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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 | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 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
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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