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NRT: A major shift in our foreign policy

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, June 17th, 2014 - 33 comments
Categories: accountability, defence, International, military, Politics, war - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn points to potential unacceptable changes in the basis of our foreign policy and the deployment of our armed forces.

Since 1945, New Zealand’s foreign policy has been based around a commitment to international law, collective security, and UN peacekeeping. Since 1972, and more strongly after 1984, we’ve also pursued an independent path, acting on our principles rather than on the commands of the UK or US (or at least, that’s been the ideal, and hotly fought for by the public). Now, in a secret review of peacekeeping, National is going to throw all that away and turn us back into America’s footstool:

New Zealand wants to give up doing peacekeeping work for the sake of being a good global citizen and instead pick missions that benefit our international interests.

A review of peacekeeping options also suggests dropping a formal guideline that peace support operations (PSOs) must “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”.

The review, by the staff of the ministers of foreign affairs, defence and police, released under the Official Information Act, says the military should “seek opportunities” to work aboard with Australia, the United States, Britain and Canada.

[...]

The memo writers submit three options including no further involvement in peacekeeping, the status quo, and a third option in which New Zealand would no longer wait for requests from the United Nations but “could take a more active and strategic approach to identifying opportunities”.

The paper favours the third option.

In English, this means that rather than going on UN missions to support peace and keep combatants apart, we’ll be taking an active and direct role in America’s wars, against the wishes of the international community. The effect this will have on our international reputation as a principled, neutral party committed to international law, which we rely on for both trade access and for vanity status projects like pursuing Security Council seats, is left as an exercise for the reader.

But what really takes the cake is the removal of the requirement that military operations “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”. No, they don’t provide any justification, because there cannot be one. It runs contrary to the fundamental principles of democratic and accountable government. But it is entirely consistent with the unaccountable, autocratic mindset which infects our foreign policy community, which sees us as ignorant peasants to be ruled, rather than citizens who rule ourselves.

It speaks volumes that such a fundamental change in our foreign policy was being pursued in secret. Now its been made public, it will hopefully be abandoned.

33 comments on “NRT: A major shift in our foreign policy”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    This MUST be an election issue.

    Will the main stream media pretend it is not a news story?

  2. vto 2

    If we go with the US, UK and Australia again we will surely become a target for 9-11 type events, just like the US, UK and Australia have been…..

    no thanks
    what a bunch of dimwits

    • AmaKiwi 2.1

      What do these militaristic nutters say the cost benefit analysis of being aggressively militaristic will be?

      I know what it is in the US and the UK. Arms manufacturers get huge weapons contracts and in turn make big political donations to keep the war mongers in power.

      The cost benefit analysis for the US and UK population is negative. The country goes deeply into debt. Twenty-five percent of the US budget is spent on making war.

      OK, Mr. Key. Explain to me how making war is going to strengthen our economy.

  3. RedBaronCV 3

    I admired Helen Clark for saying something along the lines of:
    “You need to think very carefully before sending other people’s sons and daughters off to war.”

    Just who is paying our government-are some of them agents for foreign powers?
    American lap dog – no thanks.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    To David Cunliffe:

    David Cunliffe, are you still opposed to binding citizens initiated referendums?

    If you don’t form the government 100 days from now, this militaristic mayhem will be the new law of the land. Without binding referendums, you and I will be powerless to stop it.

    • lprent 4.1

      Probably because our constitutional arrangements make it very hard to constrain parliament. I know that I’ve looked at it for a while and haven’t seen a way to bind parliament from overturning the decision of any previous parliament, including that of binding referendums.

      What you are asking for is a major change in our constitutional system. So far I haven’t detected any real interest amongst the population that would force that.

      However I suspect that would be a whole different topic than this one.

      • AmaKiwi 4.1.1

        You’re right. It requires a catastrophe for a nation to make significant changes. The UK has declined to a second rate country because it WON the second world war.

        If it had lost, it would have done some soul searching and created a modern social, economic, and political system, as Japan and Germany did.

        So NZ limps along the path of mediocrity content with those who echo the past, frightened of those who advocate modernity.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          If it had lost, it would have done some soul searching and created a modern social, economic, and political system, as Japan and Germany did.

          Well, I think all the lectures in Oxford and Cambridge would be in German, and the British flag would have a nice big Swastika on it…

        • lprent 4.1.1.2

          The question is more a question about wanting to be a “first rate country”? I’m not sure that we want to be. Certainly being ex-army I can’t see any reason that we’d want to put our people on the firing line to become such. We’re a country that was founded on the idea of providing modest opportunities to do what we want – together. You only have to look at the obdurate intransigence of people like Samuel Parnell to see how we operate.

          Part of that is to provide opportunities for others to do what they want. The (relative) incidents like the New Zealand wars and Gallipoli seared into our national psyche that providing opportunities for ourselves wasn’t done by trampling others for the benefit of other people. We now denies the societal strength that produced the resistance of the Māori and Turks that learned to resist an entire empire without descending (too much) into the folly of swollen empire.

          We fight where we need to (and I’m thinking of a great uncle who recently died, but who fought through El Alamein and the Monte Cassino). But that is why there is such a feeling towards multilateralism after the wars. Which is why such great power machinations like the one in the post above irritate us so much.

