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Messenger shoot-out

Written By: - Date published: 3:14 pm, September 15th, 2012 - 52 comments
Categories: blogs, newspapers, The Standard - Tags:

It must be the new tabloid format. Or perhaps Steven Joyce talking about the death of print news. On Friday John Drinnan highlighted APN-internal media spats speaking of “Frenemies”; today John Armstrong launches forth at so-called bloggers Gordan Campbell and Bryce Edwards.

Armstrong’s article does mark a change; no longer is it blogs attacking  the MSM, now its the MSM attacking the blogs. Interestingly, Armstrong seemed most concerned about Bryce Edwards, implicitly threatening him with the worst of all Armstrong curses, that he is “unlikely to please National.”

Edwards’ blog is the extreme example of the fact that most blogsites rely on the mainstream media for their information and then use that information to criticise the media for not stressing something enough or deliberately hiding it.

Unlike the mainstream media, the blogs are not subject to accuracy or taste – and sometimes even the law.

It is the ultimate parasitical relationship. And it will not change until the media start charging for use of their material.

Armstrong is the second senior Herald journalist to have a go at Edwards, who features regularly on the Herald website although not in the print edition. Fran O’Sullivan has also been at it on her Facebook page here and here.

I’m grateful to Fran for the personal compliments, and have made the same to her in the past on this blog. But I think that both she and John Armstrong are engaged in what one might call “transition thrash.” The bleat that bloggers only use mainstream media for their information is increasingly untrue; most credible bloggers have experience and expertise of their own, and more and more blogs are communal, places for interaction and discussion. Trolling also seems on the way out.

O’Sullivan’s call for Bryce Edwards to be banned, and Armstrong’s for the media to start charging for the use of their material are more like the ” pair of tut-tutting old dowagers gossiping in the salons” than Campbell and Edwards.

Edwards’ contribution to the Herald website is likely to be retained precisely because he assembles a wealth of material from a wide range of sources, not just the mainstream. He links it intelligently, and enables the reader to access all or some of it for themselves. It’s interesting. If he sometimes reveals political elements that might be called personal, well so do Fran and John.  More often than Bryce, in fact. Harden up.

To be fair to John Armstrong, as a print journalist he sometime suffers from his headliners. This article was headlined in the print edition “Putin handshake a win for Key.’ My snort of  derision blew the windows out.

Citizen journalism and the web are undoubtedly offering a challenge to the old hands. Some are coping better than others.

52 comments on “Messenger shoot-out”

  1. Brad 1

    Blogs have the advantage because they have little to no rules they have to follow, so they can do whatever they like essentially. Hell, one only needs to look at The Standard to see this

    [lprent: Within the legal limits. In fact the same legal limits that print media are required to follow.

    Some of the MSM do have various industry bodies that impose additional guidelines on them in what are usually voluntary or near voluntary compliances. However like most self regulated industries, you’d have to wonder at what they do allow and start to think that it is more a process designed to delay recourse to the law. Without any registration authority most wind up as looking like slaps over the hand with a wet glove.

    But blogging came out of the net and such forums on the net from BBS’es to usenet. We really don’t bother with such pretentious covering of genitalia like professional bodies. We just figure out how to lower the costs to reduce the barriers to entry. Much of that is done with simple requests for comment that people start to follow. Similarly who people choose to read is entirely based on their content. Which is why the types of viewpoints are somewhat wider on various blogs than the remaining simple conservationist readership of the NZ Herald.

    The Standard is obviously doing well under the rules of the net because it is quite cheap to run in both money and volunteer time, highly interactive, and we keep getting new readers and contributors. The actual ‘market’ constraints on us are probably considerably higher than most MSM’s because there are no natural economic barriers for us to shield behind. And the list of failed blog sites is a hidden testament to how hard it is to provide a good site. Obviously we don’t have the advertiser displeasure constraint that hobbles most of the MSM – our costs are too low.

    The real problem for MSM is that mostly they haven’t figured out how to cope with the net providing such a relentless increase in efficiency in feedback and two-way conversation. So they’re losing audience amongst the younger generations because they simply look like prats trying to talk down to others without interacting. Even worse is their habit of thinly wrapping PR and serving it as ‘news’ or ‘analysis’ – which is John Armstrong’s main claim to fame in my opinion. These are the generations who are completely aware of such advertisements and can usually tell an puff piece advertisement from actual content within a few seconds of reading.

