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Nats hollow excuses on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, August 30th, 2012 - 90 comments
Categories: jobs, poverty - Tags:

National has a line on child poverty to allow them to oppose actually doing anything: ‘Jobs! Jobs are the solution to poverty, not more assistance for poor kids. National is about jobs, not handouts! And we’ll get more jobs with mining!’ But their record doesn’t match the rhetoric … There are 65,000 more unemployed under National and hundreds of mining jobs are being lost.

90 comments on “Nats hollow excuses on poverty”

  1. Tracey 1

    “OOOPS, mining isnt the job Panacea, Steven, let’s get some oil rigs in here”

    • Bill 1.1

      Or mine the ore and ship it abroad via a multi-billion road network and casualised ports, where the ore can be extracted and oil rigs fabricated and delivered back via the same casualised ports and multi billion dollar road network…into private hands of course. Who can import their own skilled up labour to operate the things and export any resulting resources and monies back over the horizon again. Thousands of jobs will thus be created, as NZ has an abundance of over-qualified ticket clipping parking attendants whose ticket clipping skills could surely be utilised in such a brave, new and innovative NZ.

    • David H 1.2

      but how many rigs would you need to hire just 10% of the unemployed? How many people work on a rig???

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        Suddenly windfarms wouldnt look so “visually offensive”

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          We can feed the world, its a distribution problem that means billions move in and out of starvation. Clearly neo-liberalist concerned solely on the delivering the supply side (and so
          dictating demand by cheapening limited resources and undervaluing oil) is not working.
          Its a total game, build sprawl, push demand up for oil, exploit even more expensive
          hard to get oil, create more pollution, less sustainability, and not even deliver on the
          basics of health, poverty abatement, even feeding the world. We know sparwl is
          expensive, oil is best left in the ground, and the world needs food certainty, yet we
          continue to have this dig it, sell it cheap, activity for activity sake economy.

  2. Poission 2

    The only responsive industry that can increase wealth for NZ at present ( read jobs) is the agriculture sector in the short term.

    The formidable constraint is the exchange rate,mostly fueled by the cash and carry trade,and the AK property bubble.

    Agriculture and its downstream industries situated in the heartland,do not have the transport or high cost housing problems that are driving the asymmetry in the NZ economy (wish lists) and have readily available underutilized capacity.

    The overemphasis on the so called high value jobs in both training and education have led to the increased disparity in wealth distribution.

    The schools,hospitals all still exist in the provinces as do ports,railheads etc,as do the infrastructure support services such as small engineering.

    Grow the heartland and it will feed the economy,

    • mike e 2.1

      poison agriculture is on a downward slide

      • Poission 2.1.1

        Dairy is up on volume and slightly on price in july (being a record value in 2011-2012

        Meats down on value ,average on volume,

        Fruits up on value as is wine.

        Logs up on volume down in value.

        The values are sensitive to the exchange rate.

        • mike e 2.1.1.1

          poison no one wants to live in isolated rural hick towns wages are are poor employment conditions are poor workers are forced to work long hours with no pay for ovetime.
          Until a real leap foward in adding value to these products.
          Farmers will just carry on taking advantage of workers who are isolated under paid and abused in ther work place.
          read bellow!

          • Poission 2.1.1.1.1

            A 10% decrease in the exchange rate would inject 5 billion into the NZ economy.The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

            The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

              No, they won’t. In fact, they’re likely to do the exact opposite.

              The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

              Yeah, that’s what we’ve been told for the last century or so – hasn’t happened yet.

              Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

            • mike e 2.1.1.1.1.2

              poison the price of fuel, fertilizer other inputs will undo your dream. before it starts.
              A giant leap forward is required and with national fucking up research by cutting and partially reinstating 3 years later it has undone years of good research .
              ie wool research at Lincoln university was completely undermined by National. South Africa Snapped up these researchers a developing country smart investment.
              National Dumb And Dumber.

    • rosy 2.2

      I heard there were a few jobs going in Christchurch, but instead of training people up, they imported them (bar 25, or something).

