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National’s “harder-to-vote” Electoral Bill

Written By: - Date published: 5:27 pm, January 26th, 2014 - 76 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

There’s another sign National is getting a bit desperate at the beginning of election year 2014, as they reach in to the Tory trick-bag of voter suppression in the revised Electoral Amendment Bill reported back to the House on 18 December 2013.

The Select Committee’s report after their review of the 2011 election accepted the advice of the independent Electoral Commission and recommended expanding the use of the easy-vote card. As the Committee report said,

it would speed up, simplify, and improve the accuracy of the currently manual processes of issuing ballot papers and recording votes on election day, and compiling the master roll during the scrutiny process. It has the potential to reduce the number of special votes needed (by up to 52,000 on 2011 statistics) by allowing voters who enrol after writ day and vote in their electorate to use an EasyVote card and cast an ordinary vote, instead of having to complete a declaration and cast a special vote. Using EasyVote cards to issue ballot papers would also help ensure that the correct ballot papers were issued to each voter.

This proposal found its way into the Electoral Amendment Bill submitted to the House in August 2013. Speaking at its introduction, Justice Minister Judith Collins said:
Another important change enabled by this bill is the greater use of EasyVote cards during the voting process. EasyVote cards are currently used to assist election day workers find voters’ page and line numbers in the electoral roll. This bill will enable EasyVote cards to be used as a record that an ordinary vote has been cast. It will also allow the cards to be used instead of a declaration form for special voters. This new use of EasyVote cards will simplify and speed up the issuing of ordinary and special votes. It will also make the scrutinising of the rolls that occurs during the election counting process more accurate and efficient.
The Bill reported back in December 2013 after Parliament had risen for the year deleted the EasyVote provisions, and added a requirement that all voters speak or affirm their name added. What we now have might be called National’s “harder-to-vote” provisions.
There was one other change in December – a return to the previous practice of allowing party canvassers to display ribbons and rosettes on the streets on election day. Speaking to the provision removing this in the original Bill, Committee Chair Scott Simpson made what can only be described as a thoroughly racist comment:
 We will be able to ensure that the good people of South Auckland are not having busloads of KFC – bearing Labour Party supporters wearing ribbons and rosettes descending upon them and escorting them to the election booth.
Embarrassment pure and simple may have changed Committee Chair Simpson’s mind between August and December; he would not want this remark being played back to him in the election year debate.
Of course there were some other political changes between August and December that may have changed  Judith Collins’ mind on easy voting.  I have no doubt  that the good people of South Auckland are still the target of the harder-to-vote provisions of the reported back Bill.
As a scrutineer in past elections before the introduction of easy-vote cards I have watched as Returning Officers were unable to find registered voters on the roll when they did give their name, usually because of a different order of surname and forename. The new provisions will make things harder for Returning Officers, and we can also expect to see a more aggressive approach from National Party scrutineers, watching to challenge voters by demanding statutory declarations.
The Select Committee report on the 2011 election also stated that:
Our electoral system is based on a high-trust model, which means we need to ensure the integrity of the system as our society grows and changes.
The problem is that the National Party does not trust the voters of South Auckland to vote the right way. Better to make it harder and discourage them from voting at all.

76 comments on “National’s “harder-to-vote” Electoral Bill”

  1. Boonman 1

    Voter suppression is classic Tory behaviour. Labour should pick up on what the UK Labour Party have done and start talking about lowering the voting age to 16. It would mean more voters and greater engagement.

    • Anne 1.1

      16 year olds voting? A bunch of maturity-challenged teenagers whose brains are still in the half-cock stage of development? Give us a break. God help us if we were to find ourselves with Justin Beiber lookalikes running around as prime ministers. It’s bad enough that the pollies fell for the argument that an 18 year old is old enough to go to war therefore old enough to vote. When was the last time 18 year old’s went to war? WW1 or (maybe) WW2?

      The proof is in the pudding Boonman. Most 18 year old voters don’t bother to cast a vote so your claim doesn’t stack up.

      • karol 1.1.1

        I think 16 year olds as as capable of a reasoned vote as adults of any age. It’s their society too. Across all ages voters have a diverse range of understandings of politics. I see teenagers as being no different. Many have a clear understanding if many things required by society.

        • vto 1.1.1.1

          “I think 16 year olds as as capable of a reasoned vote as adults of any age.”

          I think not dear Karol. What do you base this “reason of a 16 yr-old being equal to the reason of a 60 yr-old” posit on?

          • karol 1.1.1.1.1

            I have taught a large number of sixteen year olds, and assessed their work, had plenty of discussions with people that age.

