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Nats: Bring Back Debtors Prisons

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, January 17th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: prisons - Tags: ,

The government is to introduce a new Courts and Criminal Matters Bill, much of which is sensible.  Suspending a repeated speeding fine-dodger’s license seems an appropriate sanction.

But sending them to prison because they can’t afford to pay a fine seems madness.  I find myself in agreement with this Herald editorial, seeing the ridiculous cost of building and maintaining ever more prisons as unsustainable.  Minor offences like unpaid fines should not result in the taxpayer spending vast sums to lock the offender up.

[T]he country cannot simply increase the prison population endlessly. That entails an unsustainable cost in building and running prisons, whatever arrangements the Government may enter to leaven the expense. New Zealand already has the second-highest imprisonment rate in the developed world. Jailing a large number of people for relatively minor offences makes little sense.

The government already has the power to take money automatically from bank accounts and wages for fines.  It can seize possessions like cars, boat and televisions.  It can stop people leaving the country.  It just needs to actually enforce these laws.

Currently the biggest unpaid fines are from companies and people who have fled overseas.  This law does nothing to impose on them.  The rich who thieve in the guise of companies cannot have that company’s driving license suspended, and there’s no provision to lock directors up.  And there’s no chance of extraditing people for an offence as minor as unpaid fines.

So it looks like it’s just an excuse to lock poor people up – at ordinary kiwis’ expense.

36 comments on “Nats: Bring Back Debtors Prisons”

  1. @ Bunji – no-one should be imprisoned because they CAN’T pay a fine. I would say that this policy is more targetted at those people who WON’T pay their fines, and who fail to comply with other sanctions imposed by the Courts.

    If you can afford to run a boy-racer type vehicle, you can afford to pay the fines that are imposed when you break the law; it’s called consequences.

    • Bunji 1.1

      the proposed law states: “unaffordable and unenforceable reparation orders” can be replaced with prison.

      I would say that when the govt can seize assets (including your boy-racer vehicle), or take money directly from income (wages or benefits), any fine should be enforceable, unless it can’t be afforded. And people who can’t afford it are specifically included.

      It’s a desperate desire for a pound of flesh, even if it costs us a ridiculous amount to get.

      • Olwyn 1.1.1

        While the boy racer is the public face of the unpaid fine, I suspect that many fines are run up by people with little money, who live outside the range of public transport and are forced to rely on unregistered, unwarranted rust buckets to work, shop, get kids to school and so on. It looks as if, having determined that you cannot squeeze blood from a stone, the time has come to experiment as to whether you can scare blood from a stone. And if that doesn’t work, at least we will end up with even bigger prison numbers to present to private investors.

        It is high time that we stopped equating callousness with strength, and the inhuman treatment of others with no-nonsense practicality. Such notions are now so entrenched that even those who argue for moderation often feel obliged to do so on practical rather than humanitarian grounds.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Uh, Inventory2, if these are people who could but as you say WON’T pay their fines, why does the Bill not just solve the problem by confiscating their assets?

      As Bunji has pointed out.

      Why cost tax payers more, and still leave the fine unpaid.

      Its National Government madness. And their property rich Righty mates would hate any kind of asset seizure law be introduced anyways, wouldn’t they?

      • Deadly_NZ 1.2.1

        Confiscate their Assets??? Oh joy what a fun person you are, Confiscate the assets of 1 person has a roll on effect as NOT all people with Fine problems are Toe rag boy racers, some are parents with small children, so Yes go ahead and confiscate the kiddies TV and Playstation, and Dont forget the family car so they have to walk to the doctors, Oh thats right they cant afford that either. I just love all you BASH the Bene and Asset strip the poor over a fine or 2 Fucking NAT shills

        NO CV next time engage BRAIN before (in this case) before the fingers hit the keyboard. Or are you one of these JKey fans of one size fits all? As long as the All are rich?

        • Maynard J 1.2.1.1

          So your solution is what? To formulate law based on the assumption that any penalty, financial or otherwise, must be inflicted based upon a scenario where the imposition of such penalty will prevent the recipient from taking their kids to the doctor?

          That\’s a good starting point.

          Why have fines and penalties, they might cost people money…

          Honestly, you might be a leftie, but you’re surely an idiot as well. How is it you propose laws be enforced? Make all penalties voluntary?