  3. tc 3

    Hollow excuses from the Hollowmen.

  4. Carol 4

    I was quite disgusted at the use of the term bleeding hearts used by one or two Nat speakers in the general debate yesterday to describe people who wanted something done about child poverty.

    Part of the Orwelian NAct universe where people who care about others and want a relatively even and secure playing field for all children are denigrated.

    http://hubpages.com/u/25200_f260.jpg

    http://theintelhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2011-09-30_2323.png

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Carol. Unfortunately such a phrase from the National Government is no surprise, only to be expected.
      That is how low they stoop. People who use such words are themselves in poverty, that is, poverty of sensitivity, ethic, spirit, and soul. They are the most damnable human beings in existence.

      • mike 4.1.1

        “Help us NAct spin doctors, this child poverty report doesn’t look good what can we do?”
        Bleeding hearts
        “Yep. That’s good. That’ll work.”

        The word is sociopath.

    • Roy 4.2

      Some of us take ‘bleeding heart’ as a compliment. Hearts are supposed to have blood in them, after all. Better a bleeding heart than a heart of stone, or no heart at all.

    • Tracey 4.3

      Yes, fancy wanting to help folks like this?

      ” Living in one of the poorest parts of Porirua, Mrs Masoe and her husband are both cleaners earning just above the minimum wage at $13.85 an hour, supporting their youngest son in his final year of high school and four grandchildren under 5.

      The family does not own a refrigerator because the electricity bill to run it would be too expensive.

      Lunch has been laid out on the table: sandwiches of white bread stuffed with cold tinned spaghetti and meat balls. She feeds the entire family of seven on just over $3 a day per person.

      Their pay-as-you-go power account often runs out before the next pay day rolls around, so they have no choice but to spend a day without any electricity.

      Mrs Masoe, 52, begins to cry as she speaks about how she cleans up other people’s vomit and scrubs human waste from toilet bowls for her meagre living.

      She spends her weekends working two 12-hour shifts. “:

      • Carol 4.3.1

        Ah, but Chancellor Gerry explained it all on behalf of the PM today. His Lordship Gerry praised the family for being so hard working and working hard to improve their lives. He said it was unfortunate for them that they had been picked up by unscrupulous politicians like Turei, who were just using the family for political ends. He also said that Turei would be better to give the family advice on how they can supplement their family with the government’s generous benefits.

        See, there’s always a perfectly good explanation. No family in NZ need be in poverty.

        PS: I think the family in question is the one Micky refers to below.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.

        As I was told when in Amway, working hard will never make you rich, to become rich you need to have lots of other people working for you. In other words, to become rich you need to be a ticket clipper. There is no other way and those having their ticket clipped, like those cleaners, are always poor.

        • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1

          “It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          Not quite a lie. I came from a once middle class broken family (which made things financially difficult), flunked out of school and worked in hospitality until I decided to do something else
          I worked damned hard and am now relatively comfortable with a pretty good future ahead of me if I keep it up.

          Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. 

          • Carol 4.3.2.1.1

            Statistics I saw a while back in the UK showed that children of mothers who had been middle-class, but dropped down the socioeconomic ladder, were most likely to rise from the lower class/es to the middle-class.

            I guess it has a lot to do with cultural capital, and/or personal connections and/or knowing how to work with the system, and/or having the support at home and know-how re-being successful in the education system.

            But I think, with fewer jobs around these days, it maybe harder for even those once-were-middle-class children.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1.2

            Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority. It also doesn’t apply to the top ~1% who don’t have to work at all having inherited their wealth. A few people might make it through but they’re a distinct minority.

            • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1.2.1

              “Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority.”

               That isn’t necessarily true either – when NZ did have a robust middle class working hard still got you somewhere. maybe not is much anymore, but a good work ethic and some ambition can work to ones advantage. If I hadn’t have worked to get where I am today I know I wouldn’t be as happy and comfortable as I am today.
              McFlock once tried to convince me it was all done to luck but if I had sat around and waited for luck I wouldn’t be the successful person I am now.