          • Shane Gallagher 1.1.1.1.2

            I would have thought that any cursory glance at the comments section of Kiwiblog would have confirmed in full Karol’s assertion. :-)

          • The Pink Postman 1.1.1.1.3

            Well when I hear the views of some of those older folk I vto.

            cringe in shame. Amazing just how many of the over sixties have racist views and views that can only be described as on the far Right.
            However I am amazed at the interesting comments made by by young teenagers . Of course lower the voting age ,they can’t make a bigger balls up than we oldies have left them. Bye the way I’m 83 ,a republican , a flag changer , ,English born NZ citizen and on the far left .A very unusual Guy..

        • weka 1.1.1.2

          I disgree. I wouldn’t quite characterise 16 yr olds in the way that Anne does, but she is right about them still developing, and brain function. Think about risk assessment for instance. I also think peer pressure and socialisation are big factors in thinking at that age. It’s not just about reason.

          “Across all ages voters have a diverse range of understandings of politics.”

          Yeah, but that’s not exactly an endorsement.

          I would support lowering the voting age if we integrated civics classes into schools and taught critical thinking skills (including how to critique the media). I don’t know how much that is being done already, but I’m guessing not much.

          • karol 1.1.1.2.1

            I agree with civics classes. There are some secondary school courses in critiquing the media – but I’m not sure how widespread they are, or how successful.

            Should we also stop the elderly voting as some are prone to dementia.

            Sure 1 year old brains are still developing, but I don’t think that makes them incapable of making a reasoned decision re-voting. Many do follow their peers’ views. But that happens with other post 16 year olds too.

            16 year olds can pay taxes, etc. They are considered responsible enough to do a wide range of things. Their views should be attended to by the government.

            • vto 1.1.1.2.1.1

              “Sure 1 year old brains are still developing, but I don’t think that makes them incapable of making a reasoned decision re-voting.”

              What is your reason for this and the other things you say? The statements are fine but without the reasons for the statements they are difficult to understand.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.2

              16 year olds can pay taxes, etc. They are considered responsible enough to do a wide range of things. Their views should be attended to by the government.

              Which is still not the same thing as giving them the vote, and by the way, the Left still has no idea how to get the 800,000 non-voters to the booths so the idea now is to enfranchise more (though younger) non-voters?

            • weka 1.1.1.2.1.3

              “Should we also stop the elderly voting as some are prone to dementia.”

              Depends on how many you are talking about.

              “Many do follow their peers’ views. But that happens with other post 16 year olds too.”

              Not to nearly the same extent though.

              Paying taxes is a passive exercise for most teens and doesn’t require the degree of responsibity that voting does. Poor comparison IMO.

              “Their views should be attended to by the government”

              Yes. Perhaps they should have their own parliament that then has a relationship with the main government in terms of getting youth needs addressed.

          • Anne 1.1.1.2.2

            I wouldn’t quite characterise 16 yr olds in the way that Anne does,

            Yes, weka it was a bit over the top granted. I sometimes find it useful to exaggerate the case when trying to make a point.

        • vto 1.1.1.3

          Karol, with that sort of think going on you must surely be entirely enamoured of law by referendum too. Yes?

        • Anne 1.1.1.4

          @ karol
          Evidence abounds that at 16 years their brains are not fully formed – a reason why so many get into strife on the roads. Most of them are still in the process of acquiring a reasoned approach to society and how to handle themselves.

          It’s their society too.

          Indeed it is. And they are going to have a lifetime of voting ahead of them from the age of 18. Two more years to wait? Is that a travesty? My generation had to wait until we were 21. It did us no harm. I accept there are now young people who are more politically aware than we were, but the vast majority of 16 year olds don’t have a clue and are even less interested. The right to vote is something we earn when we have reached an age of maturity.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.4.1

            Well, reducing the voting age to 16 is one way to get KDC into parliament.

            • miravox 1.1.1.4.1.1

              “reducing the voting age to 16 is one way to get KDC into parliament.”

              Possible, but it might be hard to predict the youth vote.

              I found it quite interesting that in the general election in Austria last year the 16 to 18 age group didn’t vote in big numbers for the Pirate party or the Greens. I had some vague expectation that they would vote on concerns that these parties expressed. The young teen vote was instrumental in the rise of the Freedom Party vote.

              … The Green Party and the SPÖ hoped to win these new voters and wooed them with a roll back of university tuition fees. The morning after the election, it clearly hadn’t worked: The FPÖ has attracted most of the youth vote. With the party’s extreme views on illegal immigrants, they touched a chord among a youth that appears to be somewhat conservative, insular and uncertain about the future.

              It might be that the young are feeling uncomfortable for their economic and social futures and the like, but it could also be that the FPO leader was the coolest dude on the tele. A fair bit of analysis needs to be done to work out the reasons for voting patterns.

