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Militarism and the NZ Left?

Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, February 28th, 2014 - 31 comments
Categories: afghanistan, education, military, newspapers, Public Private Partnerships, us politics - Tags:

I tend to be wary of militarism, while also recognising that there is an important role for the NZ military in the 21st century.  Necessary military services include practical provisions to deal with disasters at home and abroad, as well as to provide security for NZ.  In contrast, dubious militarism is a glorification of military power by an authoritarian state.  It is especially bad when harnessed in the interests of Empire as in UK and US imperialism.

So a couple of articles in the latest (Auckland) North Harbour News (Feb 28, 2014) have caused me to reflect a little towards a left wing understanding of the current state of the military in NZ.  Two of the articles have a presence on pages 4 and 5 of the North Harbour News.

The first article on page 4 is about a new Charter School that began operating in Rosedale on the North Shore of Auckland “2 weeks ago”: The Vanguard Military School.  Military charter schools have all the problems and down-sides associated with all charter schools, as well as the issues associated with an authoritarian culture that is strong on conformity and discipline. The article was published on Stuff a week ago.

The image with the article gives me pause because it looks a bit too much like authoritarian enforced conformity.  The article does endorse the positive side of such training for young boys, with the testimony of a parent:

One mother emailed to say her son is a different boy since he started classes.

“He is completely engaged at home and at school. He has a sense of self-worth, an understanding that he can achieve,” she wrote.

Mr Montgomery says he did not expect to have “100 per cent of the students paying attention in 100 per cent of the classes” so quickly, but they are “literally glued to what is going on.

“And this is only two weeks, imagine when it’s been two years.”

The Vanguard Military School has been operating for 13 years, but has only just begun operating a charter school.

Military public and private/charter schools have been on the rise in the 21st century US, with some associating this with neoliberalism and the US’s militaristic culture.

There is evidence that children of military families can be either positively or negatively impacted by their parents’ authoritarian style of discipline.

As a result of strict discipline, some children become well-mannered, obedient high achievers while others become rebellious or overly stressed.

It fits with the neoliberal agenda to have “obedient high achievers”.

The second North Harbour News article began as the headline article on the front page, and finishes with several accompanying colour photos on page 5: “Nations’ navies in excercise” (also available on Stuff – but with only the NHN’s front page photo). This is about a major international training exercise that has been underway in the Hauraki Gulf.

Six-hundred people from 14 nations have taken part in one of the largest military exercises held in New Zealand for decades.

The focus of their efforts was a national disaster hitting a fictional Pacific country that needs help.

[...]

The MCMEX14 exercise had Australians and Americans deployed at Army Bay practicing detonation techniques.

Chileans, Japanese, New Zealanders and divers from other countries jumped out of helicopters into the Tiritiri Channel. They were practicing swimming to sea mines and preparing to blow them up. For some, there was the chance to see the real thing – old World War II mines now sunk into the sea off Whangaparaoa.

There was also rifle range work for the participants. Its rationale was that in natural disasters, political tensions can rise. Aid operations need to be protected – in this case from the Samaru Independence League.

The top ranking man to visit was US Commander-in-Chief Pacific, four star Admiral Harry Harris.

“We are pleased to be part of this exercise and we are pleased at what New Zealand is doing.”

China’s People’s Liberation Army navy also took part in the exercise with a dive team.

Mr Harris says for the US to work with the Chinese Navy was a new move.

“We don’t operate with them much, we interact with them at sea on a regular basis, that is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing, and we are learning to operate together on the high seas.”

It’s not surprising that North Shore local papers would focus on local military activities.  The Devonport Naval Base and Hobsonville’s air Whenuapai’s RNZAF base are in the area.   And there is definitely an upside in having international cooperation in preparing for disaster relief.

The thing that I find a little disturbing is the impact of the two page spread taken up with images of militarism, albeit that some showing simulated rescue efforts.  But opposite the image of obedient young men at the Charter Schools are fairly glamourous action shots of military resources and power, including someone about to jump from a helicopter, and photo of a small naval craft racing away from a larger ship.

The unstated is the other kinds of activities our military engage in, in support of US militarism, as in Afghanistan.   The two newspaper articles promote both the Vanguard Military (Charter) School, and military training excercises, without providing a wider context or any critical analysis.