              Besides which, what is the better lesson to teach “Work hard for what you want” or “don’t bother because it’s a lie”?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m not that keen on prying into poster’s backgrounds, TC, but seeing as you raised it, just how comfortable are you? I seem to recall from an earlier comment of yours that you have no significant assets and that you rent your home. If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.

                • “no significant assets and that you rent your home.  If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.”

                  While I have no house or car I have no debt – absolutely no debt, credit card, HP’s, loans, nothing.
                  My wife and I have significant savings and if either one of us lost our job for whatever reason there wouldn’t be cause for concern.
                  Plus I have youth and am on a great career path.
                  My wife and I could buy house tomorrow if we wanted but we are happy where we are.

                  It isn’t luck that we decided to save and pay off debt instead of buying assets like a house or car. It was a lifestyle choice which has paid off fortunately.

                  But it take many years of living hand to mouth to get here and there were several instances where I nearly collapsed financially.
                   

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Cheers, and good luck to you and your missus. If you genuinely have a few hundred grand in the bank, then, yes, that would be my definition of comfortable. Still not sure how paying money to a landlord fits in with your ‘no debt’ philosophy. Surely the rent is a debt you’d be better off without?

                    • Yes we are comfortable but once a house has been bought and child is on the way the savings will be eaten up rather quickly! As I said it is lifestyle decision that paid off.

                      As to rent, well that’s a cost of living and a lifestyle choice as opposed to a debt as far as I see it. And unlike a debt it is something I could stop paying at anytime of my choosing by moving out.
                      I also get something from it, it pays the rates and maintenance. My rent is actually really really cheap for where I live. My landlord is a very lovely person who wants someone to take care of the place while she is overseas as opposed to being in it for profit.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Any financial advisor will tell you that you do not sink a huge sum of capital and get into major debt to purchase a house to live in, if financial advantage is your main goal. You go ahead and do it for family and emotional reasons.

                    • I have a good adviser who has given us many things to think about.

                      I am trying not to rush into anything. I take personal finance seriously. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not more seriously than I.

              • fnjckg

                “work hard etc..” Reformation distortion

              • McFlock

                Touched you remember.
                   
                Pity your recollection is warped – I never suggested your success was all down to luck, just that a major part of anyone’s success is due to luck.
                      
                Which only the most obtuse egotist would disagree with.
                 

          • felix 4.3.2.1.3

            “Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. “

            Ah but the lie is that it does apply to everyone, which is absurd as soon as you look beyond any individual case.

            • McFlock 4.3.2.1.3.1

              Actually, I’d say that any individual case shows the effect of luck, if you look closely. Whether the individual recognises this, on the other hand, is a different matter.

        • Plastic Tolstoy 4.3.2.2

          “Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          I’ve often wondered if people who use that line really do believe that the person working three jobs just to make ends meet simply isn’t working hard enough. I came to the conclusion that a lot of very wealthy people must have a different definition of “hard work” than what it means to most of us.

          I’ve also often wondered if those same people touting that line have any idea about ecology, as they seem to believe there are enough natural resources in existence that everyone could get as rich as them if they just worked hard enough. They just can’t seem to comprehend that their gain will almost always be someone else’s loss.

  5. If you want to read something really chilling this Stuff article describes a typical week for Peniata Endermann who not only attends school full time but works 25 hours a week as a cleaner to keep his family afloat.  His mother and him both work as cleaners to provide for his three siblings.

    And if you want to read something really disgusting then have a look at the comments.  There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.  Paula Bennett would be proud.

    • just saying 5.1

      Some people I know in the faux-food franchises bizz (in low socio-economic areas) tell me that the young people who work for them always ask when there is a (rare and meagre) payrise be given the extra in cash because their entire paypackets go toward supporting their families, and they wish for a little pocket-money for themselves.

    • Roy 5.2

      I am particularly contemptuous of the commenters who say “Oh well I did the same thing when I was a teenager!” What is it with some people that if they had a rough time they think everyone else should suffer as they did? The same ugly thinking comes to the fore when there is any talk of increasing maternity leave, a whole lot of mean older women start saying “I didn’t have maternity leave when I had my kids so why should they?”