    Of course there are some who are still stupid enough to not think who do rely on the old media. Kind of leads us to you… ]

    • Dv 1.1

      No rulles.

      Have a look here.
      http://thestandard.org.nz/policy/

      DUH

      • David H 1.1.1

        Yep break the rules and our nice polite sysop (old bbs’er here) or writer/moderator, will point out your indiscretions in a nice, polite, and concise way.

    • fatty 1.2

      The rules of the newspapers are defined by advertising revenue

    • weka 1.3

      Of course there are some who are still stupid enough to not think who do rely on the old media”

      I think that is a little unkind. It takes more work, considerably, to use the internet for news than the MSM. The same critical thinking applied to the MSM needs to be applied to other media too, and when it’s not packaged and delivered and you don’t spend alot of time online it’s not that easy. That’s not stupid*, it’s just that some people don’t live in cyber space. 

      The other point of course is that some of us were reading widely outside the MSM before there was an internet. I can’t say how grateful I have been for public libraries in NZ, as well as street level media. 

       *but I agree with you that JA is, who should know better because it’s his job to.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        It is like everything else.

        You don’t rely on single media types because if you do, then you get captured by their funding model and/or systematic biases. It isn’t that hard to read widely on the net. What you generally do is to seek systematic and preferably disclosed biases of different types and read based on those.

        The Economist is a good source because it has a quite transparent editorial bias – I have had a subscription since the early 80’s for that reason.

        I tended to like the NYT for the same reason before it largely disappeared behind a paywall and I discovered I wasn’t interested enough to pay the sub..

        Slate is excellent for the sheer diversity of semi-(US)-leftish opinion.

        Wired sucks because it is like watching a talkshow after you read a few issues.

        I used to read the NBR. But it got to the point that I could damn near recite most of their articles after the first paragraph. The quirkiness that used to be there disappeared to the Independent. Dropped my subscription to NBR. Eventually the Independent disappeared.

        The NZ Herald isn’t a particularly reliable source because they frequently play the game of “unbiased news” when it has been clear forever that they are not (people who were around then the Auckland Star was running are quite aware of this). However it does have authors there who you can rely on to have a systematic bias. The anonymous editorials on the other hand seem to be in a continuous political war about who writes them. But some of the opinion pieces over recent years recently have started to sound like sectional PR spin. Fran for sectional non-productive business issues. Armstrong as a shill for National. etc. There are still some interesting writers there.

        I have a pile of other things that I read for other areas of interest; linux, c++, management theory, some areas of group theory, history, earth sciences, and general science mostly. But I tend to have sources that I trust enough to be well biased in different directions.

        I used to read magazines in specific areas. These days I read online newspapers, netzines, facebook links or blogs… I spend less time and money than I did 20 years ago and get a far wider range of opinions on news and current affairs. But even 20 years ago I was getting better analysis on nz.politics than I was in the MSM.

        This site tries to select authors from the left, but with a range, and then make it clear who writes a particular piece. Which is why all of a authors pieces can be viewed together. We are distinctly and deliberately biased to the left. But there is quite a range of authors especially when you consider the occasional ones who aren’t writing all of the time. But as importantly commentators tend to question and query a lot. Authors often respond if they feel like it. Seems to work at providing feedback to the authors and improving them rather markedly…

  2. Blue 2

    Yeah, the ageing right wing political journos are an odd lot to be sure.

    Exhibit A – Fran ‘KKK’ O’Sullivan, who thinks she is a genius for comparing pseudonymous bloggers to a bunch of racist murderers for the crime of daring to have a different opinion to her.

    Exhibit B – John ‘Lovin’ Armstrong, whose tragically unrequited passion for John Key has spawned many a panegyric.

    I was surprised at JA’s outburst this morning. Surprised that his editor would publish a ‘poor me’ column masquerading as political comment, and more so that he was bothering to reply to the plebs who do not occupy his vaunted position as a Press Gallery Journalist.