    • Deadly_NZ 1.3

      Hang on a minute there it’ will be more about those who can’t pay as well as those who won’t pay. Because the people in the fines office dont really care about your circumstances they just take and take. And to add insult to injury it seems every time they ring you up about unpaid fines, all you get ringing you is a bloody INDIAN. To which I just hang up on them! it’s just as bad as having all your call centers sent overseas. well call me a snob or even a RACIST BUT if i call telecom or the court system I want to speak to someone who speaks , but more importantly UNDERSTANDS english and the Kiwi nuances of the language. not someone who has just learnt the essential bits.

      But it’s just another old , failed policy, this one from about 250 years ago Surely the NACTS can come up with something a little more original.

      Oh and most who run Boy racer cars had them paid for by Daddy, but not the fines so that argument is invalid. It should be Find out who is the Guarantor for the vehicle loan costs, Fine them and then Crush the car. That will stop that little loop hole. But putting young teens in jail with hardened crims what a bright fucking idea that is. Yeah John good training for the next bunch of hardened crims if you start jailing them early. God what a fuckwit this Key is Not an original idea rattling around inside his empty head.

      • QoT 1.3.1

        And to add insult to injury it seems every time they ring you up about unpaid fines, all you get ringing you is a bloody INDIAN.

        Gods forbid New Zealand-based call centres should hire immigrants. If your beef with the phone or justice systems is so obscure you need someone to understand the “nuances” of Kiwi English (is that when you go off about how you don’t blame them for doing their job but you DO expect them to listen to ten minutes of expletives so you can feel better about yourself?) then I’m not surprised you have little luck getting your point across.

        [In the interests of full disclosure, I wish to state I have worked in call centres and transcribed call centre calls, and I've encountered plenty of wankers who just want to have a go and expect the rules to be changed because they say so, my dulcet vaguely-UK-accented tones notwithstanding.]

        • Deadly_NZ 1.3.1.1

          Oh so you live in the phillipines do you? So were you the one who could not understand that I wanted a phone moved from address a to adress b and who insisted that I had ordered it the other way. I knew which house i was moving from. That and the continual I’m sorry i apologise after every sentence. BUT who have the complete inability to do even the simplest of tasks properly? If so, I hope you have either been A: fired or B: more likely they made you a supervisor who CANNOT ever come to the phone.!! And 99% of call center workers seem to take great delight in just running so slow and incompetently No wonder they pay them peanuts Cos they not worth any more. Yeah and why is it that the only person who rings up for unpaid bills in an INDIAN??? I have never had anyone but an Indian ring up, and it’s always at about 8pm as well. NZ based call center??? now thats a rarity.

          • Hanswurst 1.3.1.1.1

            Well that’s just racist. Call centres tend to be outsourced overseas because it’s cheap. Employers in New Zealand employ immigrants because they apply and are deemed to be up to the job – why shouldn’t they be? If you wanted to complain about the outsourcing of call centres to places where the employees don’t have the local knowledge to answer your questions, that would be legitimate enough (although hardly on topic). That’s not what you did, though; you just went into several rants about “INDIANS!!!”.

            As I say, just racist.

    • bbfloyd 1.4

      Inventory….so we can assume that most of the unpaid fines outstanding are owed by this group?

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Some people would happily do a bit of lag if it meant they could get rid of their fines.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I didn’t see anywhere that their fines would be wiped, is that what the proposed legislation states?

      By the way, make someone a convict, they are much less unemployable, how are they supposed to contribute to the tax base afterwards, after costing the tax payer a bundle while in prison?

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        In the original debtor prisons people were held indefinitly until either their friends or family paid the fine to get them out.

        The logic being if the victim was to impoverished to personally pay their fine, that their wider extended family or friends may be able too.

        It was like being held to ransom after being kidnapped by the state. With specialist debtor prisons built for holding the victims of this ‘legal’ kidnap and ransom.

        Is some version of this being planned?

        Will people be let out of prison if their fine is paid?

        capcha – “key” (so apt on so many levels)

        • Jenny 2.1.1.1

          This proposal is so sick and medieval.

          Lots of questioned will need to be answered.

          Will a court hearing be held to determine if such a sentence is appropriate?

          What if you are the sole carer for children in your care, the elderly or sick, or the sole provider for a family, will these grounds be considered before a prison sentence is imposed?

          Or will it be one size fits all?

          Will poor houses also have to be built to house the dependants of those in jail?

          Will there be set lengths of time depending on the amounts owed or some other formula?

