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Media Bias & Democracy I: truth to power

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, December 20th, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, david cunliffe, david shearer, democratic participation, labour, news, telecommunications, tv - Tags: , ,

Currently in New Zealand, democracy is increasingly under threat.  The mainstream news media and professional journalists have an extremely important role to play in revitalising democratic processes.  However, with democratic decline and the neoliberal capture of the dominant voices in the MSM, disempowered voters are becoming increasingly disengaged from parliamentary politics. Today, journalists covering politics tend to serve power more often than the hold it accountable. Political bloggers, especially if connected to offline activist networks, also have an important role to play in political re-engagement and democratisation.

Due to the complexity of the factors involved, this is the first of a series of posts I will be making on this topic over the next couple of months.

In order to thrive, democratic society needs independent and diverse news media where those with power are scrutinised from diverse positions.   As Nicky Hager clearly explained, politicians and governments need to be questioned and held to account in a way that serves the public interest.  This includes,

the public service of investigating truthfulness in politics and of seeking facts when the truth is disputed, twisted or hidden. It can also involve a different kind of truth: trying to discover and illuminate what is right and wrong. In essence, it is about investigating and challenging the activities of the powerful …

For this to happen, the news media needs to be free of influence from the state and powerful commercial interests.

Currently our government is dangerously undermining democracy, making it harder than ever for the public to have their say on important decisions.  John Key presents a soothing and false face of calm and reassurance that the government is In control and is doing what is best for the country (as in his TV3 interview earlier this week).

john key drunken sailor seaman

Meanwhile his government have dismantled democratic processes in local government and abused the use of urgency at an unprecedented level, in order to ram through legislation without allowing full public and democratic scrutiny (monitoring of this systematic abuse was flagged by NRT in 2011).  This is has been particularly evident in the removal of local democracy:

gerry brownlee as henry VIII

  • in Christchurch with ECAN, (which favours giving water access for corporate farmers over public rights – see NRT on this) and CERA giving the government unchallengeable control over the Christchurch rebuild (see Eddie’s post last year; and NRT last month);
  • and Auckland (creating unaccountable Corporate Controlled entities to manage transport, water and the Ports, with the Ports of Auckland moving to dis-empower the port workers union and undermine their job conditions, pay and security – although as Eddie posted recently, MUNZ shows the unions still have some grunt).

contracting out munz

The media, the government, parliamentary systems and political processes all have a part to play in democratic engagement with the public (Miller, 2004*). When these combine in such a way that people feel powerless to influence change, increasing numbers of people stop voting and/or paying attention to parliamentary policies.  Many continue to be political engaged in areas where they feel they can have influence, such us through consumer boycotts, or community-based action.  This has been a general pattern across the English-speaking world, with New Zealand seeing a steady decline in the proportion of eligible people voting since 1950s (See Colin Hay’s much cited Why We Hate Politics, 2007: p.15) .

People stop voting when they feel their vote will have no influence: when there is too much focus on political game-playing (Comrie, 2012) and not enough focus on the detail of policies and issues, when pseudo-authority of name journalists over-ride the public interest, and when the neoliberal ethos of individualism leads them to believe that collective action will have no impact (Batin, 2008*; Hay, 2007). The decline in voting has been strongest in the age group with least power, the young.  Among the young (Edwards, 2009*), the people least likely to vote are the least influence: those from low income backgrounds, and those with least formal education (Henn et al 2005 *).

The dominant ownership of news media by powerful corporations and the rise of the Internet, have resulted in a skewed and inadequate “fourth estate”.  With the democratisation of news, back when newspapers became affordable and accessible to the working and low income classes, conventions developed to ensure news was written in an “objective” and impartial way.  This was because a democracy required that the public were well-informed before voting (McNair, 2009: p.33).   While total objectivity was never possible, it did provide some checks on the propagandisation and distortion of politics.

However, with the fragmentation of news and the increasing tendency for media ownership to be controlled by a few multinational corporates, the systems now used to ensure impartiality in news production have become counter-productive (UK OfCom Report cited in McNair, 2009: p.37).  Journalists follow some basic rules of impartiality and standards, but have lost the drive to serve democracy by speaking truth to power.

