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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. lprent 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 GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    16 hours ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    16 hours ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    18 hours ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    18 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    18 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    18 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    19 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    20 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    21 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    21 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    21 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    22 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).&hellip; ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    12 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    13 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    17 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    18 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    18 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    19 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    19 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness&hellip; ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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