              • greywarbler

                I think that the findings that young people don’t vote often because they missed doing so once and nothing happened, so don’t bother next time is an important issue. The age of 18 for national elections is a bottom level for what are complex issues. I think that a small fine of say $20 for all who don’t vote, would remind non-voters that it is a duty of a democratic society, that all shell out for this important event, and it is not satisfactory to not turn up and contribute. The money would not be pursued to the utmost but would act as a reminder that their vote counts, numbers count, and it is like a census of what group the people are putting in power.

                But I would like to start off the democratic experience with all schools having some things available to a school council of pupils to make choices about and vote on. This would give them ‘ownership’ of many of the things that go on there. This experience would start in primary, and go onto secondary. Tertiary it is already happening but I understand that good ol’ democratic NACTs ar thinking of doing away with student reps on at least some councils.

                Also about the youth vote, I think 15 is too low an age for national elections and we should stick with 18 as the base rate. The youth think they know everything but we know now that male brains don’t mature till 25 and females perhaps a little earlier. But I think that all youngsters should be able to vote in local council elections from the age of 15.

                We would see some strong representations made on say alcohol, and closing hours, and areas for skateparks, use of libraries for study, quiet places, computer sharing time, noise at night and dances, and use of halls, and car racing in the streets. These things would interest them. Also perhaps the cost of using swimming pools and parks and beaches. And who cleans them and monitors use and safety.

                It would be a way for 15-year olds to learn what was involved in running things, and why other peoples’ needs are perhaps more important than theirs, such as the need for quiet sleep, as well as places where people can be noisy. This would be good training for both easy-living youth and responsibility-carrying adults so they could come together and agree on policies etc.

                • greywarbler

                  I wanted to add something to the above but no – I’m in time but it won’t let me edit so to add to the things that would interest the young on local councils –

                  Also they would be interested in bike lanes, and would have opinions on mixed use pedestrian/cycle lanes and how they should operate. Older pedestrians feel vulnerable and can be frightened by young fast moving cyclists silently flashing past them. Some alternative approach might emerge from a discussion, such as cyclists on one side only. and pedestrians on the other.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.4.2

            agree.

            Exactly why would we be looking to lower it? To what end? Is there evidence 16 year olds are much more mature today than…. when?

            Some 16 year olds can show signs of maturity beyond their years but RARELY in most aspects of their lives.

        • Jenny 1.1.1.5

          This is an issue that I feel strongly about.

          One high school teacher at a low decile school recently told me, the students all have a built in “bullshit detector”.

          We should embrace our young people’s “bullshit detector”.

          Personally I would put the voting age down to 15, that way our young people will get the chance to experience at least one, or even two general elections before they leave High School, and before they have to go out into the world, and be weighed down by the weight of work and relationships and all the other myriad other things that take young people’s attention.

          Studies show that those that don’t vote the first time never do vote.

          And why would first time voters vote, just on leaving school, or turning 18, when for most of their conscious life their opinions have never been sought and their concerns have been ignored?

          And this is what really grinds my gears at election time, – The patronising way young are treated. At some high schools, they are encouraged to take part in meaningless class room cringe worthy faux elections. Made to take sides in fake meaningless parties to discuss pointless topics that they have no chance of influencing in the real world, in an to effort to “teach them about democracy”.

          No doubt though well intentioned, patronising young people in this way actually turns them away from taking part in the democratic process.

          The only way to learn about democracy is by doing it.

          Young people’s views need to be respected and their opinions sought. Politicians should have to go out and into the High Schools and win the support of our Rangatahi. After all it is the young people in High School right now, who will suffer the consequences of decisions being made by our politicians today about the sort of world they will inhabit in the future. Another point that should be remembered is that young people today are more aware and connected than any other previous generation. Even IQ tests are showing this. Average IQ levels have been steadily rising amongst teenagers, compared to previous generations.

        • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.6

          This must be the vote for a very low drinking age, legalizing drugs and getting a hand out until one is “ready” to contribute. Too much of that around right now and we don’t need to encourage more of it. Sorry, but some true and real approach is needed. 16 is an age where the brain is not fully developed – ref Harvard article – “it is only about 80 percent developed in adolescents”.
          http://harvardmagazine.com/2008/09/the-teen-brain.html

          • Lloyd 1.1.1.6.1

            If you go back to the days before female emancipation the arguments against giving women the vote were very similar to those of several of the comments above.

            Our forefathers “knew” that women’s brains were not as developed a men’s and that they were unstable at certain times of the month because of hormones flooding their bodies and that the good ladies should stay at home and take care of less complex matters, such as raising children, leaving important matters such as voting to the more developed men. Hah!