    As to his accusations against the blogosphere, if you had a few people willing to regurgitate press releases, go to press conferences and watch Parliament TV and report back, then I don’t know that we’d miss much without the MSM’s ‘political journalism’.

    • tc 2.1

      It got published so got through all the editors and gatekeepers, don’t excuse JA he’s doing his masters bidding who duely let it through to release.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Yeah, the ageing right wing political journos are an odd lot to be sure.

      They can see now the NZ that they helped tear apart over the years.

  3. fatty 3

    Its important to read John Armstrong to understand what idiots think. And also to know what morons think they know.
    Gordan Campbell is a real journalist. Edwards’ was good before he started wasting his time with daily overviews. eg. his 10 part series on Identity politics vs class politics

    • Shaz 3.1

      Most of Gordon Campbell’s journalism is a quantum better in research, depth, analysis, originality, writing skills and timeliness than that put out by many “opinion writer” journalists. Bryce’s summaries are good but I was disappointed that he missed the TPP a few months ago when it was the story of the day. Keith Ng’s analysis of the budget in Public Address surpassed all the other coverage. The Standard’s posts and comments often give an idea a really good thoughtful workout.

      As for paid journalism being a dying medium and the professional journalism model being broken surely any liberal democracy worth its salt should be able to stop the slow and tortuous death of paid journalism at a stroke by (for example) levying a charge on advertising listings wherever they appear (web , print, phone, television) to fund journalism. This would replicate the funding model that has existed for centuries in print media and for 50+ years on commercial television. Advertisting / listings agencies that don’t have their own media outlets would put the money into a contestible fund to support independant journalists. (Adapting an idea from the Tobin /Robin Hood Tax model to support informed citizenry doesn’t sound to me like it should be rocket science.) The audience for advertising is an important element of the charging model advertisers use so making this trasnparent to levy a small fee to support journalism shouldn’t be too hard.

  4. ianmac 4

    Went back and read the comments pages of Armstrong’s item and of the 36 only 2 had mild support for John. Most ridiculed his line.

    • Plastic Tolstoy 4.1

      Reading through those comments has made me feel a whole lot more positive about the direction we are headed in in this country, people may well be awakening from their stupor. Plus it gave me a bloody good laugh to see someone so clearly full of themselves be roasted like that. I especially enjoyed the comment from one person suggesting that John should be providing links to prove that his claims were true! Providing proof of claims is something that is standard on most blogs, even blogs written by novices, yet this man obviously believes that because he is a ‘real’ journalist he doesn’t need to.

  5. Mainstream media hating on bloggers? You have to be kidding me.

    Just what do JA and Fran O use for their sources? Secret inside information that no-one has? Get off. The NZ media is – I’m sorry – but, total crap. The Herald cuts and pastes from Reuters and AFP. At least bloggers branch out into the more obsure corners of opinion, cite appropriately, and present independent analysis.

    I should also note, that most main stream media of any value or credit (NYT, WSJ, the Huff, etc 0 I know these are not loved by all, I’m not going there), but these dailies actually have blogs anyway. There is a very fine line between opinion piece and blog, in many cases, its jsut what you call it.

    JA needs to climb out of the antiquated, soft-core and uninspiring machine that is NZ MSM and join the real world.

    • blue leopard 5.1

      @ Peanut Monster,

      “The NZ media is …total crap’?

      Sacrilege!

      Clearly you are unaware that independent analysis is anathema to NZ orthodoxy and bloggers and media whom are audacious enough to involve themselves in such heretical activities deserve every insult and unemployable situation they get.

      You should wash your mouth out with soap, or better yet beer and switch on some rugby and recant. We can’t be having anyone who makes too much sense around here.

      • David H 5.1.1

        I’ll take the Beers Ta, but you can (Sacrilege coming up) stick the rugby where the sun don’t shine… League and Cricket for me thanks.

        • blue leopard 5.1.1.1

          @ David H

          The depths this site sinks to, first trying to understand issues and now THIS

          You have secured yourself as first on the list when the new form of witch-burning is invented for that comment against the big R….ex-communicable for sure

    • tc 5.2

      JA along with Fran and cohorts will be quietly forgotten when the sun rises fully on the new media like the irrelevant carping has beens they are.