      • bbfloyd 5.2.1

        Are these the generation of women who had their families before it became impossible to raise a family on one income adequately?

        • Roy 5.2.1.1

          Probably!

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Those who set themselves up through the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s had the opportunity to do so in a NZ very different to now, during times of constant economic growth and energy availability.

      • Carol 5.2.2

        Kind of similar to the the proxy minister’s response to the question as to whether Paula Benefit had asked her cleaner what it was like living on the minimum wage. The reply was that Ms Benefit had been a single mother on a low income and and knew what it was like.

    • tc 5.3

      ‘There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.’

      It is Stuff mickey, just another NACT friendly MSM outlet under direction of it’s masters, ensuring the bene bashing tone is maintained. Fairfax is stuffed (probably in no small part to amounts paid by capt kirk for TradeMe) and under siege to become a formal voice of big business, Gine reinhart styles.

      Love the pinup picture in Stuff of Kaye on the alcohol bill piece when it probably should be the memorial notice for that Kings College student who drank himself to death…bias , move along people.

    • Tracey 5.4

      bloody bleeding hearts

  6. Mr Burns 6

    When are you $ocialists going to realise that the wealthy do not give a damn about poverty. The only thing the right is interested in is making sure that enough ordinary voters are fooled into supporting the right even though it is against their interests. If the right campaigned honestly they would never win an election and then where would the world be?
     
    It would resemble Sweeden with all of its fancy ideas of universal health and social welfare benefits. The place would be an absolute mess.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    Mr Burns, in a strange kind of way, I think you make a point here. What I question is your scoffing at Sweden on account of universal health and social welfare benefits, describing something highly desirable as “fancy ideas” (which appears to put you in company of people like Brownlie and co). Are these only “ideas”, or are they actualities?

  8. kiwi_prometheus 8

    Well another mine is retrenching. The workers will probably head to Aussie – though things are on the turn there as well – iron ore price is a massive bubble, China’s stratopheric gdp phase is over.

    So no chance of mining saving the country any more than gay ‘marriage’.

  9. Roy 9

    Child poverty solved by mining? So they are going to send the kids down the mines? It has been done before…

  10. What did you expect?

    They are the hollow men.

  11. Olwyn 11

    The difficulty with addressing poverty is that our system actively demands it. We are effectively a vassal state in which wealth is not produced beyond farming, but is instead sucked upwards and and outwards. The rich get to clip the tickets of the infrastructure as it disappears, and the middle class get to manage the wealth outflow, along with the chance to cling to overpriced domestic property. While the poor subsist on resources that are seen as a cost to the rest, to be kept as low as possible.

    Given our lack of industry, the middle class hate the poor because under the circumstances, to take the poor seriously is to risk ceasing to be middle class. Then there are people like tradies, who are traditionally middle class but can no longer rely on getting a foothold in that group, who feel the need to blame someone.

    That is why I put this question to Labour on Open Mike, 27/08/12: “If push comes to shove, how far are you willing to go to defend your constituency against the system? Are you willing to employ your imagination, you wiles and your courage on behalf of ordinary people? Or are you more likely to employ PR people so as to get away with shafting them on the system’s behalf?” There is no point in putting such a question to National. They are incapable of hearing it, let alone answering it.

    • Bored 11.1

      Olwyn, your last paragraph sums the whole thing up vis a vis Labour. The whole issue is systemic.

      On a personal basis I have managed corporate operations (it is a bit like a form of schizophrenia being part of something that you fundamentally disagree with, however there were children to house, clothe, feed). I now manage smaller concerns but the same issue occurs. I have people asking for pay rises, the market is deeply in recession and the ledger running very close to the wind. Some roles will get retrenched, there is no money for rises. The bosses / owners make cash out of profit, there is little of that so nothing to glean there. In my experience business owners are not scrooges per se, they don’t like hungry children anymore than joe average (note the schools doing breakfasts get major support from local businesses). And prices for all go up.