            Why shouldn’t someone who is entitled to get a licence drive a two ton car at 100km/hr be allowed to vote? If they are not wise enough to select a representative in government, they shouldn’t be allowed to control a potential weapon capable of killing several persons with a moment’s inattention. The thought processes involved may be different but the right to drive and voting are both measures of trust and responsibility. IMO both rights could be given at the same time.

            • Foreign Waka 1.1.1.6.1.1

              Facts are facts no matter what, to compare a juvenile to an adult women (in those days) is insulting as many women at the time could teach the younger ones a lesson or two in a lot of skills – none of these involve binge drinking or McDonald’s. It was and is the patriarchal and tribal attitude that has moved over hundreds/thousends of years to the situation as it is today. Still a way to go but it will take people with the historical knowledge, perseverance, skill and audacity to get moving into the right direction.
              Yes, people with an age of 16 have a point of view, hopefully more than the weekends rugby scores, and no one will deny the validity of an unbiased comment. Everybody who is “older” has been there and has memories of it. However, opinions are prone to changes on every turn and trend. I would not say that a 16 year old is fit to take the responsibility to be a parent and I take this as a very good guide as it points in precisely the direction that has no place for an ego – responsibility. It is biological fact that the brain still develops at this age, especially the cognitive functions. As for the driver license, this is actually not a world wide standard age to get one. The normal age is 18 and in most countries there is no such thing as a learner license. And one can gauge the sense of responsibility with the uptake of the full license at this junction, isn’t it so?. NZ has adopted this method of licensing due to the distances and rural environments for many.
              As for military – there is since 1972 no conscription and the service is voluntary. To join a person has to pass some vigorous test, physical medical and educational. It is certainly not a place for potheads and fly by nighters. Young people who join are quite exceptional and will embark on a educational path in the first instance. This brings me to the next hallmark: discipline. I am not seeing much of that either.

      • Like we don’t have a ton more in the older demographics who vote for ridiculous parties. New Zealand First comes to mind, for one.

        I’d support any 16 yearold who bothers to register being enrolled. They can’t do worse than the older generation. :P

        • vto 1.1.2.1

          Well that is a very compelling thought and well worth throwing into the pot with the pouha

          • Arfamo 1.1.2.1.1

            My gut feeling at the moment is that lowering the voting age to 16 would be premature and for the purposes of cost-efficiency should be done at the same time as the drinking age is lowered to 16.

        • Anne 1.1.2.2

          Well, my riposte to that is: haven’t we got enough oldies voting for ridiculous parties without adding to the list. :razz:

          • Foreign Waka 1.1.2.2.1

            Right, its the oldies! This is a juvenile response that makes me vote for the ridiculous party that offers more money for education. Seems that this is what we need most.

      • Boonman 1.1.3

        Wow… just wow. We’re quite willing to say they’re onto it enough to pay tax but, “no… you’re too stupid or apathetic to be given this type of responsibility. Go back to your Beiber tweets.”

    • DS 1.2

      The major reason I’m uncomfortable with 16 year olds voting is that it leaves them potentially vulnerable to the influence of parents/teachers/others. By 18, you’ve got a greater degree of independence.

      • Anne 1.2.1

        Now why didn’t I think of putting it as succinctly as DS. :)

      • alwyn 1.2.2

        That may be right, but if the opinion attributed to Mark Twain is correct perhaps we should let 16 year-olds vote and take the right away from those between 20 and 24.

        “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years”.

        Obviously, if Twain was correct, vulnerability to undue influence increases with age.

      • Tracey 1.2.3

        Not with the school leaving age at 18.

    • Murray Olsen 1.3

      I agree, Boonman. If people don’t think they’re mature enough to vote, then they shouldn’t be required to pay taxes either. Or obey laws. Things couldn’t be any worse than the mess fuckwitted Tory voting adults with their simple minded xenophobia and ashprishilizm have got us into, and they might just get a lot better. It was adults who gave us Rogernomics, and adults who gave us John Key. 16 year olds could hardly do worse.

      • Foreign Waka 1.3.1

        How old are you? Still a bit of an immature attitude here. Just saying that adults “gave” the nation Rogernomics and John Key is ridicules. If you were an adult at the time Rogernomics was introduced you would also know that it was a coup d’éta after Lange was reelected. Similar with the “mother of all budgets” Mrs Richardson profile seeking piece – another after the fact implementation. A 16 year old would not even know that. Good politics are based on knowledge, political and historical. Neither have been displayed.

        • Murray Olsen 1.3.1.1

          Old enough to know Roger Douglas wrote a book setting out exactly what he planned to do once elected. It was a pretty well advertised coup d’état, and one that Lange was aware of before he appointed Douglas to cabinet. With all the political and historical knowledge weighing down your waka, it’s strange that you didn’t know that. As for my age, it’s none of your business.