          Most importantly will the fine be wiped, with no criminal record kept?

          After serving your time will records of your credit history be altered to say “paid in full”?

      • Sorry, I come late to this debate due to an unpleasant encounter with a jellyfish (the jellyfish won :-( )

        didn’t see anywhere that their fines would be wiped, is that what the proposed legislation states?

        Well, up there in a comment Bunji says:

        the proposed law states: “unaffordable and unenforceable reparation orders” can be replaced with prison.

        If that is indeed the case (I haven’t read the particular law) then I’d make two points.

        First, tsmithfield is dead right – a lot of people who have fines to pay would prefer to deal with it some other way. It needn’t be confinement to a high security prison – which is indeed wasteful overkill – but many would be happy to front up to a work camp for a few days and just get rid of the burden with their labour helping the community.

        When sentenced to prison in WA you can opt to do a few extra days to wipe your fines. I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t been only too hapy to sacrifice a few days of freedom for the freedom of being free of debt to the government, so it’s a matter of allowing those who aren’t already incarcerated for something more serious the ability to make the same choice, but at a net cost of zero to society.

        Second, if the Bill talks of reparations these are not fines at all! Reparations are money an offender must pay to their victims to compensate them.

        If the Bill is talking about terms of imprisonment to pay off reparations that’s a very different – and very wrong – thing, as it gives the state a pound of flesh while leaving the victim with nothing.

        So which is it? Anyone know for sure?

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Don’t know whether the fines get wiped or not. However, I know someone who recently came out of prison who had some fines also. He was quite happy to do some extra time on top of what he was already serving if it meant he could get rid of his fines.

    Reading the article, it looks like the threat of prison is just one of a number of options to encourage people to pay their fines. Problem is that it is easy for some people to give the government the one-finger salute when it comes to paying their fines. So their needs to be some tough measures to encourage compliance.

    Anyway, from the article that Bunji links to:

    “Labour Party courts spokesman Rick Barker supports the new law.”

    So, it looks like its Labour party policy as well. So, its a bit unfair to blame this on the Nats.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      So you made your comments that people would be happy to do time if their fines get wiped, but we don’t actually know if that’s the case?

      Speaking of tough measures, why not asset confiscation instead of costly prison, where is that in this Bill?

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        Looks like that option is already in the law. From the article:

        “The courts can already order compulsory deductions from wages, benefits or bank accounts.
        Possessions such as cars, boats and televisions can be seized, and overdue fines can stop people from travelling overseas.”

        So, what do you think about the fact that Labour is supporting the new law?

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          So, what do you think about the fact that Labour is supporting the new law?

          If the did they need to wake up, have another coffee and reread the legislation.

          • tsmithfield 3.1.1.1.1

            Well they certainly seem to support the new law. As I quoted from the article above:

            “Labour Party courts spokesman Rick Barker supports the new law.”

            And we all know that what is printed in the newspaper must be true, don’t we.

  4. JayDee 4

    I see from the Herald article, that the biggesdt defaulter at about 1.8 million is now in Australia and still cannot be tought. It might be a good, to start closing these types of loopholes.

  5. Irascible 5

    In many countries the fines register is linked to the passport /identity card of the individual. When you are at the airport or other exit ready to leave the country the friendly Customs man at Passport control simply says “sorry, you can’t leave the country, regardless of nationality, until these fines are paid” and presents you with the bill and sends you of to pay – with only hours to complete the transaction and return.
    The incentive to pay up is certainly great and doesn’t require the threat of debtors prison.

    • Bunji 5.1

      We already have that, but it doesn’t affect those who don’t leave the country, or those who’ve managed to leave before the verdict is handed down (see $1.8million defaulter…). But yes, enforcing that well is one part of an effective system.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Just make it automated – get a fine, can’t leave the country until the fine is paid.

        • mcflock 5.1.1.1

          What if you’re challenging the fine but haven’t got a court date yet? Or have arranged to pay by instalment rather than lump sum? Sounds like imprisonment w/o trial, unless these become exceptions and then all you have to do is go through the motions before skipping the country.

          But anyway, I have a certain feeling of uneasiness when people talk about replacing fines with imprisonment. It’s a bit like bribing the courts in exchange for freedom. I don’t mind fines as a punishment, or imprisonment, or both, just the outright substituting of one for another is a bit ookey.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            What if you’re challenging the fine but haven’t got a court date yet? Or have arranged to pay by instalment rather than lump sum?