  6. Dv 6

    One of his moans about being stuck inTokyo traffic was telling. Who in their right mind would use a car when trains run every 3 mins on the Yamanote line.

    may be TOO common for John.

  7. seeker 7

    “implicitly threatening him with the worst of all Armstrong curses, that he is “unlikely to please National.”

    Hilarious MikeS.! No need for the “laughing gas spell” after reading this delight.

    Completely Pottily Potter. Am so going to get my manuka crossed with kowhai wand and use it on all blue at heart Kiwis who even slightly diverge from the national cult cants with—-
    da da da dahhhh (roll on drums)……………………the ARMSTRONG curse….aaaaaargh……

    This should definitely undermine them, and leave them in a highly anxious and twitching state, just as wicked witch of the west, Great Benefitnot and her high mistress oracle, Poorer Ratstock, and their aforementioned followers do almost daily to those that have no work and less.
    And the mere thought for blue Kiwis, that the curse might lead to them being cast out into ‘outer Helensville’ and away from the ‘brighter future’ of their idols, Arch Wiz key and his sidekicks(and I do mean ‘kicks’ as in ‘teeth’) Blighter English and Joyceless Bringer, will bring them multiple meltdowns and agony. Brilliant!!!

  8. jaymam 8

    “Unlike the mainstream media, the blogs are not subject to accuracy”. The Herald is often wrong and if it goes subscription only I won’t miss it.

    The Herald went along with alarmist propaganda that 15kg of uranium was seized in Turkey in 2002, and that was used to justify attacking Iraq. The Herald never did fully correct the story, which was that “The substance we analyzed was not uranium and was not radioactive,” Guler Koksal of the Nuclear Research Center in Istanbul.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    It’s as idiotic to say “the MSM iz rubbish” as it is to write a column like Armstrong’s.

    In recent weeks reporters like Phil Kitchin, Simon Collins, Melanie Reid, David Fisher and many more have broken major stories (ACC, John Banks etc). Today there’s another example: the Christchurch Press/Stuff investigation into the CTV engineer. Good journalists doing their job.

    Gordon Campbell is another fine journalist, Fran O’Sullivan certainly has been, and Armstrong … well, he was once. Sadly, he has a lot in common with many MPs, the ones who talk about “Skynet” in Parliament. The world has moved on, they haven’t.

    The new journalism needs a workable funding model (Campbell and Bernard Hickey are trying out a new one soon). But ranting about “parasitical” blogs is just that – a rant, not analysis. Silly John.

    • tc 9.1

      Senile John more like, I feel sorry as he’s like a lot of corporate lackeys following the lines offered as fact. Making it happen oh yay.

      Hope his contract gives him a good package like his colleagues across the Tasman have been getting in the OZ dailys when the time comes.

    • fatty 9.2

      how predictable…gobsmacked gobbles it up.
      I wouldn’t wipe my arse with the Chch Press, let alone read it. I’d rather go to Scoop and engage my brain.

      • gobsmacked 9.2.1

        If you’re not interested in the collapse of the CTV building, that’s your choice. But it was NZ’s biggest disaster in years. So it’s a shame you don’t want to read about it, with brain engaged.

        • fatty 9.2.1.1

          Sure is my choice…you can take your CTV disaster porn and shove it. Having experienced all the quakes and had my life flipped upside down, I have no desire to engage with that story. That story does not affect me directly, so I personally see no reason to know the ins and outs of it. Most people I know in Chch do not care about that story, there are so many issues we are facing in Chch at the moment, and the CTV building is just one of a thousand tragic stories.
          Here’s the stories I am interested in, and they are stories which get little more than a footnote in the Chch Press:

          The city centre plan is not done for the people, or designed by the people. The city plan has screwed the people of Chch….and those in charge were congratulated for it.
          The covered stadium is not wanted or needed…rugby has never been so unpopular in Chch.
          The convention centre epitomises the corporate takeover of Chch.
          Social services in Chch have been at breaking point since the quakes and support of these organisations has generally been non-existent.
          Employment in Chch has been poorly organised and the average worker continues to suffer as the privileged continue to benefit.
          The vice chancellor is wrecking University of Canterbury by shafting the Arts department to get more funding for science/engineering.
          ECAN.
          Mental health issues in Chch is not being reported on enough.
          Housing concerns in the Press have mostly focused on middle class people…those who would be classed as primary, or secondary homeless have been ignored.
          Addictions, and people with addictions have been ignored.
          The general liveability in Chch has been underfunded…such as cycleways, community groups, support groups etc.
          There has been little critique of the worst mayor that Chch has had in a long time….”look at his orange jacket”…haha, very funny.
          Alcohol articles are more likely to be about ‘alcopops’ rather than the excessive use and abuse throughout Chch.