          • greywarbler 1.3.1.1.1

            Murray Olsen
            I decided to see what I remembered about the codger Roger. And here are a few salient points from wikipedia on Roger Douglas and his Rogernomics, an imported control for a pest with negative economic effects, which spread becoming an invasive pest diminishing the nation’s health and wellbeing, socially and financially, everywhere it manifests.

            I guess this first book is the one you refer to. The others look interesting.
            *Douglas, Roger; Louise Callan (1987). Toward Prosperity. Auckland: David Bateman
            and
            *Russell, Marcia (1996). Revolution: New Zealand From Fortress To Free Market. Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett. ISBN 1-86958-428-7.
            *Sheppard, Simon (1999). Broken Circle: The Decline and Fall of the Fourth Labour Government. Wellington: PSL Press
            Douglas, Roger (1996). Completing the Circle. Auckland: Seascape Press.

            Also Douglas published some policy papers –
            In 1980, he published a series of proposals for future economic development under the title an “Alternative Budget”.
            In late 1983, Labour’s Caucus Economic Committee adopted a paper that Douglas named the economic policy package. The committee’s support was not unanimous. The Douglas paper polarised opinion in the caucus.[33] Several members of the caucus presented an alternative draft economic policy to the Labour Party’s Policy Council.

            Douglas doggedly pursued his own vision of what Labour was, against opposition or attempts at reaching consensus. Treasury’s view of economic policy was neo-classical and monetarist, and used commercial criteria as the basis for decision-making.[52] Douglas did not concede that his advocacy of these views placed him on the right of politics. He maintained that the government’s social goals were the same as those of the First Labour Government and that changed circumstances required Labour to use different economic means to achieve its ends

            Promoting himself, denying Labour funding. Douglas’s appeal to commercial interests was reflected in the large amounts of money (including $250,000 given by Auckland businessman Alan Hawkins[67]) he collected for the campaign from the business community.[68] He did not convey the money he raised to the Labour Party organization, but chose to manage it himself, allocating funds for purposes like television advertising.[69]

            Flat tax rate and GMFI (what was that – a sort of UBI?) Douglas shocked Lange in April 1987 by telling him that his preferred option for the 1987 budget included a rise in GST from a rate of 10% to 15%, the extension of user charges in public health and education and the sale of most government assets, and the eventual achievement of a flat rate of income tax at 15 per cent.
            …a flat rate of income tax and a new form of income assistance called guaranteed minimum family income (GMFI).[76] GMFI was a Douglas initiative[77] and for reasons of urgency he did not inform cabinet colleagues of Treasury advice that the proposals were a fiscal risk.[78]

            On the split between him and Lange; Douglas did not accept that there were any philosophical differences at issue, and attributed other motives to Lange: ‘In my mind he created the division that in my mind was never there. We had separate roles. I understood what my role was. I felt he should have understood what his role was.’[89]

            Compare Jim Anderton’s vision for Labour’s direction.
            Although many ordinary members of the Labour Party (who were unhappy at the way the party’s parliamentary wing was behaving) backed Anderton, he became increasingly isolated in parliament. When Anderton disobeyed party instructions to vote in favour of selling the Bank of New Zealand (which Labour had explicitly promised not to do), he was suspended from caucus. In April 1989, believing that Labour was beyond change, Anderton resigned from the party. He later said, “I did not leave the Labour Party; the Labour Party left me.”….
            By the late 1990s, Labour under Helen Clark had largely purged itself of the influence of Roger Douglas. Realising that the cost of a split in the left-wing vote was a continued National government, the two parties agreed to form a coalition for the 1999 elections. Anderton became Deputy Prime Minister after National lost the election. He was also given the newly created post of Minister of Economic Development, which had an emphasis on job creation and regional development initiatives.

            And some comment on Anderton by John Pagani on stuff.
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/blogs/john-pagani-left-leaning/5731400/Jim-Anderton-and-his-iron-laws-of-politics
            Here are some hints on how to win in politics, (or at least not lose by much) –
            Here are a few:
            Never let policy crush people.
            Individuals can make a difference.
            Compromise on everything except principle, but never give in when people want you to do something stupid.
            Organise, organise, organise.
            Assume everything you say is going to end up on the front page.
            And never put out enough chairs at meetings, so the room always looks full.

            And some on the last Labour election strategy by Pagani.
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10764650

            Chris Trotter, commening on Thatcher – the bulldozer (or cow for short).
            Powerful ideas, coherently organised and ruthlessly implemented, are extraordinarily difficult to resist. Only when the Left evinces the confidence in its principles that Mrs Thatcher had in hers, will the Right be decisively defeated.
            http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/facing-fearful-odds-reply-to-john.html
            Enjoy! I thought it was interesting reading and relevant.