Since the rise of the “neoliberal consensus”, the MSM has come to more strongly represent the interests of the most powerful.  Sure they do stories on the poor and down-trodden from time-to-time, but such voices remain marginal within the whole fabric of the NZ news media-scape.  A similar process is seen in Australia, as argued by Tim Batin (2008*) in his critique of the 2007 federal election:

Australia’s political journalists, another elite group, have shown a reluctance to see much that is deliberate or rational in voters’ behaviour pertaining to disengagement, and are therefore not well equipped to recognise a change in the prevailing circumstances. Indeed, the vast majority seem to accept uncritically the broad direction of neoliberal policy.

This is more to do with the overall structure and priorities of powerful media corporations.  As argued in Brian McNair’s, News and Journalism in the UK: A Textbook 5th edit, news,

… is produced by an industry, shaped by the bureaucratic and economic structure of that industry, by the relations between the media and other industries and, most importantly by the relations with government and other political organisations.

- McNair, 2009

Th examination of media bias will continue in subsequent posts, but, for now, consider how little depth and critique of democratic process is in this Stuff article today on the government’s decisions to go ahead with selling 3 power companies next year:

Fresh from its court victory on asset sales, the Government is considering selling all three state-owned electricity companies next year.

Finance Minister Bill English linked the possibility of three sales to buoyant financial markets and the plan would also mean the most controversial sales were over before election year.

[* Full text of the journal articles were accessed via Auckland Libraries, Digital Library, Academic databases.]

37 comments on “Media Bias & Democracy I: truth to power”

  1. King Kong 1

    Of course the MSM (main stream media ) is not going to champion the opinions (and that is all they are ) of many who comment here. The clue is in the name.

    What you need is the FBM (fucking bonkers media) to tilt at windmills for you.

    • Karen 1.1

      He who pays the piper calls the tune… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other, better and more truthful tunes that the rest of us would rather listen to.

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        So, the MSM run around with cameras rolling to track down Carter for going on an authorised overseas trip, yet Key can flit around radio stations and golf courses completely undisturbed, and Parata can take a ‘holiday’, while a significant issue of accountability is running hot? If it looks like bias, and smells like bias, it’s bias.

    • karol 1.2

      I think those windmills aren’t as stable and confident as you assume.

      I started researching the issue of media bias with the intention of responding to a blog post by MSM journo Tim Watkin.

      http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/bloggers-v-journalists-why-cant-we-all-get-along
      (WYSIWYG option has disappeared from my reply boxes)

      The research took longer than expected, and was quite enlightening. But, as the issue is complex it requires several posts.

      Watkin’s post is a continuing of a debate between some journalists and bloggers – contrary to your view, lately some MSM journalists have been concerned about bloggers. I think Watkin is asking the wrong question when he asked if bloggers are journalists – most of us don’t consider ourselves to be journalists, nor do we want to be.

      I though the crux of Watkin’s argument was that journalists are impartial unlike bloggers. But I think the way the MSM is biased is part of the concern of many political bloggers.

      I see blogs as doing well in re-engaging with some of the people who feel powerless to influence politicians or the MSM – it’s an extension of public meetings, political campaigning, water-cooler, pub, sports clubs and other conversations. Commenters get a space to to engage with others in criticising and commenting on public events, politics, media coverage of it.

      And the fact that Watkin’s felt motivated to question if bloggers were journalists hints at an insecurity – and that is reinforced by comments he makes like:

      The media world this past decade feels like a new territory, with diminishing resources, more pressure to win audiences, the rise of ‘free’ content on the internet, and more voices competing for attention.

      My post is really responding to comments like this from Watkin:

      As one of the few folk in this country who are paid full-time as a journalist but have also invested my own time and money into blogging, I’m tired of those on both sides of the debate seem to shoot first and ask questions later. I’m tired of how little bloggers know about journalism and vice versa. And I’m tired of the silly commentary that’s produced as a result….

      But let’s be honest, it’s most often bloggers complaining about the ‘MSM’, usually with little insight or understanding. So given what following we do have online, why don’t we do a little less demonising and a little more thinking.

  2. Sosoo 2

    I agree with hardly any of this. We continue to have neoliberal policies because enough people keep voting for them, and politicians tailor their policies accordingly. Of course, the policies don’t work very well, but that’s beside the point. The media continue with cretinism because it sells, etc.

    A majority of voters do not understand the issues very well, and at the same time are highly resistant to being told this (as everyone now knows since the popularizing of the Internet – the amount of mindless authoritarianism still amazes me). Hence, we get silly politics. Expecting it to change is an exercise in futility. People now have access to more information than at any time in history. The result has been a tsunami of derp.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      We continue to have neoliberal policies because enough people keep voting for them, and politicians tailor their policies accordingly.

