web analytics

Media Medicine

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, November 28th, 2012 - 45 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

The relationship between media and politicians in this country has become incestuous and toxic. For much of the time they confine themselves to merely slanting the game with spin and framing language. We’ve learnt to live with that. But increasingly we are witnessing instances where a pack mentality dominates the story, placing journalists themselves as players. We most recently saw it with the ‘take down’ of Winston Peters, now again on David Cunliffe. And it’s the stories we don’t see that are equally perturbing.

Clearly there are some media players who are abusing their privilege as ‘the eyes and ears of the nation’ to suit the needs of their own egos and the agendas of their corporate masters. In particular it demonstrates quite plainly that we never see capable, passionate, left-wing political leaders gain the government benches and implement, real lasting changes for the for all New Zealanders; they will simply be cut down by an establishment media pack with smears and falsities before they get there.

Blogs like The Standard peel up small corners off this scabby business but the I believe that next step in our progression eludes us because we’ve been allowing the media to define our credibility; when in truth theirs cannot withstand much scrutiny either. One stark contradiction is that while journalists and media pundits love hurling the ‘cowardly anonymous blogger’ line at us; while they themselves zealously guard the anonymity of their own sources whenever it suits them. And their papers routinely publish thundering right-wing editorial pieces without names attached. They cannot have it both ways; they cannot belittle and discredit bloggers for not using ‘real names’, while they themselves uncritically resort to the same. It’s a remarkable blind-spot.

In the online era old habits and methods from the print media days need upgrading. Here are some minimum suggestions:

There is no reason why political journalists should not be required to reveal and name ALL of their sources. If you want to quote a politician, someone elected to Parliament to serve New Zealand, then you have to name them. No more ‘off-the-record’ or nameless ‘senior sources’.

All interviews must be ‘on the record’ and fully available online for reference.

All ‘reportage’ articles must be either ‘fact checked’ and/or open to a right of reply from any participant, person or party mentioned.

Start using hypertext links like bloggers do in order to provide references that your readers can check. (Some already do; no reason why the rest cannot catch up.)

All opinion articles must be clearly identified as such. If you want to be a blogger, then fine … just let everyone know that’s what you are doing.

All personal and professional relationships must be openly declared and available in an online bio attached to every article. Credibility goes a lot further than simply knowing your real name.

No political journalist should be allowed to serve more than six years sequentially AND 33% of their total career in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Any longer than this and you become embedded in the system, you become part of the story rather than a recorder of it.

The Press Gallery are accorded by convention special privileges, protections and access us ordinary bloggers don’t have, yet increasingly it’s obvious that as a whole we’re doing the better job. It’s time the Gallery stopped seeing the online world as merely an extension of the dead-tree media they grew up with; it’s time for them to start making some fundamental adaptations in order to justify their privileged roles.

45 comments on “Media Medicine”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Why doesn’t someone submit an anonymous editorial to the papers about why anonymity is important, etc?

  2. ad 2

    Cunliffe was incoherent and had several months to practise just one line. No conspiracy in that.

    And some MP’s are better than others at working the media. It’s a necessary skill. Peters knows it and has had his highs and lows as a result. Don’t blame the mainstream media for that.

    Having said that, perhaps redlogix protsesteth a little too much. Anonymity of source and anonymity of posting, ought to be givens in a free society. Othewise every statement becomes a court case or an employment case. I think there was a posting about precisely that by QoT recently.

    And there’s about as much check and balance against slander from the media in this country as there is against bloggers; functionally none. Anomie, in this sense is both a price of freedom and a virtue of freedom bound together.

    The Standard is on the right side of history. The newspapers will increasingly merge into magazines with fully named authors; The NZHerald for example is now really a collection of magazines itself.

    Why not simply presume everything in the media is an opinion of one form or other, and it is up to the viewer to form an opinion about the stability of information from a wide variety of sources. Isn’t that what the full contest of opinion is about?

    Television has political reporters who a named and famous, and gloriously fact-free in their opinions. They will for some years still have the power to turn a story and blast it out, but increasingly the blogosphere acts as a counter-force. But ther power is waning fast.

    The blogosphere will dominate the media within one political term. You’ll see.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Anonymity of source and anonymity of posting, ought to be givens in a free society.

      I’m not arguing against that at all. But I am saying that you cannot be a journalist who uses anonymous, unreferenced sources yourself AND claim to a higher moral ground over those ‘cowardly bloggers’.