            No change, both of these would see people skip the country without paying the fines and the whole point is to encourage people to pay the fine.

            Sounds like imprisonment w/o trial,

            No it doesn’t as people won’t be imprisoned. In other words, they would still be able to continue life as normal.

            • mcflock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Cop writes ticket (and some tickets can be quite hefty). Person has good defense, but needs to go to court to get fine cancelled (e.g. cop didn’t realise the rural road was actually a private road when person was “speeding”, or put the wrong date one the ticket, or failed XXX etc etc etc). Wants to appeal, but has to go to Melbourne on a business trip (or a relative is dying) the next day. Under automatic updating, the person is prevented from leaving NZ because they refuse to pay a ticket that they wouldn’t have to pay if they could get to court earlier.

              Admittedly they’re only imprisoned within the confines of NZ (and I can think of worse things), but their freedom of movement is still limited, without trial. And if they have a genuine need to travel outside of NZ then it’s a bit unfair.

              And if tickets are a bit of a slide from court-imposed fines (and those can get REALLY hefty), it does become one law for the rich, another for the middle and working classes. Flat taxes are unfair to poorer people, so are flat fines. Rich person writes a cheque and holidays in the Caribbean, poor person can’t even pop over to aus to get work.

    • lprent 5.2

      Wouldn’t worry me. Last time I left the country was 1991

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    The whole prison for court thing is interesting too as it can go wrong.

    One woman who lives here did exactly that and worked out with the courts how long she would need to do extra to have her fines wiped.

    The sentence was agreed to by the court and off she went.

    Her lawyer forgot to mention to the judge that part of the sentence suggestedwas for the fine offset, she did her time and came out to find she still owed the fines.

    She was not a happy person and some 8 months later still hasn’t been sorted if it ever will.

    She’s pretty much given up and sold stuff to pay the fines – which she might as well have done in the first place.

    Caveats on properties for all crown money owing – not just fines seems to me to be a good idea. Seen plenty of people sell up and go to Aussie not paying their fines, etc. Particularly those fathers who don’t pay their child support.

    At least the money could be gleaned when the property is sold.

  7. Gina 7

    There needs to be money values specified in this legislation. Years ago I had an old unpaid fine of approximately $100. No one should be put in prison for something like that.
    I got a nasty shock when police turned up and escorted me to a money machine to get my almost last penny. I was an invalid with no benefit whos savings were at an end. The reason the fine was unpaid was I was too ill to look after myself and had no help. But there was no mercy. They took what was almost my last penny and in the car the officer made refernces to feminism. I am a feminist and I wonder if this is why I was picked on for such a small amount of money. The guy who I didn’t know obviously new I was a feminist so it appeared to me that I might have been harrassed by authorities for my personal belief.
    Unless labour can give me a reason for supporting this bill I think I’ll stop campagning for them. Really they might as well be National. It sounds like the scope of this bill is far too broad. There must be monetary limits to doing jail time. Say $10000 plus.

    Apparantly Canada is expanding prisons despite 2 decades of crime going down. Harper is also allowing double bunking to cope with an increased prison poplulation.

    Take a look at this article

    Harper government expanding prisons despite decades of falling crime rates.
    http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.com/2011/01/harper-government-expanding-prisons.html

    Another interesting look at private prisons and the cheap labour they create for corporations in the US. Prisons are becoming sweatshops. I believe this is the reason behind what the Nats are doing and it must be stopped.

    Prison Labor: Who Stands to Profit in USA’s Most Important Growth Industry?
    Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/199622#ixzz1BHbF1Gto

  8. Jenny 8

    A lawyer friend of mine who deals with a lot of this sort of thing, told me recently that much of the unpaid fines total is made up of penalties automatically added to the original fine, for non-payment.

    If someone was given a fine at some time, say a particularly stressful time in their life where for what ever reason, (unemployment, sickness, depression, marital break-up) they couldn’t pay, if they get back into a position where they would like to be able to clear their debt, the accumulated penalties have snow balled so much it is often impractical to pay them off without returning to the level of impoverishment that originally prevented you paying the fine in the first place.

    I think that it is unreasonable to expect someone who has finally got back on their feet again after a bad patch, to be expected to put themselves back into penury possibly even for years to pay off such debts.

    If someone is on or near the minimum wage this is like asking them to accept a condition akin to slavery for no appreciable gain.

