the past few years, and their measurements confirm prior estimates. As humans emit heat-trapping gases, we ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: White rappers, Gawker and the Uber killer
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   G-Eazy. Photo: AFP White Rappers, Clear of a Black Planet – by Jon Caramanica, The NY Times “But now we have arrived in the ...
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    frogblogBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • An improved design for the Tamaki/Ngapipi mess
    My post yesterday about the hot mess that is the proposed Tamaki-Ngapipi intersection resulted in a lot of discussion, especially around the design and the role consultants play. Reader George who is also an engineer decided he could come up ...
    5 days ago
  • Electrons!
    Earlier this year Key is said to have asked his Ministers to come up with some new policy ideas, to deflect the criticism that they were a tired, exhausted, intellectually bankrupt government spinning its wheels and going nowhere. Maggie Barry’s ‘Predator ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago
  • Rally in the rain shows love for humanities
    Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 30 Hundreds of people who work and study at the University of Otago rallied under umbrellas yesterday to say they love humanities. The university is planning to cut staff from five humanities departments Local TEU ...
    5 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    15 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    15 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    16 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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