31 comments on “Militarism and the NZ Left?”

  1. BM 1

    It’s to do with discipline.

    Most boys respond better to a structured environment and knowing what the boundaries are.

    Military styled schools provide that enviroment, this is a good thing.

    • joe90 1.1

      Yeah, discipline is a wonderful thing.
      /

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Nah. Close all Charter schools by lunchtime. Offer no compensation to investors. Do this every single time the National Party tries to privatise or otherwise interfere with education. For the children.

    • ianmac 1.3

      I was pretty defiant of school uniforms and authority as a teen. But had a fascination when doing school cadets. Short pants khaki uniforms, marching etc. The sounds of marching feet, the echoes of nearby buildings, turning in unison, military brass music and being out of the classrooms was all good. And yet I am a pacifist at heart decades later. I can sort of see that some teens might enjoy boot camps but for long term educational benefit? Doubt it.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    “…It’s to do with discipline.

    Most boys respond better to a structured environment and knowing what the boundaries are.

    Military styled schools provide that environment, this is a good thing….”

    I assume then you warmly endorse the warped products of Britain’s public schools who serially mis-managed the British economy, spied for the USSR and incompetently led their armies and all the while in private they loved cross-dressing and being spanked for being very, very naughty boys by men many years their senior??

    • BM 2.1

      Why would I endorse that?

      Remember different culture down here in NZ , so you won’t get that sort of perverted weirdness that you’d get in England.

  3. captain hook 3

    Militarism is a perjorative term coined by the comintern to beat the United States on the head with.
    The left is just a involved as the right in raising armies and dreaming of imperialism and subjecting the massses to taxation and hegemony.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      So you reckon I could get funding for a military charter school where every day begins with a rousing rendition of the The Internationale’, where the red flag flutters proudly from every vantage point and where any eleven year you care to call away from small arms training is capable of offering a Marxist critique of capitalism?

      No?

      Didn’t think so.

  4. Pete 4

    I do remember getting a great deal out of the scouting movement when I was a kid – I did Keas and Cubs, I didn’t progress to Scouts and in retrospect, I kind of regret that. And Baden-Powell was quite explicit about the pseudo-militaristic nature of scouting. I knew other people who did Sea Cadets and got a great deal out of that.

    I’m opposed to charter schools, and I understand that military schools are significantly more involved in a child’s life than 90 minutes a week and the occasional camp, but I really liked that structure. I think it was an important part of my childhood.

  5. fender 5

    Oh silly me, I thought this was set up to produce private armies for protecting the gated communities of the fascist 1%ers as they become increasingly paranoid about the impending revolution…

    • McFlock 5.1

      god no – that level of training costs too much.
      The protection of the gated communities will be done by peons with only slightly more to lose than the peons they’re protecting the 1% from. Like the old Malcolm X house slave/ field slave distinction.

      Military schools are a fetish of folk who believe that people need to be subordinate to groupthink (sorry, “disciplined”) in order to function in society.

  6. deWithiel 6

    Not sure that there’s a military presence at Hobsonville any longer; it’s full of ‘affordable’ homes. Perhaps you meant the RNZAF base at Whenuapai?

  7. karol 7

    OK. Thanks de Withiel. Will amend.

  8. greywarbler 8

    The sort of parent who would send his/her son to a military school, is possibly a fearful one, and too I guess feels that following the rules and coping with stress and demanding schedules will make you stronger, (if it doesn’t kill you). I have always been interested in Ted Turner’s background. He was sent to a military school at 4 years old. He is still a tough guy, but less since he had a change of heart on marrying Jane Fonda. This, about him.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/17/us/ted-turner-profile/

    He was packed off to boarding school at the tender age of 4, and he spent most of his formative years at military schools. His relationship with his father, Robert Edward Turner II, was difficult, some would say abusive, although he does not describe it that way.

    The boy idolized the man, but the man had a weakness for alcohol, was prone to mood swings and often treated the boy harshly, trying to make him tougher. When the boy was defiant, his father beat him with the leather strap used to sharpen a straight razor, or with a wire coat hanger.
    “It wasn’t dangerous or anything like that,” Turner recalled. “It just hurt like the devil.”