            • Foreign Waka 1.3.1.1.1.1

              One also needs to remember that the economic situation at the time was just a few years after “mother England” cut its ties of guarantied export market (1970’s). Geoffrey Palmer was involved with the writing of the policy paper for the election and as far as I can recall no one even hinted at the upheaval that was about to be unleashed. A “gradual” approach was mentioned for changes to be implemented. But the big ego of Douglas did not want to do anything slow – intentionally as a later book revealed- so the currency was devalued and whohaa… the first big crisis hit with the currency dealers selling the dollar at record speed. The argument was that it will improve the live of all NZlanders, yeah right. Look were it got us, 1 in 4 kids in poverty, that is 25% of all children and of cause their families. How can that be justifiable – Douglas should do the honorable thing and return his knighthood.

          • Foreign Waka 1.3.1.1.2

            The question of age was rhetorical, I am not interested…

  2. karol 2

    So, what exactly is the current sate of the Bill – is it law, or is it still going through the House? And what is the actual current provision within the Bill a s it stands?

  3. vto 3

    Mike Smith.. “We will be able to ensure that the good people of South Auckland are not having busloads of KFC – bearing Labour Party supporters wearing ribbons and rosettes descending upon them and escorting them”.
    You describe this as “a thoroughly racist comment:”

    I don’t understand this sort of racism cry. What is the difference between that and derogatory comments about Epsom-type voters, or rich dairy farmer Southland voters, or other such stiff toff voters, that get thrown around here all of the time (usually by moi)?

    Appreciate this is probably off-tangent from what you want to discuss but, really, what is the difference?

    • karol 3.1

      The difference is to do with relative status, power and inequality.

      • vto 3.1.1

        So that means it is not possible for someone of lower status, power and equality to be racist.

        Is that right?

        • Racism is a systemic race-based discrimination built on society-wide inequality. A Maori person can’t be “racist” against a white person, despite common usage.

          They can, of course, discriminate. But there’s no context of institutional discrimination against white people in New Zealand that would make it racist. Get it?

          Also, your later comments make it clear you’re bristling more about classism than racism. Rest assured, the rich are still winning the class war, which means that likewise, it’s not classism to discriminate against the rich. In fact, they could do with a little more adversity in their lives, outside of the usual family drama and in most (but not all) high-income families.

          • vto 3.1.1.1.1

            That is not the meaning of racism, and neither is Karol’s attempt. Try looking it up in a dictionary.

            I appreciate many people around here redefine racism to a very narrow frame but that is not the accepted meaning. If you and others want to redefine racism in the frame you describe then I suggest you get another name for it too.

            The original point seems to still stand, namely to mike smith, “What is the difference between that and derogatory comments about Epsom-type voters, or rich dairy farmer Southland voters, or other such stiff toff voters, that get thrown around here all of the time?”

            • karol 3.1.1.1.1.1

              My definition comes from study of sociology. Racism is more than just prejudice, it is discrimination based on one ethnic group/”race” being positioned as superior to and having more power than another ethnic group/”race”. It’s about which group has the social, political and economic power.

              Dictionaries aren’t necessarily that great on understanding of social sciences. But let’s try a dictionary definition:

              Free online dictionary – first one up on my google search on “racism”:

              1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
              2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

              Oxford Dictionary:

              the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races:

              And what Matthew said about the difference between classism and racism, and about the context of institutional power.

              And here’s a collection of sociological definitions. Extracts:

              In Portraits of White Racism David Wellman (1993) has defined racism as “culturally sanctioned beliefs, which, regardless of intentions involved, defend the advantages whites have because of the subordinated position of racial minorities,”(Wellman 1993: x). Sociologists Noel Cazenave and Darlene Alvarez Maddern define racism as “…a highly organized system of ‘race’-based group privilege that operates at every level of society and is held together by a sophisticated ideology of color/’race’ supremacy.

              I go with the scholars of society.

              • vto

                Thanks for the response. This “definition” of racism issue goes to the heart of some of the problems with racism imo, especially when being discussed in particular circumstances.

                If the accepted definition is what you describe (and imo it is miles from that in the public eye) then it needs another description. One other than racism. The description you outline, the academic one, is too narrow and has way too many other factors at play to be described as “race”. The race factor in your academic choice is in fact relatively minor – it is merely circumstantial as to which race has the power at any point in history, an accident of history. It is not to do with race at all in fact – it is to do with one group of people retaining their advantage over another group. It is entirely equally applicable to class too (as already intimated). From your definition, whites are racist against other whites, and that makes your definition a nonsense. As such it needs a new moniker.