      We went neo-liberal fully against the wishes of the people. Changing the vote in 1990 resulted in more neo-liberalism and so did voting in 1999, 2002, 2005, 08, and 11. It’s not that we’re votong for neo-liberalism but that we have no one else to vote for which is, unsurprisingly, resulting in more and more people not actually voting.

    • ANDRE 2.2

      A tv broadcaster free from commercial influence . Like nz 7 is an answer to redress balance .We have to put our hand in our pockets . democracy depends on a conversation…….It is the elephant in the room metaphor…..

    • Fortran 2.3

      Soso

      It’s all about money – the media only exists if people pay money to read say a newspaper.
      Like the Sunday Star Times got so bad with subs dropping rapidly as crap did not sell.
      Sacked the editors and replaced them with crappy ones again.
      Don’t spend money so you cannot get annoyed with the crap they produce.

  3. karol 4

    I see a post from a (probably) new poster is in moderation linking to this article:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8104365/John-Key-we-ve-got-some-questions

    If you want to comment here, you need to add a comment, not just post a link. I assume the point could be that it’s an example of the media speaking truth to power. Indeed it is. I am not saying it never happens.

    Note in my post I talk about “dominant voices”. This is why the issue is so complex, and I will be dealing with more of this in future posts. However, as a kind of pre-view: there comes times when public opinions shift on some issues, and or when the current government falls out of favour with a significant section of the (usually middle-class) public. The corporate media then shifts to the most likely neoliberal contender in opposition (as with Obama and Tony Blair).

    • rosy viper 4.1

      That’s quite interesting. There’s nothing like ignoring the media to fall from favour. The media doesn’t like to do it’s own investigation (costs too much) so it requires feeding.

      The MSM has also shown this year that it feels it now has another option. Dunnokeyo’s political radar is definitely in need of repair.

  4. alwyn 5

    Having listened to Morning Report this morning, which I guess one would call MSM, I would have to agree with the view that there is political bias.
    About every fifteen minutes we were told that there was increasing pressure on Hekia Parata to quit or better still be sacked.
    Who was calling for this? They turned out to be the secretary of the NZEI, the secretary of the PSA, Grant Robertson of the Labour Party and someone from the Green party.
    In Mandy Rice-Davies immortal words from 1963. “Well they would say that wouldn’t they?”
    The reporter kept trying to get the same statement from the President of the Post-Primary Headmasters group but he wasn’t having any of it. He thought that the Minister had some good ideas but was being obstructed by a disfunctional Education Department. This interviewee was the only one who seemed to be giving any non-biased opinions on the matter and I was left thinking the reporter was frustrated that he wouldn’t go along with the reporter’s view that the Minister had to be sacked.
    So yes, there is bias in the MSM.

    • karol 5.1

      Bias needs to be considered in context, especially when there are more than one reports on the same issue. There were several interviews on Morning Report this morning about the Parata/Longstone issue:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/20121220

      And there was another one on nine-to-Noon.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/20121220

      The Prime Minister also had his say, so it’s good they also got opposition opinions.

      So you need to take a look at the bigger picture, and how most news outlets cover the story. There are times when the media turn against a particular politician but it does not mean they shift from a predominantly neoliberal position.

      However, I also get annoyed when interviewers are unable to stop interviewees from being closely interrogated or to let someone have their say, who ever they are.

      RNZ is on the edges of the MSM and does make more of an attempt to interrogate issues than the evening TV News, or the newspaper front pages. It is our last remnant of public service broadcasting. We do get more diverse op ed pieces buried within the papers, which a limited amount of people really look at.

      • King Kong 5.1.1

        Surely State broadcasters have exactly the same issue as you cry about with privately owned media. What is to stop the Government of the day telling its “employee” what it can and can’t say. Been a feature of state owned media in other countries.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          Peter Thompson (Vic uni lecturer who has made an intensive study of Public Service Broadcasting) indicates ways of setting them up so that there is no government interference It needs to be done well. The system needs to be transparent and open to public scrutiny. Commercial enterprises are rarely that transparent.

          I have been listening to the RNZ interviews on education today. I haven’t found the one yet that stops someone having their say. The Nine-to-Noon interviews does include people arguing that it’s not Parata’s fault, but the team around her. Between this and Morning Report, there’s overwhelming evidence of problems in the education ministry.