    On one occasion, the father turned the tables on his son, ordering him to use the strap on him. Ted, tears rolling down his face, couldn’t do it.
    The verbal lashings no doubt hurt just as much, if not more.
    Turner remembers his mother as “a nice lady” and said he loved her dearly, but his father dominates any conversation about his early years. In a book about his life, he described how she stood outside the bedroom door and begged his father to stop spanking him.

    Even as a child, Turner loved nature and the outdoors. His first word was “pretty,” he was told. Yet at 4, he suddenly found himself alone, in a grim boarding school with no grass, only blacktop for a playground, while his father served in the Navy during World War II.
    The experience left him with lifelong abandonment issues, and Turner acknowledges in “Call Me Ted,” a 2008 book about his life, that he is not comfortable when left in his own company. He compulsively fills his schedule so he doesn’t have to sit still or be alone. His former wife, Jane Fonda, has said he lives his life as though he is trying to outrun his inner demons.

    And the US seems to have an aggressive authoritarian style embedded in the culture. I was reading a Bill Bryson book written in the 1990′s where writes about travels in Europe. He notes the
    sympathetic way that Danish police dealt with an addled, probably drugged teenager who had hurt his head. They were going to take him home – with the sensible thought that he needed his bed.
    Bill compared that with his memory of being ‘stopped by police in America, made to stand with my arms and legs spread against a wall and frisked, then taken to a police station and booked because of an unpaid parking ticket..when about seventeen.’ I also remember the authoritarian arrest that I read of in the USA. A mother, picking her boy up from sports, was stopped and didn’t have her seat belt on. She was arrested and held overnight in a cell.

    That sort of unthinking acceptance of draconian punishments by an authoritarian regime is not what we want strengthened, the tendency is already showing in NZ, and children regimented instead of schooled will increase the mindset and acceptance of control and violence in society more than the effects of smacking children.

  9. greywarbler 9

    I forgo to say that Ted Turner’s father committed suicide. So was he wise to send his boy to a military school which gave him the semblance of a regular schedule and permanency. Of course he didn’t see so much of his mother, and it probably broke her heart to see him go off on his own.
    I doubt that it was as enjoyable as Harry Potter’s school.

    If Ted had stayed at home with a father moody and on drugs, would he have been tainted with the same behaviour, and ending up hating his father. You would feel resentment at a man trying to set discipline when in his own life he was lost, a pitiable creature when down, and perhaps a shamed, or possibly an overbearing proesy preacher when he was lucid.

    • karol 9.1

      A bit of a sad case, Ted Turner’s father.

      The material I looked at reckoned individuals respond to militaristic discipline in different ways: some “” (learning to be obedient and/or self-disciplined), some “negative” (rebellious anti-social, disruptive, depressed). It depended a bit on an individual’s background, and personality.

      • KJT 9.1.1

        The “academy” could have been done under the State school system. Just like we had “trades academies” starting in some schools, under Labour, before National cut funding to Technology.

        I agree that there is the obvious problem. National used a school with goals that we could support, turning around children that have not been well served by conventional schooling, as a “wedge” to get charter schools on the agenda, and gain support for the eventual commercialisation of schools.

        And I agree about the issues for some children with militaristic type training.

        However it is not that “cut and dried”

        If done badly, it can be an authoritarian, soul destroying, mess.
        OR, If done well, can teach comradeship, care for other people, co-operation, respect for oneself and each other, consideration and protectiveness towards those who need it, and most importantly self reliance, competence and confidence.

        Many people thrive on it.
        Outward bound, Scouts, and other “boot camp” types of education, and even the military, have changed peoples lives around.
        Not just boys. In JOTC it is the young women who gleefully tell their male classmates to “take a concrete pill”.
        Military training, at least in New Zealand, these days is much less authoritarian and much more into building self reliance, confidence, self discipline, and thinking/decision making, under pressure.

        A big change from my young days, when it was all about drills and unthinking obedience.
        The PO’s who thought a good damage control course, was one where several of the class were hospitalised.

        By the way, it made me “high achieving”, perfectionist and “rebellious”.

        I think it tells us of the necessity for student centred learning, which takes account of a child’s abilities, learning styles and sensitivities. Which is what we were building towards with the new NZ curriculum, before it was sidelined by testing, testing, testing.