    • Blue 9.3

      The MSM didn’t ‘break’ anything on those stories. The ACC story was the result of an OIA by the Green Party, and the Banks one an OIA by the Labour Party.

      • gobsmacked 9.3.1

        ACC – Melanie Reid on “60 Minutes”. John Banks – David Fisher (Herald) and Campbell Live.

        ACC – Kevin Hague in Parliament. John Banks – Robertson, Shearer et al in Parliament.

        The opposition and the media have different jobs, but both are essential and interdependent in a functioning democracy. Kevin Hague can interview the Minister in the House, but somebody else has to interview Bronwyn Pullar on prime time TV. Are you saying that we’d be better informed if that hadn’t happened? If not, then how did it happen? Answer – months of work, by reporters.

        • Blue 9.3.1.1

          I think we have different understandings of the term ‘breaking’ a story.

          If someone puts an OIA in and gets some juicy stuff back, then that person ‘broke’ the story, not the media outlet that picks it up. Similarly, if the media outlet put the OIA in, then they ‘broke’ the story, not the bloggers who pick it up. It works both ways.

          Expansion on any issue is welcome and good. There needs to be more of it, whether it comes from the MSM or from bloggers.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.1

            The MSM doesn’t do very much investigative journalism now. Other people are doing the legwork and digging around, and then the MSM does the easy bit, asks a few people for comment and puts it on air.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    Foot stomping–“I used’da be someone, I still am someone!” is the tone of JA’s piece.

    Sitting across, or more likely way down the aisle from the PM glugging freebies does not cut it anymore. Millions have other sources of info.

  11. Hanswurst 11

    “To be fair to John Armstrong, as a print journalist he sometime suffers from his headliners. This article was headlined in the print edition “Putin handshake a win for Key.’ My snort of derision blew the windows out.”

    The “Putin handshake”? Sounds like something that men might get up to on their own after a hard day at the office.

  12. Populuxe1 13

    I think this article from the Guardian on how clicktivism and blogging affects the Left is relevant
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/12/clicktivism-ruining-leftist-activism

  13. Carol 14

    This seems to me to be the crucial part of Mike Smith’s post above:

    Armstrong’s article does mark a change; no longer is it blogs attacking the MSM, now its the MSM attacking the blogs.

    And it’s telling in Armstrong’s op ed piece that he doesn’t deal with the substance of Campbell and Edwards criticisms of the senior political journalists junket to the APEC meeting. In his op ed Armstrong points to the criticism he is responding to:

    Edwards’ and Campbell’s claim that there was precious little analysis of key Apec issues, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is simply not borne out.

    There were copious amounts written about the TPP beforehand, including a major feature in the Herald a few months ago.

    Everybody knew and said the TPP would not be a big deal as Barack Obama, the figure crucial to building political momentum to achieve a final deal, was absent.

    TPP is sure important within the wider context of Apec. But it was not a major feature of this year’s meeting.

    Or is it Campbell’s and Edwards’ agenda or strategy to make the media feel guilty about not writing more anti-TPP stories?

    This is just diversionary and an inadequate excuse for lack of in depth critique of political issues related to the APEC meeting. Armstrong knew in advance of his APEC trip, and should have done lots of background research to draw on in his reporting of the event.

    But a flick through Armstrong’s op eds while away for the APEC meeting, shows pretty superficial reporting, a lot of Key promos, and little critical analysis. He provides some local colour with descriptions of things like beaches, buildings and weather. He provides some potted background history and context (largely about Russia and Putin). But mostly he just seems to paraphrase Key’s press releases and speeches, with one or two selected quotes.