      Bloggers have largely occupied the space journalists used to have to themselves; if journalists want to maintain and justify any sense of professional privilege they need to think of ways to adapt to this reality by using their access, protection and resources in news ways ordinary bloggers cannot easily do.

      • ad 2.1.1

        We are comfortably accelerating the demise of that kind of journalist. Current affairs is in freefall. Investigative journalism of any length is now only the preserve of specialist magazines.

        I would reverse the question: at what point will bloggers get the same parliamentary access as the television reporters? (LPrent going to the party conferences is a start and was a helpful little shockwave through the MSM there).

        The answer to that question is: when we break cover, name ourselves, and say who we are reporting for.

        We simply need more from The Standard to have parliamentary passes. Become the new MSM. Don’t get angry, Redlogix, get even.

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          But I am NOT a professional journalist. Never have been, never will be. I have a full-time job doing something else quite different.

          I simply don’t have the time or skills to be in the Press Gallery; I’m largely quite happy for professionals to do it. What I’m arguing for is that they do that job a whole lot better please.

          • weka 2.1.1.1.1

            This came up in Lynn’s post yesterday too. There are obvious overlaps between blogging and journalism, but they are not the same thing. We need to remember that, and understand the benefits and limitations of blogging in its own right.

            • ad 2.1.1.1.1.1

              That would be a more fruitful post if you spelled those out, thenwe could dissect the consequences when those differences are gradually obliterated.

              What we would get to with that is how the ignorable interweb and all those young people, is tilting the whole field.

              • weka

                Not sure what you mean – spelled out which?
                 
                Journalists can and already do blog, but that doesn’t mean all bloggers can be journalists. Some simply don’t have the skills. Or as RL says, the time. I don’t think the differences will eventually all be obliterated. Blogging gives us something that journalism doesn’t. And vice versa. If you mean that eventually the internet will dominate over print and broadcast media, that’s a different issue which doens’t fundamentally alter the point I just made. And I suspect that once the internet does dominate, we will see a resurgence in print media amongst the edges of society, who will again lead the way. 
                 
                Also don’t know what you mean by ‘all those young people’. I doubt that ts has age demographics on its readership, and we know that many of the authors are not chronologically young. What’s your point exactly?

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.2

              This came up in Lynn’s post yesterday too.

              My comments in Q0T’s maybe. I have a couple of posts on the slow boil around this topic. Now that Lyn has disappeared off to film in India I should have more time to attack my ever burgeoning ideas and half written posts file. She is away for 2 and half weeks.

              I really think that some people need a education on exactly how far the legal structures actually extend in NZ and how little legal difference there is between writing under your own name vs writing under a pseudonym.

              But also bearing in mind the current and background hysteria as net culture runs straight into journalists and our politicians fragile egos, I may take the opportunity to extend the data protections on this site a bit further by making it disappear into the international infrastructure. Specifically making it harder to extract personal information about commentators in violation of our privacy policies.

              I had a look through a recent Law Commission report of cyber-bullying of teens a few weeks ago. I have no real problems with their teen ideas as a whole. But teens are a rarity on this type of site anyway.

              I’m more interested in the implications forward as the way that local lawyers are thinking about ‘controlling’ the net. For instance a strange idea that operators are not responsible for what commentators place on their site. They damn well should be. Anyone who runs a website and is too lazy to police material placed on it should be the primary target of any action. That is everyone from Facebook through to the barest trash site for breaking suppression orders.

              Their proposals look rather like a manifesto for causing interventions that cover lax operators from liability without any significant protections for the breached privacy. I have no particular idea who NetSafe are, their tech expertise, understanding about the net, or what guidelines they want to use. But from what I can see it doesn’t look like someone I’d want to trust my livelihood to.

              Judgement orders to disclose private information without a opportunity for us to argue about it? You’re kidding me… And there appear to be no penalties for that information being leaked. I’d expect prison time at least if a lawyer or the purported “victim” outed people. But that isn’t in the rather repetitive cut’n’pasted documents.

              So I’m thinking that we will just treat this all as a threat and move the site kernels out of range. The traditional network vote for or against blockages is to simply avoid them. The reality is that they’d be better off trying for a IETF RFC.

              I have no particular problem following the current NZ laws on defamation and the like. In fact we’re usually rather harsher and a awful lot faster than anything that is proposed. But a quango that breaches privacy as it’s primary response and doesn’t protect the data is simply unacceptable.