        And. This type of training and education requires very highly skilled and aware, teachers and facilitators. Not the self appointed, blowhards, that too often try and do it.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    Funny how getting together for disaster training involves shooting things and blowing them up – what sort of disaster do they envisage?

    Might have been a great deal more use if they had practiced urban search and rescue, building a house and some roads, dealing with a large number of displaced stressed unfed and homeless people people. But hey it’s easier to shoot them isn’t it?

    And they could have run a cake stall together to raise funds, now that would be co-operative experience.

    • karol 10.1

      RedBaron: Funny how getting together for disaster training involves shooting things and blowing them up – what sort of disaster do they envisage?

      Well, according to the article:

      There was also rifle range work for the participants. Its rationale was that in natural disasters, political tensions can rise. Aid operations need to be protected – in this case from the Samaru Independence League.

      The SIL is a fiction for the Auckland exercise, but is suggestive of the kinds of things this international collection of navies are training to deal with.

      I guess it’ll also come in handy if there are “political tensions” without any natural disaster accompanying it.

      • KJT 10.1.1

        It does get suspicious when so much police and army training is dealing with “civilian” dissidents.

        Fortunately for us, not many in the NZ military have much enthusiasm for shooting “civilians”.

    • KJT 10.2

      Shooting, at targets, playing with giant toys, and blowing things up, is fun.

      Ever watched myth busters?

  11. Twisty 11

    Mr Montgomery says he did not expect to have “100 per cent of the students paying attention in 100 per cent of the classes” so quickly, but they are “literally glued to what is going on.

    Did anybody else notice the use of the word literally? I did in our paper. I guess it’s not good english skills they’re being sent to the school to cultivate.

    Maybe that’s the secret of their success. They eliminated truancy by literally glueing students to their chairs.

  12. irascible 12

    Didn’t John “Brain Fade” Banks send his son to this Academy? I recall reading somewhere that there was a connection between the Military Academy and Banks. If my memory is correct then one must question the reasons why the Vanguard Academy secured Charter School Funding.

  13. Denny 13

    Arrh its about the 3 F’s … funding, funding and failure! Again, where in the world has this method of teaching worked in the last 10 years in the Western World?? $20k+ per head versus $3k – $9k for State school funding??

  14. Parent 14

    My son has just started at this school this year, he found the school and has choosen to attend. My son is not a bad kid, never has been, however, like most kids in public schools these days, he was falling through the cracks. My son was not a “front row academic teen” nor was he a “back row trouble maker”, he is a middle row teen who went to school but was not really paid attention to due to the large amount of students jammed in to one class. He is now year 11 doing his NCEA. Since he started at the school his entire attitude has changed, not only towards life in general but towards school. He has to wake up every morning at 6am, spend 2 hours on a bus to get there, then the same on the way back but because he is actually learning at school (and enjoying it) he makes this committment every day. Before this school opened I had concerns about charter/partnership schools, to some degree I still do with some but this school has changed so many teens lives already. It is not a sole destroying school, they do not run them in to the ground, they are however teaching them discipline, responsibility, camaraderie and how to have respect for not only themselves but others around them. I wish there were more of the military type schools around. It is easy to bag something when we don’t fully understand what it is or how it is run. My suggestion would be to wait until the results are out, wait until these teens are a bit older, follow their progress to see how they turn out. It can’t be any different to what we are producing now with our public schooling system which seems more about churning them through than actually giving a damn about them as a person and their futures

    • LadyMary 14.1

      My son has also just started at this school this year and, like Parent’s son, is not a bully, trouble-maker and had never been suspended from school. He was, however, failing at every turn despite being more than academically capable. For 11 years the whole public school experience for him has been like trying to push a square peg into a round hole. 30+ kids in a class hasn’t helped. I was tired of it, he was tired of it. Since starting at Vanguard, I am seeing his insecurities literally (there’s that word again) melt away and a sense of pride and self-worth emerging. So far he has shown no interest in joining the military – only in achieving his NCEA Levels 1 and 2. His teachers are strict and have no qualms about dishing out “consequences” for unacceptable behaviour but they are also encouraging, knowledgeable, approachable and fair. For the first time in a long time my son knows where he stands, where he fits into society and what he can contribute to school life. My son has always had a lot to offer – the public school system just never taught him to believe it.