    In contrast, Campbell’s pieces are well researched, provide in depth critique, and aren’t focused on puff pieces for any one powerful politician.

    Armstrong’s latest pieces look like the death throes of a senior political journalist, as new more independent voices find their feet online.

  14. BernyD 15

    It’s strange no one has called JA on it, but he wants to charge for information he is meant to be reporting on ???

    Does anyone else see the death throws of a an incompitent idiot ???

    Or is he simply trying to score old fashioned browny points from his current bosses ???

  15. captain hook 16

    the recondite problem with the meedja in Noo zillun is that it has become completely infantilised.
    everywhere you look or heavens above read there is some geek talking about themselves and what they bought last week.
    Look at the ads for University Of Canterbury on the teevee at the moment.
    Unbelievably childish but this tendency represents everything that is small minded and feeble about the public discourse in noo zillun.

  16. ianmac 17

    “Bloggers Don’t let the Facts get in the Way.” is now the heading online Herald. Wonder why the bit about “parasites” was dropped?

    • BernyD 17.1

      I don’t read the Herald anymore, it was bad for my soul.
      TVNZ is on the “Wire”, so are many others.

  17. Tom 18

    Who is this mysterious ‘Gordan” ?

    Should it be the ‘Gordian’ knot ?

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Can’t say that I was paying much attention to this blog post. It has some mild interest about the verifiability of Wikipedia and then this paragraph jumped out at me:

    Third: people should perhaps start having a debate about the way authors are treated in “proper” sources. The New Yorker, the Guardian, ABC News and the Los Angeles Times – all respected bodies. And all, without being able and/or willing to do their own research, happily published or republished Roth’s assertions. We rely on these organisations for reporting what our politicians do, what our armed forces do, how entities with the power of life and death over humanity are accountable to the people. And they happily gulp down the glorified press releases of anyone who offers to let them touch his Pulitzer.

    And that brought me back to this thread and the assertion by JA that bloggers don’t check facts and yet the evidence is that it’s the MSM that doesn’t do the checking.

  19. xtasy 20

    Homely, homely, homely, my name is Dr Alzheimer, I visit thou and others now and then, may be persistent too, if you do NOT let me into thy “grey space”. I have been welcomed by “brother John” some time ago, he invited me into his abode upstairs, and I feel quite comfy there. It is “cheap” rent not even asked for, it is like a kind of “dwelling right”, really. Now we will sort all this out at some stage, but just leave us in peace, while we try doing so.

    Get your thrills maybe on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMJbM8I7K0I

    Amnesia is excusable, thank you! Admittedly, it is a DISEASE!

    JB and JK

  20. Polish Pride 21

    Was sitting behind a Guy on the Train working for the Dom Post last week. He was having a conversation with the person next to him. He said its a dying industry and they know it.

    • BernyD 21.1

      Not dying, evolving rapidly, there’s no difference between Internet and TV / Radio / Print, it’s just another medium to disseminate information on.

      • fatty 21.1.1

        One key difference is that when we just had radio and print it was much more difficult for people outside of journalistic institutions to get their view across. We were told what to think and what to believe. The internet allows many more people to give their opinion, and their version of the news because it is far more interactive.
        I’ve read a number of your thoughts here BernyD, alongside many others, and it gives me a much more in depth analysis of news/politics. Journalists are losing power, that is a big difference with the internet and the rise of the blogs.
        Journalists like to talk about the lack of ethics on blogs as if journalists had ethics themselves. Its their last ditch effort to hold onto the power that is slipping through their hands.

    • blue leopard 21.2

      “He said its a dying industry and they know it”

      Which is interesting because I would be much more interested in buying newspapers if they

      ~Reported things correctly (Throughout my life I have had numerous examples where names, places and facts have been conveyed incorrectly when someone from my circles has had an article done on them)

      ~Could spell accurately

      ~Corrected grammatical errors including things like incomplete paragraphs and sentences that don’t make sense.

      ~Weren’t simply a mouthpiece for vacuous orthodoxy- would prefer insight and informed input on subjects were provided.

      The first 3 failures are unacceptable when each article has an editor checking them. A luxury that blogspots are unlikely to have.

      The letter and editorial pages are usually the only part of a paper that is bearable to read now.