                I would suggest that your definition is a sub-definition, or sub-group, of racism. It is merely one smaller form of racism within the wider everyday racism which is the accepted dictionary definition. i.e. “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races:” (and note especially there Karol in the Oxford definition (does Oxford employ scholars in writing dictionaries? I imagine they do Karol), that it is both inferior and superior)

                This difference in meaning of “racism” is unhelpful in attending to these issues.

                (had to bang all that down quickly – hope it makes sense)

              • vto

                Kaol “I go with the scholars of society”

                Just to repeat …. does the Oxford Dictionary employ scholars / academics / experts to come up with their definitions?

            • marty mars 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually vto you are reframing the concept narrowly to fit your own preconceived ideas – this not uncommon occurrence for you and is often the prelude to long tracks of misunderstanding from you. Here’s a hint – try to get your head around why your definition is different to the others linked to here.

              edit; i see above that everyone is wrong, including the dictionaries, except for you – tells the story that one…

          • Foreign Waka 3.1.1.1.2

            I can throw in some adult “bullshit detector”. Racism is racism, that is the point! Oh yes we get it – you want some apartheid and if possible under the disguise of “affirmative action”. You are not an iota better than any of the Tories, the only difference is that you represent a different group.

      • vto 3.1.2

        does race come into it at all?

      • Beryl Streep 3.1.3

        Karol: “The difference is to do with relative status, power and inequality.”

        Um no, you’re redefining racism to suit your own world view.

        Racism is the belief that members of a particular race share the same traits, qualities and cultural behaviour and that one race is superior over another. Barack Obama, the most powerful man in the world experiences racism.

        I don’t think you have any authority to redefine what racism is considering you’ve defended and excused the use of the term Uncle Tom in previous posts.

  4. JasonJ 4

    Personally I feel more comfortable knowing that the potential for illegitimate votes being cast (such as was done by Labour member Daljit Singh) is being minimised. Response?

    • adam 4.1

      One extra vote cast and its a crime. Indeed it’s a crime of such levity the whole power of the state should weigh in and fix it. Because one person was caught voting twice, they were caught under the current system, so the system is flawed.

      WHAT A CHRONIC WASTE!

      What a stupid distraction at best.

      How about JasonJ we introduce reading requirements to vote, a DNA test, or my favourite, electronic voting. Do they appeal? Does worrying about one extra vote stop you from sleeping at night? What about the kids who are starving this night – Shit I bet they keep themselves awake worrying about that one person and there voter fraud.

  5. As a scrutineer in past elections before the introduction of easy-vote cards I have watched as Returning Officers were unable to find registered voters on the roll when they did give their name, usually because of a different order of surname and forename. The new provisions will make things harder for Returning Officers, and we can also expect to see a more aggressive approach from National Party scrutineers, watching to challenge voters by demanding statutory declarations.

    I think you are over-egging things here.

    EasyVote cards can still be used to help Returning Officers find registered voters on the roll. That isn’t changing one iota . What has happened is that the Electoral Commission’s recommendation – for Returning Officers to be able to use the EasyVote card as an official record that a person is entitled to and has cast a vote, rather than have to go through the hassle of finding their name on the printed roll and marking it off with a red pen – has been rejected. So it doesn’t make it any harder for the voter to get a voting paper, rather it doesn’t make it any easier for the Returning Officer to do her or his job. That may or may not be a bad thing, but it doesn’t have anything to do with voter suppression.

    Another reason for thinking that this change to the original bill may not be as devious as you suggest is that the Justice and Electoral Committee’s recommended changes were unanimous. So either Raymond Huo, Maryan Street and David Clendon have been asleep at the wheel, or you’ve misunderstood what has happened.

    • That puts things a bit more in context. I was having trouble grasping why this might be a bad change, and knew I wasn’t understanding something until I got to your comment. :)

      To be fair though, it’s a reasonable suggestion to make EasyVote cards official. It would speed up the process a lot, which could have a good impact on turnout, (beecause frankly, even a couple minutes shaved off say a quarter-hour voting time at some of the busier polling places can make a difference where turnout is concerned) and it’s worth trying out for at least one election, just to see if the promised spectres of compromising the integrity of our electoral system actually appear, or if it’s just tories being squeemish about the idea of the wider population actually voting. ;)

    • Mike Smith 5.2

      Andrew

      It’s not just about the Easy-Vote card. The Bill as reported back adds a new provision that a person who applies for a voting paper must verbally give or verbally confirm his or her name. This will not be a particularly easy provision to administer in practice and will add complication to the process of voting. The original Bill sought to make the process easier; this will make it harder. In my opinion, anything that makes voting harder is to be discouraged.