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    Today, the Green party's Kennedy Graham made a heartfelt speech concerning the immediate cease fire in Gaza and called on Israel to withdraw it's military forces. The Green party MP also read out the names of children already killed in...
    The Jackal | 22-07
  • Seal of approval – How marine mammals provide important climate data
    Understanding what is happening in the oceans is crucial since 90% of global warming is going there and attempts to measure temperatures at various depths go back to the 1960s. But, what does this Weddell seal have to do with this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-07
  • Taskforce to Tackle Loopy Rules
    The National Party have announced that if they’re re-elected they’ll form a taskforce to tackle loopy rules and regulations. Local Government Minister Paula Bennett today announced the establishment of a new Taskforce to rid New Zealand of loopy rules and...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • Manufacturing dissent
    So, it turns out that almost all US "domestic terrorists" are created and directly incited by the US government:Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Minimum wage rises don’t lift unemployment, analysts agree
    More than 600 US Economists, including 7 nobel laureates, assert that increases in the minimum wage have little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum wage workers ...
    Closing the Gap | 22-07
  • The NZ First conference: policy highlights
    What were some of the policy announcements that came from the New Zealand First conference?...
    Imperator Fish | 22-07
  • Saved
    The Basin Reserve has been saved: Controversial plans to build a flyover next to the Basin Reserve in Wellington have been killed off by a board of inquiry. In a stunning move today, four commissioners declined resource consent for the...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Not serious
    That's John Key's assessment of his government's failure in the Tania Billingsley case:"I don't make apologies unless there's a serious reason for me to do that." Except apparently it is serious enough to justify an independent inquiry (though one which...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Vote Choice: John Key – the Fence Sitter
    Welcome to ALRANZ’s Vote Choice series, where we offer you our views on candidate’s opinions on abortion and reproductive justice, so that you can make an informed decision on 20 September. We encourage members to go along to candidate forums...
    ALRANZ | 22-07
  • Barry Brill and Anonymous: U R A Fraud
    People send me things. Brightening my email inbox last week was a pithy little email, headed U r a fraud. It didn’t have much to say. Here it is, in its entirety, exactly as it appeared: Please take down your...
    Hot Topic | 22-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Minister must come clean on amalgamation
    The Minister of Local Government is telling porkies to its supporters on local government amalgamation, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio.   National’s arrogance on amalgamation was all too clear when the Minister shut down Napier’s deputy mayor...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Labour sends condolences to families of MH17
    ...
    Labour | 17-07
  • IPCA report proves need for full review of spy agencies
    A report into the Police decision not to prosecute the Government Communications Security Bureau over its unlawful spying of 88 New Zealanders proves the need for a full review into our security agencies, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant...
    Labour | 16-07
  • New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga
    New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will probably never get their justice, said the Green Party today.The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its findings on whether the Police were negligent...
    Greens | 16-07
  • National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary
    The Government has issued mineral mining permits in one third of the endangered Maui's dolphin sanctuary, the Green Party has revealed today.This follows revelations that permits have also been issued for oil exploration in the sanctuary.There have been 254 Maui's...
    Greens | 16-07
  • No cosmetics tested on animals under Labour
    A Labour Government will help protect animals from harm by prohibiting the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.  Labour’s Animal Welfare spokesperson Trevor Mallard today launched the initiative at an event organised by Labour’s Ōhariu candidate Ginny...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Bridges cannot argue with the CPI –electricity prices are up
    Today’s CPI gives the lie to Simon Bridge’s claim that power prices only rose by 2.3 % in the last year. Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Its official; the CPI index says power prices increased by 4.2% in the...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Parata ploughs ahead with anti-democracy plan
      Hekia Parata is ignoring overwhelming opposition by ploughing ahead with plans to gut the political independence of the teaching profession and stifle democracy on tertiary institution councils, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is no surprise a massive...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Greens announce $1 billion additional investment in R&D, including busi...
    The Green Party has announced today that its economic priority for the election is building a smarter greener economy that benefits every New Zealander.In the Party's headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Families under more pressure as power, food prices rise
    Higher power prices, housing costs and food prices are behind today's inflation rise, putting already stressed families under renewed pressure, the Green Party said today."Families are facing rising costs from food, power, and mortgages, or rents; and most are getting...