          Usually in such cases, the buck stops with the minister. RNZ interviewed a range of different people, with slightly differing perspectives. The PM and minister refused to front up to give their views. No one will be without their biases.

          Bias is not just a case of providing 2 sides: that’s a very limited notion of impartiality and doesn’t prevent bias. RNZ is doing what Hager argues for – it is trying to pursue the truth and get as much facts as they can. Along the way, they provide different angles aand food for thought.

    • Dr Terry 5.2

      Could you please list these “good ideas” (on education) from Parata? Some of us are struggling to discern what these might be.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        Her decision to back down on all the bad ones, for starters.

      • alwyn 5.2.2

        I presume this is meant for me.
        I was not giving my own opinion on this. I am not involved in the education sector and am not qualified to comment on the subject of the Minister’s performance. What I was commenting on is what I see as a very left-wing and anti-National bias in the Morning Report staff at Radio New Zealand.
        What I was doing here was quoting Patrick Walsh who is President of the Secondary Principals’ Association.
        What he said was “I think the minister has some excellent ideas and has performed well in many areas”
        I assume he has some reason for his views, but you would have to ask him for specifics.
        Incidentally I find Evening Report a much more balanced program.

        • karol 5.2.2.1

          Each person interviewed should be given a fair shake. But they shouldn’t just rely on interviews, but news organisation should do do some of their own investigations to get some facts. That’s Hager’s idea about needing to relentlessly seek the facts. But these days, the profit motive means cuts in staffing, and less background research being done.

          I see as a very left-wing and anti-National bias in the Morning Report staff at Radio New Zealand.

          That looks to me like the very narrow definition that is used by news media to aim for impartiality. This is the standard idea these days that journalists take two sides, and let each one state their views/argument. These 2 sidea are usually based on the two main political party positions at the time, with the “centre” being set as the mid point between them. The “centre” sets up a false notion of objectivity. And in neoliberal times, the centre has moved a lot further Right than it used to be.

          Real in-depth journalism would be looking for the evidence and facts behind the issues themselves, looking at it from different angles. “Left” and “right” are superficial notions, whereas the facts need to be examined in detail in order to judge the validity of the politician’s arguments. Compared with most TV news items and the dailies, this seemed to happen more on the morning report interviews, with various angles looked at.

          This is the interview with Peter Walsh:

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2542086/principals-president-has-mixed-views-on-longstone-resignation.asx

          It doesn’t seem to me that he was prevented from giving his views. It doesn’t seem any more or less biased than the other views expressed. Yes, more searching questions could have been asked – but there may have been time restraints. It seems to me you are claiming it is the only unbiased view because he supported Parata. This assumes an objective centre between the National government and opposition parties. And of course there were limited pro-Parata views because John key and Parata declined the invite to be interviewed on Morning Report.

          Too often, especially in TV news we just get one side giving their spin, then the other side. Some journalists like Brent Edwards on RNZ are better at looking more in depth at the issues, weighing up each view expressed. However, he may be given more time and resources to do that than other RNZ journalists.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5.3

      President of the Post-Primary Headmasters group but he wasn’t having any of it. He thought that the Minister had some good ideas but was being obstructed by a disfunctional Education Department. This interviewee was the only one who seemed to be giving any non-biased opinions on the matter

      Biased opinions? Making a decision to have an opinion must involve some bias or the result is just a wishy washy anodyne remark. The PPH group President sounded as if he was being politic rather than direct.

    • Shaz 5.4

      How do you feel that most Government Ministers refuse to be interviewed on this topic (and on many others) on a news platform that aims for serious, in depth analysis?

      If there is a more generous covering of anti-government opinions then perhaps that is because one part of the conversation is missing. And that I think is the real story here. It would surely be wrong to speculate on the Ministers’ and Prime Minister’s thoughts when they are not prepared to make them public. If one side is not in the game then they can hardly expect to call the shots.

    • xtasy 5.5

      alwyn: Excuse me, would you expect the Prime Minister to turn up on Radio NZ’s Morning Report and “demand” the resignation of his education minister?

      Of course the first ones asking for her resignation or sacking are the ones who are in opposition, or badly affected by her incompetence and unreasonable policies (teachers, organised in unions, also principals and parents, I am sure).

      While I agree that RNZ National is not what it used to be, it still is by far at the more acceptable and better end of the spectrum of “MSM”.