      So the scenario is a deeply squeezed small business community, costs at home rising rapidly whilst income is static and falling. People can only cut back so far, then they are forced to make choices: who goes hungry?

      The system is so close to insolvent that it has to be considered cancerous at best…I note however that death notices for capitalism are somewhat premature (much as we would like to attend the funeral), it has some resilience that expresses itself in the form of hungry children.

      As I have said the Labour guiding principles if stuck to form a good framework, what is lacking is any stated direction to address the mess. And that is because labour like National are committed to resuscitation of the current mess rather than posing a viable alternative that starts by feeding the children first.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        The small business owners I know wrestle with the possibility of laying off workers and do everything they can to avoid it. To be frank I believe the problem is in the bigger, more faceless businesses where everything is driven by shareholder (read dividend) demand and justification and rationalisation of unethical behaviour is rife. I include banking in this.

    • Tracey 11.2

      Olwyn – I believe one of Labour’s fundamental problems is that they believe everyone in the “middle” who they seem to want to pander to, are self interested, self absorbed money-hungry idiots. They’r e not. Some of them actually want to live in a society where children are safe and fed and sheltered at night… bene bashing, faux law and order etc etc is just grist to the mill…

  12. Olwyn 12

    Bored and Tracey: I am not blaming anyone for responding to their own needs, nor am I claiming that the people in the middle are defined by the exasperations that some of them have. I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. However you can choose your targets carefully and put up a fight. You can see what needs to be done and do it, rather than meekly do what you are told.

    The British Empire run into difficulties when they put a mixture of lard and beef tallow on bullets, and then expected Muslim and Hindu soldiers to bite them. They found it unthinkable to bite those bullets, despite the great empire’s assumptions. When we are able to defend our core values with similar conviction, then maybe we can make the system accommodate us to some extent, including our desire not to have hungry children in damp, crowded, insecure housing. The squeeze will go on until we say “enough.”

    • Bored 12.1

      Olwyn, I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. 100% correct.

      Cant fault the diagnosis, my problem is what to replace it with, have been reading Schumacker (Small Is Beautiful) for some inspiration on solid state economics (i.e resource constrained and non growth orientated). Its going to happen and it needs Labour to embrace (if they dont they will be a totally historic irrelevance). In between times we find a way to feed the children first. Top priority.

      • Olwyn 12.1.1

        If I have read Small is Beautiful, it is a long time ago. But I agree with you as to feeding the children first. We need to have such priorities, and structure things, or pressure existing structures, with a view to actually achieving them. We presently seem to treat obedience to international financial structures as necessary and the viability of our people contingent, which we need to reverse. While I do not think we can ignore international financial structures, we can have our own set of “musts” to bring to the table, as opposed slavish obedience in exchange for career opportunities for those at the top.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        A resource based, democratic economy is the only option but one that both Labour and National will oppose as it goes against the economic theory that they believe.

  13. Fortran 13

    I have just heard that BHP has shelved a multi billion dollar operation in South Australia, and other projects elsewhere, and it was been suggested that anybody from New Zealand being tempted (forced) to got to Australia may find short pickings.
    In recent days the mining boom of Australia has come to a sudden halt – this was however predicted some time ago, but not expected so suddenly.
    BHP say they are looking for cheaper labour in the SE Asia mining facilities there. There appear to be many countries worthy of new exploration in mining eg Myanmar (Burma) was mentioned.

  14. captain hook 14

    hey bugger the kids.
    we need highways of national significance so we can drive around looking at nothing.

    • starlight 14.1

      I agree with you,its incredible that $14 billion is going to be spent on roads
      when the books are climbing to 72b in debt,children are living in poverty and
      the nacts use the gfc and ch ch to mask their economic incompetence,they
      have turfed people out of jobs and that continues,then legislate drug testing
      for beneficiaries,at least the nact supporters will have another chardonnay
      and salmon on a cracker while they click their glasses together with glee
      at nacts actions,while in the real nz, children suffer because the top 20%
      are the ‘prefered’ section of the community.
      At least labour has a ‘planet’ the nacts have a space craft and are still
      searching for a resting place.