          • Ron 2.1.1.1.2

            What we need is an independent media which once upon a time was what our National Radio & TV did. However we have let governments control and weaken these broadcasters to the point where they are not greatly different from the Murdochs, O’Reilly’s and Fairfax organisations.
            Labour to its shame spent 9 years in power and just toyed with radio & TV instead of helping implement a proper Broadcasting Policy, and in some ways (Ian Fraser debacle) actually made it worse.

            • aerobubble 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Leaving $100 notes laying around is meaningless unless there is a banking system, a economy, a sovereign backer, laws over property, lawyers… …and lastly a unbiased free press. The idea we can put not money, have no oversight of the media industry, to weed out distortions by the few (or worse those working for the few in the naive belief that their handsome rewards they receive are good for the many or even the few).

              The paradigm has shifted again, peak oil means the old problems besetting our species are returning. Sure disease isn’t one of them since we put efforts into disease and health understanding, but the problems of populations, resources, society and environment are now harder in a higher trending energy world.

            • geoff 2.1.1.1.2.2

              … now hang on … comparing Radio NZ to a Murdoch
              newspaper or tv channel is right off the mark. RNZ’s news
              service is literally the last bastion of serious journalism in NZ ..

              And PS: Linda Clark is a lawyer now, not a journalist

    • weka 2.2

      Why not simply presume everything in the media is an opinion of one form or other, and it is up to the viewer to form an opinion about the stability of information from a wide variety of sources. Isn’t that what the full contest of opinion is about?
       

      Theoretically yes. But many people don’t have the time, inclination, patience or skills to critically analyse the sources of information they are reading. Knowing who/what to trust and why is a crucial issue but I don’t think it can only be left to individuals.
       
       
       
       

      • ad 2.2.1

        But that’s what we do here all day long.

        On blogsites its just more like stories get pecked to death by ducks rather than a tv political journalist throwing a story around for 60 seconds like a pit bull in a meat truck.

  3. One Tāne Huna 3

    Unions are forbidden by law from taking industrial action for political goals. If this is fair and reasonable and not in any way a total breach of their rights to freedom of speech and association, I can see no reason why the same restriction should not be placed on shills journalists.

  4. Tom Gould 4

    At last, someone has said it, albeit anonymously. We are now in the strange situation where the line between reportage and opinion is so blurred as to be indistinguishable to the reasonable observer, where political journalists submit a news report for publication and then either blog or tweet, or both, on their own story, often revealing their own personal view. Beyond this, senior political journalists moonlight as ‘MCs’ at corporate events or act as ‘confidential commentators’ to corporates. Facts and ethics no longer matter. This goes far beyond the issues around the ‘blogisphere’ versus the MSM. The system is fundamentally broken. It needs fixing. I’m not holding my breath, primarily because aside from TVNZ and RNZ, all media outlets including blogs are privately owned, and the politicians are so scared of the ‘big chooks’ that they will never dare even suggest a fix. So, FOX and Glenn Beck are the wave of future, the new benchmark, and we will just have to get used to it. As for the blogs, perhaps the answer is in your own hands. Name yourselves, and strike a blow for accountability and ethics?

    • mike e 4.1

      beck limbaugh etc have been dropped by all their sponsors for spouting bigotry yeah!
      The tea party is in melt down the only reason the republicans have control of the hose is because they gerrymandered the fpp boundaries and made it difficult for democrats to vote!
      That has backfired big time and will lead to reform of the voting system!

  5. Sam 5

    Interesting points in the post. I will respond to one.

    What a ridiculous suggestion to have a time limit of six years in the gallery. That’s just nonsense.

    In my experience interacting with journalists, it is the ones who are long in the tooth who (generally) bring a considerably greater level of analysis and quality to their reporting, over the ones who’ve been there for 5 minutes and everything is a great big drama to get excitable about.

    I’d love you to explain to me how the removal of NZ Newswire’s (formerly NZPA’s) Peter Wilson, the Herald’s Audrey Young and John Armstrong, Fairfax’s Vernon Small, Newstalk ZB’s Felix Marwick, and a number of others, and their replacement with a new batch of journos fresh out of broadcasting/journo school, would somehow benefit political coverage.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      their replacement with a new batch of journos fresh out of broadcasting/journo school, would somehow benefit political coverage

      That was only one way to interpret my proposal.

      I’m arguing for six years in one stretch (at any time during your career …start, middle or end) AND a total of one third of your whole career specifically serving in the Press Gallery.

      This doesn’t in any way limit you to juniors fresh out of school.