    Greens | 15-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The rise of the Internet/Mana phenomenon
    Commentators seem surprised at the popularity of the Mana/Internet phenomenon. The ultimate ‘odd coupling’ is doing reasonably well in the polls at over 2% support, and Right Wing pundits are guessing that the Party might even reach 5% by the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Which Party Would (not) Walk Away from a Crap TPPA?
    Trick question.  Any TPPA would be crap. But a future government will try to sell it to us anyway. It is clear that there won’t be any deal until well after the election and the new government is installed. So...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Te wiki – Maori Language Week
    Maori Language Week has become an entrenched feature of New Zealand.  New Zealanders have come to accept that for one week a year the normal institutions of the white settler society will make some attempt to engage their stakeholders using the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A brief word on Cunliffe saying sorry for a 3 day holiday
    I’m not sure who the bloody hell is advising Cunliffe to apologise about a 3 day holiday, but it’s stupid. If you want to know what angry white reactionary NZ thinks about anything, go to a stuff.co.nz poll. Here’s their...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Seven Sharp – The day public broadcasting died
    I rarely watch Seven Sharp because it’s bullshit and sums up all that is wrong with current affairs in NZ, but even I can’t believe that Seven Sharp have stooped to being an apologist for Cameron Slater on this evenings show. This...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • ….except Israel
    ….except Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • NZIFF Review: The Dark Horse – 6 stars
    This year’s opening New Zealand International Film Festival offering was a couple of nights ago, and I still feel this incredible NZ movie reverberating inside me. The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • TDB New Zealand International Film Festival 2014 picks
    NZIFF is here, our picks this season are… The Dark Horse Boyhood Leviathan Is the man who is tall happy?  Hot Air Maps to the Stars Snowpiercer Toons for Tots InRealLife Print The Legend E-Team The Internet’s Own Boy: The...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A tale of two men: Cunliffe’s apology for rape culture vs Key’s dismiss...
    The manner in which Cunliffe has sought to address rape culture vs Key’s dismissal of it yesterday is a remarkable contrast as stark as the bias over Cunliffe’s holiday vs Key’s holiday. Key takes weeks off to pose for selfies...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination  Posted on July 20, 2014 by admin in James Papali’i’Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto  Posted on July 20, 2014 by admin in John Minto, Press ReleasesAddress notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: New President for MANA Movement  Posted on July 20, 2014 by admin in Lisa McNab, NewsLisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Flood relief for National voters first Posted on July 18, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – National Party thugs destroying Internet MANA b...
    Last Saturday morning the volunteer brigade of Internet Mana  went out in the freezing cold to deploy Internet Mana billboards. They braved the cold weather of that icy cold morning only to have National party thugs destroy the billboards and...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Amnesty International: War crimes against innocent civilians – Why is his...
    27 December 2008, 11:30. Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) commence military airstrikes on a list of 603 targets believed to house suspected Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip. In just three weeks, the devastating Operation ‘Cast Lead’ claimed approximately nine Israeli...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Rape Culture is not blah blah blah
    To some of our politicians and commentators, ‘rape culture’ has already become blah blah blah. A meaningless and overstated slogan to roll their eyes at and derisively joke about and deny. It’s something the ‘left’ takes seriously, and something the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Hot Air: Alister Barry presents the cold, hard facts about New Zealand’s ...
    IF YOU SEE only one film in the 2014 NZ International Film Festival see Alister Barry’s feature-length documentary, Hot Air. This chilling exposé of the strategy and tactics adopted by New Zealand’s largest industries to ensure that no effective action to combat...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • CTU resolution on Palestine
    Further to Unite’s position on Palestine, this is the Council of Trade Union position on Palestine… Preamble: Over 170 Palestinian political parties, unions and other organizations including the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions issued a call in July 2005...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
    The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Cafe chef awarded $50,000 for unfair dismissal
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Cafe chef awarded $50,000 for unfair dismissal A former chef at an Auckland cafe has been awarded more than $50,000 in unpaid wages and compensation for unjustified dismissal. The Employment Relations Authority...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza Monday, 21 Jul 2014 | Press Release The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation’s efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian...
    The Daily Blog | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Road fix needed now, not later Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-07