      As for the political dilemma you perceive, most of the work on the election review leading up to the original Bill was done by Lianne Dalziel. She was well aware of the tenor of the submissions there which I outlined here http://thestandard.org.nz/turn-off-turnout-nationals-2014-strategy/

      • It’s not just about the Easy-Vote card. The Bill as reported back adds a new provision that a person who applies for a voting paper must verbally give or verbally confirm his or her name. This will not be a particularly easy provision to administer in practice and will add complication to the process of voting.

        Sure. So people can get a voting paper two ways:

        You can walk up to the polling place and say “I’m Mike Smith”, whereupon the polling official will look through the voting roll, find “Mike Smith’s” name, check which Mike Smith you are (if there is more than one on the roll), then give you a ballot paper.

        Or, you can hand over your EasyVote card, which the polling official will read to see the person’s name and address, which they then will use to locate and mark you off on the roll before asking “can you confirm you are Mike Smith?”, then give you a ballot paper.

        I agree that this last step (the verbal confirmation one) is a bit silly … but if it is the basis for crying “voter suppression! voter suppression!”, then I think a deep breath is needed.

        • Papa Tuanuku 5.2.1.1

          it’s Ok for the Mike Smith’s, what about the white electoral worker that has no idea of non-Euro names? When you have an awesome Maori / Pasifika name you understand what it’s like to have your name mangled/to get talked down to when they see/hear your name, or they make an instant decision to be less friendly/helpful, even when the cashier/govt worker is paid to serve you equally. It happens daily on a mass scale

          • Andrew Geddis 5.2.1.1.1

            Sure. I accept that is some people’s reality. But, again, I don’t see how the change that is proposed alters this reality one little bit. Here’s what the proposed amendment says:

            (2) An elector who applies to vote must—
            (a) verbally give or verbally confirm his or her name; and
            (b) give or confirm any other particulars that may be necessary to find the elector’s name on the rolls.
            (2A) If an elector is unable to comply with the requirement in subsection (2)(a) because of an inability to understand English or because of a physical disability, the elector may comply with that requirement by—
            (a)gesture; or
            (b)any other means with the assistance of a person nominated by the elector who is present with the elector.”

            So all that is changing is that rather than hand over an EasyVote card without having to say anything, a voter now will have to hand it over and say “I am Viliami Fukofuka”, or will have to say “yes, that is me” if the official asks them.

            Note that the electoral official always has known that the voter has “an awesome Maori / Pasifika name”, so any second-class treatment will occur irrespective of this change.

            As for Mike’s “death of a thousand cuts” … there’s another metaphor one should be wary of: The Boy Who Cried Wolf. If you really think this is a trojan horse (to add another one to the mix), then I suggest you send a rocket to the Labour and Green MPs who agreed to it.

        • Mike Smith 5.2.1.2

          Andrew

          The provision isn’t aimed at you but Papa Tuanuku is onto it. It’s the death of a thousand cuts we’re dealing, and when it comes to backward steps I prefer constant vigilance to deep breathing.

  6. tricledrown 6

    If labour greens mana get their canvassers to help south Aucklanders to register which you Now can do in privacy because another voter surpression technique is that debt collectors use the electoral roll to find people.
    So the left could make this work for the left if they put in the ground work.

  7. captain hook 7

    Why dont RadioNewZealand report this instead of richard preebles slimy poormouthing which they call news.
    This is far more important but totally ignored.
    Why is this?

    • Will@Welly 7.1

      Look at who’s running RNZ these day’s – the right of the National Party.
      The brown/black shirts are getting ready for the propaganda war that will dominate this election.

      As for the changes themselves, typical shonkey Tory tactics, Judith Collins – Minister of Non-Justice.

  8. The number of times that Right wingers make unfavorable
    comments is a worry . Every time Labour makes a statement on RNZ its is rubbished by some Tory sleazebag. The latest was the traitorous two faced creep The has been Prebble . It’s becoming a farce .

  9. The number of times that Right =

  10. Tracey 10

    I am already sick of the msm meme that lab and green have to be identical.

    Nat sold assets and winston wants to buy them back
    Nat says no to smacking colin craig wants it

    But no howls of cracks in proposed national coalition.

  11. Craig Y 11

    Standard, perhaps a fuller article on Republican and UK Thatcher era (and subsequent) Tory anti-voting initiatives and their history might be in order? I seem to recall that august leftist US publication Mother Jones did an article on Republican attempts to block the franchise in its captive states during its anti-Obama rant-and-rave session back in 2012, for instance? And there’s Thatcher’s poll tax fiasco to consider.

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    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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