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    very productive vine; I hope it bears fruit

  7. The Fan Club 7

    Winston’s a racist, xenophobic, homophobic bigot. The smears against him amounted to telling the truth. Likewise with Cunliffe (well, aside from the racist/xenophobic/homophobic/bigot part). You are just going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole here, alleging it’s all some media conspiracy to keep the Left down.

    (More broadly, ffs, of course the bourgeois media is against us. Expecting the bourgeois media to be anything other than lackeys of the ruling class interest is absurd. That means there’s no point in reformism, because fundamentally the class interests of the media are opposed to the needed changes. Quit whining, start winning.)

    [lprent: Just a warning. Please make it clearer that you are expressing your opinion rather than making an assertion of fact. And I’d suggest that you never use this particular tone of comment talking about a person who is not a politician. Lange vs Atkinson protects us and you here. Saying the same about a non-politician and I’d be bumping you off the site ]

    • Socialist Paddy 7.1

      Well what about the caucus leaker?  Unless you have both eyes closed and fingers in your ears for the past four years  you have to have seen the evidence that someone in caucus is trying to destabilize and smear Cunliffe.

      Or do you think that this is not happening? 

      • tc 7.1.1

        DC and his crew need to take time out and let the inevitable Mallarfia mayhem be reflected in the numbers.

        Wonder who the duck will blame then. Checkout the latest listener piece from his current romantic partner. Wonder how many shadows they jump at, move on everybody.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      You are just going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole here, alleging it’s all some media conspiracy to keep the Left down.

      (More broadly, ffs, of course the bourgeois media is against us. Expecting the bourgeois media to be anything other than lackeys of the ruling class interest is absurd.

      Its hilarious you deny there is a media conspiracy, then you admit there is one, then you finish off by saying just accept it!!!

      MORON

      • weka 7.2.1

        Conspiracy means there is deliberate communication and strategising. It’s possible for the MSM to be lackeys of the ruling classes without that degree of organisation.

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          It’s possible for the MSM to be lackeys of the ruling classes without that degree of organisation.

          the organisation doesn’t have to occur at the MSM level. It can occur at the PR firm/PR staffer level which then tugs at the strings of the MSM.

    • Populuxe1 7.3

      Really? Well the xenophobia thing has been cultivated by an out of touch press secretary still trapped in the 1980s, but you have no evidence for calling Peters a racist or a homophobe. While I didn’t personally support NZF’s vote against marriage equalisation, it was a legitimate response given their mandate of direct democracy by referendum on issues of conscience. 

    • Fortran 7.4

      The Fan Club

      Agreed with your Winston summation – his party (him really as there is nobody else) have [deleted]. He is a [deleted].

      But he may well have the balance of power in 2014.

      [lprent: If you are going to make an assertion of fact like that which has a high probability of being defamatory, then link to something substantive to support it. If you want to assert opinion, then frame it as such. One week ban for putting our site in legal jeopardy. ]

      • mike e 7.4.1

        Fortran you are playing right into peters hands he no political fool he come back more times than mohammed ali!

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    I think a sister site could be started up to the Standard, this one focussing on writing up actual, impartial news and doing interviews with key (spit) players who otherwise never get air time.

    What the MSM have done is fucked themselves by telling a very selective story from very selective people.

    Which means there are huge swaths of news and important views out there which are not being reported on.

    Pull that together in one place with some good interviewers, good writers and editors, and it will get legs and run. And amazingly, I reckon there is a lot of under used talent out there who would do this work for not that much, especially after the MSM has spent the last 20 years firing and sidelining anyone who was any good.

    • weka 8.1

      It would need funding and organising. Ideas on that?

    • Ron 8.2

      Maybe http://journalism.org.nz/ will give us something like that. I think Bernard will try and do a good job to pull news together into one site with interviews and topical news.
      Yes it is going to cost but at the lower end its not much more than a week of a conventional newspaper.

      • weka 8.2.1

        Which neatly excludes poor people.
         
        And unless there is a way to pay without using a credit card or internet banking, members will be providing their RL identities.
         
        His ideas are interesting, but it’s still going to be an exclusive club.

        • Ron 8.2.1.1

          “The poor are always with us.” I dont think the site will exclude people its the ability to comment and make suggestions that require a payment. I dont think $1-2 per week is overly expensive. If the site works well it might replace the local newspaper? who knows and thats getting on for that much per
          day. Also there are many ways to pay that dont include using credit card. Not the least a Pressie card or paypal or whatever

          • weka 8.2.1.1.1

            Nevertheless, it’s still exclusive. I would think free reading and free commenting, and then tiered subscriptions for other benefits would be a better way to go. Unless he wants to limit then numbers commenting, which he is perfectly entitled to do. Let’s just be honest about who it excludes.
             