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    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    6 days ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    7 days ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    7 days ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    7 days ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    7 days ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago
  • Independent investigation needed into claims scientists gagged
    Steven Joyce must launch an independent investigation into claims that scientists are being gagged, says Labour’s Science and Innovation spokesperson David Cunliffe. “When 40 percent of scientists say they are being gagged and can’t speak out on issues of public… ...
    1 week ago
  • Swamp kauri mining and exports should stop
    Seeing swamp kauri mining for the first time this week was a shock. Dark peaty soil had been stripped of its plant cover and giant excavators were digging into wet, swampy soil to unearth logs that had been buried for… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • MSD going down wasteful spending track
    The Ministry of Social Development is paying big salaries and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars on management courses while at the same time looking to hand some services over to a multinational outsourcing company with an appalling track… ...
    1 week ago
  • South Auckland housing meeting highlights stark realities
    The stark realities of life for South Aucklanders in substandard Housing New Zealand and private rental homes were fully exposed at a South Auckland housing meeting today, Labour’s MP for Manukau East Jenny Salesa says. “Local people generously shared their… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Pope, the scientists, and the diplomats: getting there on the climate ...
    The Pope’s Encyclical on the climate: ‘On Care for Our Common Home’, has finally been released. Evoking St Francis before him, the Pope reminds us that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life, and… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party supports Gifted Kids Awareness Week 2015
    Providing high quality teaching that caters to the specific needs of every child is an enormous challenge, but there is no investment more rewarding for society. Gifted Awareness Week gives us a chance to think about how diverse the needs… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Truck sellers still getting away with rip-offs
    The Government has admitted its brand new lending rules are already inadequate, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesman David Shearer. “Gaping holes in the Responsible Lending Code – which came into effect this month -- mean the vulnerable will not be… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government Screws the Lid Down On Raw Milk Access
    The Government’s raw milk policy announced yesterday will make it more difficult for many consumers to access the quality product of their choice, and may even be setting up the raw milk sector to fail. The Government, in its paranoia… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Operation Desert Storm
    Blaming Saudi sand storms for the deaths of 70 per cent of Kiwi lambs born on a model farm meant to showcase New Zealand agricultural expertise is another part of the ludicrous attempt to disguise buying the cooperation of a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, your expensive slip is showing
    A Minister's comments at a press conference in Dunedin today show just how easily costs can blow out at the Southern DHB, Labour's Acting Health spokesman David Clark says. "Fresh from criticising everyone from members of the Board that his… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bridges of Northland on backburner
    Transport Minister Simon Bridges today admitted no progress has been made towards his Northland by-election bribe of 10 new bridges and could only say they would be funded sometime in the next six years, Labour's transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MP lets down Cook Island community
    The Cook Island community has been let down by National List MP Alfred Ngaro’s decision not to support a proposal that would have removed a restrictive residency requirement, Labour says. An amendment to the Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a moratorium on all live sheep exports
    The events of the last two weeks have highlighted how weak our regulations around live exports are, particularly in relation to live sheep exports. We urgently need a moratorium on live sheep exports until they’ve been significantly strengthened. We have… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Weak growth highlights lack of economic plan
    Today’s weak growth figures are less than half of what was forecast in last month’s Budget and signal rough weather ahead, Labour’s Finance spokesman Grant Robertson says. “GDP figures showing the economy grew just 0.2% in the first three months… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori TV editorial interference scandal deepens
    The Maori Development Minister has misled a select committee and appears to have broken the law through editorial interference in Māori Television, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today. Labour has released emails between Te Ururoa Flavell’s press secretary and… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must act on energy CEOs salaries
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges must send a message to the Boards of the nation’s power companies that astronomical CEO salaries are not appropriate, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.  “The CEOs are earning from $ 2.1 million to $1.3 million… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Black Caps backs South Dunedin flood recovery
     People dealing with the aftermath of the Dunedin floods will be supported by the boost from Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson who have put their weight behind the Dunedin Flood Appeal in a  video released this… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Continued pressure at heart of sacking
    News that the Government has appointed a Commissioner to replace the Southern District Health Board is hardly a surprise given the mounting pressure it has been under to do more with a lot less, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson David… ...
    2 weeks ago

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