      It is at the same time listened to by only a fraction of the whole population, so some may argue, that is not really MSM broadcasting.

      I see more bias shining through the nine to noon show host, the afternoons host and the likes, than in Morning Report, which is by far the most informative morning news and current affairs program on NZ Radio. Forget television, as all they show is true crap, full of bias, personality self promotion and trivial gossip, weather, lifestyle, only selected political topics and whatever.

  5. Yeah but the medium is not the message.

    If anything the media are more democratic today than ever before in history. The ruling class virtual monopoly of MSM is nothing new. But this monopoly is weakening. Even as late as the Russian revolution radical and revolutionary media were illegal, and only surfaced when the masses were strong enough to commandeer the printing presses. Today radical and revolutionary media have their own social channels. Of course they are subject to blackouts because the ruling class has the ultimate power.

    But even so, the real issue is the message not the medium. Only the most revolutionary media and literature critiques the basic assumptions (dominant ideology) of the MSM which in summary is the ideology of the ‘alienated bourgeois subject’. Occupy was interesting because it reflected the global crisis and the contradictions set up in Occupy produced a three way critique of the dominant ideology.

    Liberal democrats critiqued neo-liberalism as unfair enriching the 1% at the expense of the 99%. Some Keynesian tweeking could fix this. This proved utopian as Krugman admitted recently. The dominant ideology was pushed left but still left intact.

    Radical democrats and socialists critiqued capitalism because unequal exchange transferred wealth from producers to owners of capital. Some major mobilisations and state intervention would change that. People like Chomsky, Klein and Zizek got instant global audiences.

    Marxists critiqued capitalism as in terminal crisis as rising exploitation of labour brought the destruction of society and nature. There was no alternative but revolution and the massive creative exercise of building a new society to sustain society and nature.

    If Generation Zero picks up on half of this the creativity will be exponential and there is no way that the system will be able to shut it down.

    • karol 6.1

      I did not make any claims about the “media being the message”. I said the problem was partly to do with the nature of corporate domination of the media, plus the wider political system. I also agree that the control of the MSM is weakening, due to fragmentation and the rise of the Internet. hence the recent attacks on bloggers by some senior NZ journalists. And I am more focused on the content and the way news is reported.

      I do think you may be a little optimistic about how much Generation Zero will be able to dismantle the current power structure. However, I do would love it if that happened.

      The Occupy movement is a hopeful sign. However, most people get their news from the MSM – especially the 6pm TV news and the headlines in the daily papers. This forms the basis of large numbers of people’s decisions about voting, or not voting. And the MSM and right wing politicians were very quick to pronounce the death of the Occupy movement. Dismantling the power of the elites is a long hard struggle.

      • OneTrackViper 6.1.1

        What is this “Occupy movement” of which you speak? I think it died about two years ago. They have almost got the grass in Aotea Square restored now. A hopeful sign of what?

      • red rattler 6.1.2

        Karol my point about the media and the message is that the media doesn’t determine the message. The ideas (messages) which the media mediate already exist in the consciousness of particular individuals in particular social classes which in turn reflect their class interests. The dominant ideology is the default position of the bourgeois media. Whether one reads the bourgeois dailies or state media or not, one tends to take for granted the naturalness of the market, individual rights including the right of citizens to be informed in order to be rational.

        However, capitalism doesn’t operate in reality according to this model, wars, crises and now climate catastrophe, stir up lots of shit. Liberal and radical media advance reformist critiques and programs and produce media to propagandise these. eg the SPD mass paper in Germany during WW1 had a circulation in millions. But as the revolution began in 1918 and the SPD refused to challenge the capitalist order, revolutionary workers and soldiers took over the bourgeois presses and began publishing demands for a socialist republic. In Russia the Bolsheviks whose papers were banned seized the presses of several dailies to print their revolutionary propaganda.

        My point is that none of these political oppositions to bourgeois society seized the press in order to remove ‘bias’ or speak truth to power. They had no illusions that the media could be class neutral or objective. Rather they wanted the close down the bourgeois press and use the machines to print their condemnation of capitalism and their program for socialism. That program was to take power, not converse with it.

        Similarly, today nobody who seriously critiques capitalism wants to create an objective balancing of world views in the centre. Anti-capitalism means exposing bourgeois ideology and taking over the bourgeois media. Occupy WS printed its own version of the WSJ. And social media becomes an alternative to the traditional bourgeois media which cannot be shut down so long as hackers have a power source. The Standard is a good example of an open forum which includes the RWNJs and many various positions from the centre to far left. No-one here thinks that the Labour Right let alone the bourgeois media can tell TS when to shut down.

        The irony is that capitalism in the West is in terminal crisis yet its best performing corporates are in the internet and social media which for the first time are enabling a freedom of expression that hitherto had to be won by force. It is the representation of serious liberal, radical and Marxist critiques of capitalism in crisis in the social media that presents the younger generations with the intellectual and political weapons to resist their Zero status and become the organic intellectuals of the socialist revolution.

        • xtasy 6.1.2.1

          With all that socialist resoluteness, where are your supporters to take the action you suggest?

          I have been to protests against draconian benefit reforms over recent months, and the largest crowds numbered only a few dozen in most places.

          There is such widespread ignorance, indifference and also apathy, it is not funny.

          You are talking “revolution” and seizing the opportunity, but you lack the revolutionaries to follow you and take action.

          With all respect, the Standard is of course a formidable forum, but still it only reaches a fraction of society, and the same applies to all social blogs!

          I actually am starting to notice a tiring of blogs, as people see no point in raising issues, but nobody taking action on the ground and walking the talk.

          Mouse clicks and typed words are not strong enough actions on the streets or elsewhere. It is cyber space activity, sort of.

          People all depend on income earned or benefits. Even so called beneficiary advocates are largely in part paid by MSD by the way. So much for independent “advocates”!?

          You are welcome to convince me that I am wrong, but you better make a good effort, as the realities around me require this.

        • karol 6.1.2.2

          You raise important points, redrattler. I do agree that the MSM will never be that radical. However, I also doubt that it’s going to be possible in the near future for revolutionaries to seize the press and run a socialist alternative press/media that people will follow in large numbers.

          For the immediate future I think it’s important to understand how media bias works, and how strongly it represents the neoliberal position. It’s important to understand how much political parties of the left and right are caught up with this system, and how much leftwing parties aim to appease the MSM. This system, that the media is part of, is having a demonstrable impact on how people think, behave, and vote. It also has some impact on people’s choices for political action.

          Many are choosing political action that doesn’t involve the political establishment: boycotts, occupy-movement actions, etc.

          I think there are several important elements that will contribute to an alternative, but I don’t think any one of them will be successfuul on their own. As xtasy points out, the numbers involved with grassroots activism are very small. Consumer boycotts don’t challenge the system, but tinekr around the margins.

          for any flax roots activism and community action to be successful, it needs a communication network/s. Blogs and other online forums and networks can be part of that, as well as alternative video, radio and TV channels.

          But there also needs to be some interaction with the mainstream. I don’t think ignoring it and working outside it will result in any significant challenge to the elites. How long was the system begun by the Russian Revolution successful?

  6. Too bloody right mate. You are spot on karol.

  7. xtasy 9

    A good topic raised here, Karol!

    I had first hand experience of mainstream media bias early yesterday morning, when briefly listening in to Marcus Lush on the morning program of Radio Live.

    He openly favoured the proposed new convention centre that Sky City Casino want to build in return for extra pokies and game tables. He used to be opposed, but apparently now has “changed his mind”.

    His comments were more or less, Auckland needs a large, international convention centre as the one proposed by Sky City, and it time to get on with it, and to put aside political issues the Greens for instance raise.

    He had Barnett in on his show to also favour the convention centre.

    Now in past years, when I listened to the then more common public broadcasting, it was a total NoNo to ever comment one’s own opinion to the public while being a journalist on a program. It was not the role of a journalist or moderator to add her or his own view.

    Nowadays it is totally common, and you get it all the time on Radio Live, 1ZB and other commercially run stations, and Paul Holmes and others did the same on public television and radio quite frequently.

    So that is what we have now, it is not at all independent, and I continue to claim that this country without a real “4th estate”, is basically run by a selected, opinionated, biased, self serving elite, in some ways like a dictatorship.

    Sadly very few get it, and many young people grew up with all this, knowing none else, and taking it all as the “normal” state of affairs.

    Mind sluttery one may even call some of what goes on, sick, really!

  8. Lefty 10

    I get impatient with criticisms of the msm from the left when it is simply doing a good job of carrying out the function it is designed for – defending its owners’ class interests. Thats what it exists for and it could hardly be expected to do otherwise.