            He’s talking about using credit cards btw.
             
            I’m not sure if pressie card or paypal can be done anonymously.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.2

            I dont think the site will exclude people its the ability to comment and make suggestions that require a payment.

            Which means that those who can’t pay are being excluded.

    • lprent 8.3

      Should really be a site run by journalists. I’d be happy to donate tech help.

  9. “Clearly there are some media players who are abusing their privilege as ‘the eyes and ears of the nation’ to suit the needs of their own egos and the agendas of their corporate masters.”

    I tend to go along with ‘The Fan Club’, “Expecting the bourgeois media to be anything other than lackeys of the ruling class interest is absurd.”

    These senior ‘journalists’ would not have been allowed to rise the the positions they hold unless they had clearly demonstrated they had successfully internalised the values of the system. This is why the western press is allowed to be ‘free’, the need to worry about what an ‘influential’ journalist writes is as unnecessary as a bank worrying that a regional manager will run his branch in an ideologically acceptable manner.

    To deviate from the corporate/establishment doctrine is to invite opprobrium from on high, people who do not conform to elitist norms are effectively weeded out; Gordon Campbell’s being exorcised from The Listener was probably the most egregious example, of which I can think, that underlines what happens when one of this country’s most analytically critical journalists does not conform to the expected norm.

    • Populuxe1 9.1

      I tend to go along with ‘The Fan Club’, “Expecting the bourgeois media to be anything other than lackeys of the ruling class interest is absurd.”
      These senior ‘journalists’ would not have been allowed to rise the the positions they hold unless they had clearly demonstrated they had successfully internalised the values of the system.

       Um, no – the chief requirement is that they attract and keep readership, ie revenue, in a market where newspaper sales are in decline.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        Or you by your own words I could argue that they’ve been remarkably unsuccessful at sustaining readership levels.

        Maybe the material their bosses want to see in their papers is getting to be an increasingly hard sell.

        • One Tāne Huna 9.1.1.1

          That’s dangerously close to saying the market (for genuine “news”) will decide, RL. Paradoxes abound!

          • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1

            Some things just don’t make for good ‘markets’.

            For instance a ‘free market’ in childbirth services strikes me as a bad idea. Discovering after the event that the person you contracted was, while being the lowest price was also incompetent, may well leave you with a dead mother and baby on your hands.

            Well that’s an extreme example. But equally there’s no point in discovering afterwards, when it’s too late, that the ‘news’ was screwed either.

            In both cases we resort to the idea of ‘professional standards’ to moderate and regulate the action of the market.

  10. unicus 10

    OK so what about the give-aways in regional areas – usually the only print media available to rural and small town populations . These rag’s are nearly all owned by Fairfax and run by National friendly hacks . Most of the regional dalies ( also Firfax or APN owned ) are likely to be reporting constantly on the heroics of their local National Party MP . – in the world of provincial journalisim reference to the Labour or Green parties – or the “silly issues they are interested in is non-existant .

  11. Rodel 11

    Recently I heard Linda Clark on RNZ bemoaning that Labour provided nothing newsworthy and was boring.
    I’d suggest that she and other ‘journalists’ get off their lazy bums and do some work. i.e.go looking for news rather than just waiting for easy, pre- prepared PR copy and pretending it’s in depth journalism.

    Some politicians ( I know….Ruth Dyson, Lianne Dalziell for example) are working their butts off for constituents in their earthquake damaged electorates and I’ve no doubt there are others from NZ First, the Greens and maybe even National ( I doubt whether ACT is doing anything remotely useful or newsworthy) but today’s journalistic egoists don’t look for it and don’t see that as advancing their own careers.

    I suggest to Linda Clark and others….get off your arses, do some work and go find the news….don’t expect it to find you. You may even find some real news. grrr!

  12. Peter 12

    If the MSM in NZ tried to emulate the reporting standards of the New Your Times we would not have many issues.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    55 mins ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    55 mins ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    1 day ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    1 day ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    2 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    2 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    2 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    2 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    2 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    2 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    2 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    3 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    3 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    3 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    3 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    3 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    4 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    4 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    4 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    5 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    5 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    1 week ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere