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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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    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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