    The broad left certainly has the resources to set up its own media outlets.

    I suspect the reason it doesn’t is that many of the self described left don’t really want to speak truth to power with all the uncomfortable ramifications that would accompany it.

    Yet I think a media firmly grounded in a democratic anti capitalist analysis would actually thrive if it was bright, bold and brave and embraced both traditional and new forms of communication.

    I would love to be proved wrong and would be at the front of the queue to support something different.

    • karol 10.1

      I also would like to see a left wing owned and managed media. But I think you underestimate the resources, power and will of the right wing elites.

      Over the last two or three decades the neocons (often named neoliberals) have been very successful in systematically taking control of any media opportunities available. Before the 1980s, the MSM wasn’t as strongly dominated by neoliberal discourse as it is today. Thatcher, Regan et al were very savvy about the importance for their political aims in having a compliant, or collaborative media. The way the MSM has developed since then has contributed to disengagement by many people from parliamentary politics – this is very bad for the left, and I have blogged about it before:

      http://thestandard.org.nz/name-journalism-voter-dis-engagement/

      Our current government has been closing down the last remnants of public service broadcasting, and shifting what’s left to commercial corporate owned media platforms. Stratos and Triangle were providing and developing programmes like citizen A and the Union Report. Soon there will be just RNZ and Maori TV, that are not totally in the control of big media corporations. I previously blogged about that here:
      http://thestandard.org.nz/public-service-broadcasting-and-politics/

      There is no simple or one solution. The left needs to be active on many fronts and diverse ways.

  9. I suppose I am trying to convince people here that debates in and around the MSM don’t matter except as symptomatic of major developments of new media in global politics.

    Anybody who has reflected on the events of the past 2 years, the Arab revolution, the Indignados occupations in Europe, Occupy, and upswellings of strike action from China to South Africa, would see that events have redefined the role of the media because of the active participation of the new media.

    The bourgeois MSM media cannot prevent a growing anti-capitalist movement from stripping the emperor of ‘his’ clothes. It is the struggles of masses that by using new media that accounts for the growing open polarisation between classes that ultimately exposes and weakens the ability of the bourgeois to fool most of the people most of the time.

    NZ is not a good example of these changes showing through clearly, it is small and its politics are dominated by a self-satisfied middle class. Yet the polarisation between left and right inside Labour is as I have argued symptomatic of this global shift. More obvious are e.g. Syria, where a popular revolution is being fought with small arms and with cameras that prove that revolution is interactive and not embedded in MSM. And Marikana where a massacre was captured on many cameras and where ANC can no longer hide the fact that it is the tool of imperialism.

    The new media’s interactive role in these developments is analogous to the seizure of the presses of last century. I would argue that this time the global revolution will be interactive and truly international and will not be isolated and strangled as it was around a century ago in Russia. Of course for that to happen we have to be actively part of that global revolution.

    • karol 11.1

      redrattler, I think all the things you mention are part of the complicated situation we are in today. However, I do think the MSM continue to matter, as being part of the problem and a possible part of the solution.

      There was a time people saw the new technology of printing presses as leading to a more inclusive democratic society.

      http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Origins_of_Democratic_Culture.html?id=Tb1-A-IjhHUC&redir_esc=y

      People invest such hopes in each new technology. McLuhan put his hopes in the electronic global village with a particular focus on TV.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_McLuhan#The_global_village

      In effect you are doing something similar with a focus on new media as the truly revolutionary communicative technology. Each technological change does open new democratic possibilities initially. However, the elites then respond by finding ways to shut down such revolution, and then to harness the potential of the medium for their own uses. We are seeing that now with the commericalisation of the Internet and e-technologies, and with issues around copyright & file sharing – Dotcom, TPP etc.

      I think the left needs to understand how each technology of communication works within the contemporary state, global, social, political and economic systems. Then consider how we can best use them. It’s all part of the total whole.

      The Right tries to dominate from “above”: political, state, commercial systems of control, including using the media and other systems of communication. The left is at its best when its direction is fueled by collective imitativeness from below: flax roots and community movements.

      Currently the MSM prides itself on its impartiality – this myth first needs to be exposed as a limited bias between two centrist neoliberal positions. It characterises and dismisses anything outside that as “extremist”.

      This is my starting position, laying down the evidence-based, ground-work for my later posts in the series. I plan to focus on flax roots activism and community action, and their relationship to the whole picture, in a later post in the series.

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    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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