    The original fine sure. But the “fictional” added debt no, because it can never be recovered and should never have been imposed.

    Can anyone tell me how much of this unpaid fines mountain is penalties?

  9. orange whip? 9

    At the heart of this policy is the principle that if you have money you can buy your way out of jail while your poorer neighbour is imprisoned for the exact same offence.

    Disgraceful. Any party supporting this should be ashamed.

  10. Bunnykinz 10

    I apologise if someone has already made the connection here, but does anyone else find it fishy that after National has decided to privatise prisons, they have started introducing laws that will create whole new categories of prisoners?

    If I was going to set up a prison business, I would sure as hell want to make sure that the Government wasn’t about to stop sending people my way.

    I know it is not entirely related to the case here, but you can see what lengths private prisons will go to to ensure turnover http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE51B7B320090212

  11. Jenny 11

    Someone should tell these Dickensian throwbacks that it is the 21st century not the 19th…..

    The Labour opposition could be making huge political capital out of opposing this legislation.

    Unfortunately Labour seem to happy to play Whig to the Nats. Tory on this.

    Come on Labour, it’s election year. You have to show difference to the government if you are hoping to replace them.

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    . . Further to National Party  blogger, pollster, and political apparatchik making this  public post on Facebook; . . To quote in cut-and-pastable text; “For reasons I’ll make clear tomorrow, but should not be hard to guess, I need to...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • The terrifying genius of the Islamic State
    The horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley, at the hands of a so-called Islamic State (IS) militant with a British accent, has caused an earthquake on the mainstream and social media platforms.It was at once a video of a...
    Pundit | 20-08
  • Proof
    Here's a tweet from Felix Marwick this morning: What the PM said about his knowledge of Slater's SIS OIA http://t.co/u8AmXeX7jy What the SIS told me in 2011 pic.twitter.com/tPNvehTzJ0 — Felix Marwick (@felixmarwick) August 20, 2014 This is very serious. To...
    Polity | 20-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • Long Term Plan and Transport
    Yesterday I looked at the numbers behind council’s Long Term Plan, the first version of which is being worked on by the mayor for release next Thursday. As well as the all the numbers regarding the potential funding gap, there...
    Transport Blog | 20-08
  • Dirty Politics: One News Colmar-Brunton Snap Poll
     One News Colmar-Brunton         Snap Poll on Dirty Politics                   509 Respondents                            August 14-15                                                      Q 1:  "Have you heard of...
    Sub zero politics | 20-08
  • Climate Change Impacts in Labrador
    In 1534, famed explorer Jacques Cartier described Labrador as "the land God gave to Cain". This comparison is inevitably linked to Labrador’s rugged coastal landscapes dotted with deep inlets, fiords and rugged tundra. Culturally the region is steeped in complexity...
    Skeptical Science | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch,...
    Its our future | 20-08
  • Gordon Campbell on the usual round of mud slinging and name-calling
    The media, as its critics regularly point out, is far too easily diverted by political sideshows and slanging matches, from its duty to cover the real issues. Yet this week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-08
  • Dirty Politics: Free speech & a policy-free election
    A couple of weeks ago I said that every election has its surprises. But I certainly didn't see Nicky Hager coming down the track, book in hand. Perhaps I should have, since both my 2002 and 2005 examples involved him.read...
    Pundit | 20-08
  • Happy to be left holding the baby – as the battle for Ōhariu heats up
    John and Tricia Andersen spent decades serving communities across New Zealand by choosing to teach in low decile schools, often in remote areas, including principal and deputy principal roles. Now they are working to improve opportunities for New Zealand’s children...
    Labour campaign | 20-08
  • Boys on film – Nohorua Parata
    Meka Whaitiri recently told Labour Voices “I am a Māori MP, for a Māori electorate. I see life through a Māori lens.” Sons Nohorua, 17, and Wi Rangi, 16, have been looking through a different lens – making campaign videos for their mother. Here...
    Labour campaign | 20-08
  • We’ve launched the campaign. The hoardings are up.
    We've launched the campaign. The hoardings are up. Our TV ads are running. But what this campaign needs now is YOU. It's people on the ground that'll make the crucial difference. ...
    Labour campaign | 20-08
  • SIS OIA turnaround times
    One of the central allegations in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics is that Cameron Slater received favourable treatment in the handling of an OIA request to the SIS. That allegation is now the subject of an investigation by the Inspector-General of...
    No Right Turn | 20-08
  • Letter to the Editor: National’s blighted future?
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:       Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM subject: letter to the editor . The editor Dominion Post . On the issue of National Party dirty politics… Once National...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • Letter to the Editor: National’s blighted future?
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:       Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM subject: letter to the editor . The editor Dominion Post . On the issue of National Party dirty politics… Once National...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Nats sold 500 rugby fields of land a day offshore