  15. tracey 15

    Olwyn, i was agreeing with your post

    • Olwyn 15.1

      Sorry Tracey: I did not mean to sound combative, but I thought I may have given the impression that I was decrying the middle class in my previous post, and wanted to make it clear that I was not.

      • Bored 15.1.1

        Lots of us might get categorised as “middle class” now…most of us did not come from there (much as we might pretend otherwise). As they say about the wonderful Rachel Hunter, you can take the girl out of Glenfield but you cant take …etc. There is something comforting in being aware of your origins.

        • tracey 15.1.1.1

          I am not attacking the middle class i am attacking the tactic of pandering to a stereotype of the middle class

          • Olwyn 15.1.1.1.1

            Yes I got that and I agree with you. The roof painter was a classic example of pandering to prejudices that are attributed to the “struggling middle class” stereo type.

  16. tracey 16

    I chuckle at slater going to town on the lie of the roofer while bennett and others constantly create strawmen

  17. xtasy 17

    Poverty in NZ is pre programmed and WANTED! There is NO doubt about it, because any country that has the level of natural resources as NZ has, that has an abundance of milk, dairy products, meat, cereals, vegetables and fruit grown locally, that has NO excuse to have 20 or more per cent of children live in poverty. NZ is on a lying and losing streak, that is the truth. What we have is the bloody result of corporate decisions, and that involves the dairy giant Fonterra, same as the Turners and Growers and others.

    They are all focussed to export, and they admittedly have a struggle ahead to beat the high currency level, but they still manage.

    Now how can a country, rich in dairy, sundry food production allow that about a fifth of children, and I dare say, also adults, to live in poverty, especially food poverty?

    It is a human CRIME. It is disgusting as such, and I would expect a bit more from MPs I expect more of. But it is NOT happening. We have tit for tat little battles in Parliament every day. What about the personalities to take to heart what really matters to people? I see NONE, which includes ALL parties. So maybe the Standard thinks things will change, I cannot see it, keep me informed, thanks.

    • Roy 17.1

      I agree that poverty is pre-programmed and wanted, so that people will accept jobs with rotten pay and rotten working conditions. Teenagers too exhausted from work to learn at school are also wanted, because it is easier to deceive the ill-educated.

  18. xtasy 18

    Not only the Nats have excuses, so did Labour for years and employed a “Principal Advisor” to WiNZ thinking this:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Dr+David+Bratt+ppt&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CE0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=pOMqUNyqF–QiQee4oGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg&cad=rja

    Poverty is based on “benefit dependency”, right? Or is it “benefit dependency” that is the same as “drug dependency”? I think something along the lines goes his argument.

    Anyway, it is all fine, all right, we are in good hands, our leader is looking after us, hail our leader , blessed be him – so Hone Key, we love ya, we are there for ja, and we will follow thee unto death! Hail!

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  • Deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit tax cuts!
    Bill English’s laser-like focus on delivering tax cuts in 2017 whether it is a good idea or not reveals a deep problem that right-leaning parties have with being responsible. The whole idea behind deficit spending, which National has done a...
    Polity
  • Does intensification increase traffic congestion?
    Earlier this week, I took a look at the relationship between congestion and density. I was investigating geographer Phil McDermott’s claim, based on some dodgy data comparing between cities, that increasing density would increase congestion. Economists know that it is...
    Transport Blog
  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!
    When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a...
    Public Address
  • LMAO
    Andrea Vance reports / mocks: Acronyms will go MIA in Defence Force briefing papers as new minister Gerry Brownlee says NOMW (not on my watch). Brownlee has ordered military top brass to remove all acronyms from their ministerial documents as...
    Polity
  • What do plummeting milk prices mean for our fresh water?
    This year milk prices have soured like a bottle left in the sun. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the economic impact of the fall in prices, but what, if anything does it mean for our...
    Gareth’s World
  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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