    Under National over one million hectares of land has been approved for overseas sale – 16 times the size of Lake Taupō or the equivalent of five hundred rugby fields a day, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “According to...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Joyce’s dodgy sums fool no-one
    Steven Joyce's attempt to attack Labour's positive plan for affordable healthcare will fool no-one. "We knew that National would try to say that we can't afford free GP visits and prescriptions for the New Zealanders who need it. But, as...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Campaign Launch – Ready to Win
    Today I launched Labour's election campaign at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland. Here is the speech I gave....
    Labour | 10-08
  • Labour extends free GP visits, free prescriptions
    Nearly 40 per cent of Kiwis – or 1.7 million people – will be eligible for free doctors’ visits and free prescriptions under a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Last year more than half a million New Zealanders...
    Labour | 10-08
  • Labour promises a fairer ACC for all Kiwis
    Accident compensation for loss of potential earnings will rise under a Labour Government, while people not earning at the time of their accident will also be eligible for compensation, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Releasing Labour’s ACC policy today...
    Labour | 08-08
  • NZ Govt must push for fair play in Fiji elections
    The New Zealand Government needs to do more to push for human rights and media freedom in Fiji as it stages its first election since the 2006 coup, the Green Party said today.Amnesty International has released a report which documents...
    Greens | 07-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Radio NZ are lying about me
    I am getting this all second hand at the moment as I don’t bother listening to Radio NZ (except for that wonderful Wallace Chapman in the weekends) but there is a claim that Suzie Ferguson just insinuated on Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Farrar’s fake claim of being invaded + Slater’s claims of death threats...
    The counter spin to avoid focus on the series allegations made in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics continues. David Farrar’s ridiculous hysterics that he was invaded and his privacy has been blah blah blah has all been reduced from computer hacking to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • A shout out to the unsung heroes – our Public Service staff
    Government departments, particularly in the social welfare, education and health areas get a lot of shtick. And it’s not unjustified. We have problems in the way that our government departments treat those in need. And I do not intend to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Key’s ducking for cover – utterly unbelievable!!!
    .   . I don’t often re-print media stories verbatim – but this piece by Andrea Vance, for Fairfax Media,  deserves wider circulation. Please note the highlighted statements by Dear Leader as he ducks, weaves, obfuscates, and deflects any and...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Who is the source of Hager’s emails?
    Who is the source of Hager’s emails? Kim Dotcom has categorically denied he has anything to do with this and Nicky Hager has categorically denied that Kim was the source of the emails. Whatever you think about Kim (and he...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Dirty Politics – Audio+Text Why It Is Essential Raw Data Be Released Imme...
    MIL OSI – Source: RadioLive – Sunday Panel Analysis Headline: Dirty Politics – Audio Analysis by Selwyn Manning + Rodney Hide + Mark Sainsbury MIL Video: Selwyn Manning, Rodney Hide, and Mark Sainsbury discuss and debate the explosive details revealed...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • TV One and TV3 Political Polls – not such a landslide now
    Before the impact of Dirty Politics has been felt, the National Party high point in the Polls had been reached and their inevitable  drop begins. Despite the mainstream media telling NZers for almost 3 years that John Key would win...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – You will not believe Key’s defence of hackin...
    He actually used a sporting analogy. Can you believe it? John Key, asked on the fact that his staff had entered into a Labour Party computer and downloaded their database, Key replied, “It’s a bit like the Wallabies positing up their...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • A brief word on 100 Top political Tweeters
    The NZ Herald has put together a very useful list of top 100 political twtter accounts, what is most interesting from the lists is that the right wing all work hand in glove with each other where as the Left...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Are Whaleoil’s traffic stats a bloated illusion?
    Dim Post has done a critical analysis of just how real Cameron Slater’s traffic stats are. TDB has only been around for a year with a fragment of the digital footprint of the older blogs, yet we have managed to become...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Is Jordan Williams deceptive enough to blackma...
    There are so many issues raised by Nicky Hager’s book, that any one of them would be worthy of total focus on. Let’s chat about the claim in the book that Jordan Williams bragged to Slater and Lusk that he had...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics – Why ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evi...
    This sign shows how National’s see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil denial isn’t working. National’s response to the book is that there is NOTHING in there that deserves anything more than the most briefest of eye motions. Key won’t...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • “Dirty Politics” and The Teflon Man
    . L-R- David Farrar, John Key, Cameron Slater . The release of Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Secrets” has unleashed more of a political firestorm than many had anticipated. (Or, perhaps some did.) The glare of publicity has been shone like...
    The Daily Blog | 16-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Roy Morgan Poll August 20
    National (48%) holds its lead over Labour/ Greens (39%) as ‘Dirty Politics’ revelations provide a new challenge for PM John Key’s leadership. NZ First surge to 6.5% - highest support since September 2013....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Glen Scanlon to Head Digital Media at Radio New Zealand
    Radio New Zealand has announced the appointment of Glen Scanlon to the recently created position of head of digital media....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Israel’s Gaza ceasefire violations go unreported
    It seems that it is only ceasefire violations that emanate from the Palestinian side that ever get publicised....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug courier sentenced for importing heroin
    South African drug courier, Laura Elizabeth Cilliers, was sentenced today in the Christchurch District Court to 7 years and 10 months in prison for importing approximately 1.2 kilograms of heroin....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Residential Property Speculators Days Numbered
    Rent heat cools as homes are replaced ... Liz McDonald ... The Press http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/your-property/10400851/Rent-heat-cools-as-homes-are-replaced Comment on thread (in moderation) … Christchurch is a “severely unaffordable” City as the Annual Demographia Survey ( www.demographia.com ) illustrates … thanks...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Academic’s study shows need for a Ministry of Public Input
    A book by Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment recommends the creation of a Ministry of Public Input to collect, process and communicate the publics’ ideas to government. The University of Auckland’s political marketing expert says the...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Government inaction killing innocent motorists
    Innocent people are dying due to long delays in installing centre lane barriers on high risk roads, says an outspoken road safety campaigner....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Property revaluations for council rates must be reformed
    Opportunity to bring controls on rating value changes and more equitable level of annual rates increase...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Ron Mark Sets the Example
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the pledge by Mayor of Carterton and NZ First candidate Ron Mark who has announced he would relinquish his roles as Mayor and member of two District Health Boards if successfully elected to Parliament. Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election
    MEDIA RELEASE: Angry rural communities want issue of 1080 aerial drops taken to the polls, says party co-leader Ban 1080 Candidates announced for 2014 General Election...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Governor General Gives Direction to Conduct Election
    The Governor General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has given the green light for this year’s General Election....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • New Zealand Animal Groups Unite to Help
    WELLINGTON (19 Aug 2014) – The Be Cruelty-Free campaign to ban animal testing of cosmetics in New Zealand just got bigger and stronger, as two leading animal protection groups come on board. Joining forces with Humane Society International which has...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Students Interrupt Steven Joyce at University Event
    A group of 30 students this evening interrupted an event about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce began to speak, students interrupted with a speech of their own....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Caritas among first responders offering relief in Iraq
    As the plight of Iraqis fleeing persecution reaches tragic levels, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has pledged an initial $10,000 to support the work of Caritas in Iraq to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of families affected by the war and...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #31: Nats take hit
    Election race narrows significantly · National party vote now below Labour/Greens · National’s probability of leading next government dips to 72% · Joyce expected to take over as National leader before end of 2015, as Collins’ prospects fall...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Call for applications – Fulbright scholar awards
    Fulbright New Zealand calls for applications to a range of scholar awards for New Zealand academics, artists and professionals to undertake academic and cultural exchanges to the United States of America. A Fulbright exchange provides life-changing opportunities...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • CWS launches appeal for Iraqis on World Humanitarian Day
    Christian World Service is appealing for help for tens of thousands of Iraqis caught up in one of the world’s horrifying conflicts....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Promoting the Voice of the Rangatahi
    Young Māori voters are seen by the Māori Party to have a vital part to play in saving the Māori seats in Parliament says the Māori Party’s youngest candidate, Reverend Te Hira Paenga. “What we’re hearing on the ground is...
    Scoop politics | 19-08
  • Nelson Election Candidates’ Community Forum
    Nelson’s community and volunteer sector has some serious questions to put to the local candidates in the run up to next month’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 19-08
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