          But I can see that eventually we’d want to shift constitutional arrangements. I think that in the longer term we will do so. However it will be done carrying implicit lack of serious opposition of everyone from the monarchists to the Māori hapu with those who are more impatient like yourself.

          After being tempered by a few centuries here grumpily learning to live with each other, we’re no longer swift to embrace the crazy imperialistic populism that this dumb policy offers. But we’re sure as hell prone to making up our own minds and providing the obdurate intransigence to head where we want to go. Not where some johnny-come-lately dickhead wants us to go for their benefit.

          Diplomats and self-serving opportunists beware.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        Correct. Parliament is sovereign and cannot pass a law that it cannot later repeal. Even “entrenchment” and requiring certain majority of parliament to pass or amend legislation is ultimately implemented by laws that themselves can be repealed with a bare 50% + 1 seat majority.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Look at the direct and indirect military interventions of the west over the last 15 years. Fucking messes down the line with massive blowback all of them. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine. The only party who are guaranteed to benefit – are military industrial complex corporations and contractors.

    The TPPA will strip us of our economic sovereignty while these moves strip us of our military and foreign policy sovereignty.

    Right on the cusp of China becoming a major regional power in the Pacific. Funny coincidence that.

    NZ must maintain its historical relationships and alliances with the western powers but it must also engage with Asia and with China on its own sovereign terms. That has to be a non-negotiable.

    • Wayne 5.1

      I think you will find a John Key led government would be very sensitive to public opinion when it comes to actual deployments. Surely you have worked out by now that the PM works extremely hard to keep the public on side.

      But as you will recall from Kosovo, a UN mandate is not always essential for international action. And New Zealand had a very small contingent there, mostly officers in headquarters and liaison roles.

      Kosovo was the reason why the 2010 Defence Review, which I was responsible for (and also did some of the writing) said a UN mandate was not essential in every case. And in East Timor it was obtained after the fact. Same with Bouganville and the Solomons. In our region of the South Pacific the Forum nations tend to decide first, then advise the UN.

      • miravox 5.1.1

        This reads very much like spin Wayne. Which suggests to me that even you can see that this is a dog’s breakfast of a review outcome.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        Surely you have worked out by now that the PM works extremely hard to keep the public on side.

        Yeah, sure – that would be why he sold off our assets even though it was obviously against what we wanted.

        John Key and National operate exactly the same way that all Oligarchs work – by ignoring the people altogether. The only time the will of the people and the will of the Oligarchs coincide is pure coincidence.

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.3

        “I think you will find a John Key led government would be very sensitive to public opinion when it comes to actual deployments.”

        As sensitive as he was about asset sales and the GCSB law?

        When it comes to war, leaders can’t reverse course because they have sent young people to their deaths. They do not admit it was a mistake, even when their brains tell them it was. History is replete with examples, such as LBJ and McNamara who realized Vietnam was hopeless, but did not have the courage to stop it.

      • Blue 5.1.4

        Surely you have worked out by now that the PM works extremely hard to keep the public on side.

        Not really. I remember his ‘missing in action’ speech over Iraq though, and I have noticed his tendency to prostrate himself and NZ to whoever he thinks will give us a free trade agreement.

        And then there was that thing where the overwhelming majority of Kiwis opposed asset sales and John Key did it anyway.

        And he was totally unconcerned about the Kiwi killed in Yemen, which made me think he wouldn’t have any hesitation sending Kiwis off to die for the US’s folly.

        The ‘have faith in John Key’ thing doesn’t work for me.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.4.1

          +111

        • Rodel 5.1.4.2

          Check out ‘Key + Iraq war’ on you-tube.

          I was always glad we had Clark rather than Key as our PM when that psycho Bush was US president. Key was so screamingly passionate about supporting the US invasion of Iraq in return for US trade.
          Urge people to listen and vote accordingly.

      • lprent 5.1.5

        But as you will recall from Kosovo, a UN mandate is not always essential for international action. And New Zealand had a very small contingent there, mostly officers in headquarters and liaison roles.

        From memory, wasn’t that covered by a security council resolutions made before and as the situation was deteriorating?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War

        Security council resolution 1244? Plus the previous ones.

        As I remember it the refugees streaming into Albania and other surrounding states as the ethnic Serbian militias showed the pattern so much like the start of the previous killing grounds in Bosnia that everything went the through the security council in record time.

        While we have had the UN Security Council at loggerheads for 50 years, it didn’t operate well. However its role is to deal with peacekeeping missions including military action.

      • lprent 5.1.6

        And in East Timor it was obtained after the fact.

        Yes but..

        Following the resignation of Indonesian President Suharto, a UN-sponsored agreement between Indonesia and Portugal allowed for a UN-supervised popular referendum in August 1999. The resulting clear vote for independence was met with a punitive campaign of violence by East Timorese pro-integration militia with the support of elements of the Indonesian military. With Indonesian permission, an Australian-led international peacekeeping force was deployed until order was restored. The administration of East Timor was taken over by the UN through the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in October 1999

        So in the wake of a UN supervised election, and with the permission of the country currently in charge of the territory and the holder of the only opposing military. Short of a UN Security Council resolution you cannot get clearer mandate that aggression was not the aim.

        From memory in Bougainville and the Solomons, didn’t much the same kind of conditions apply? We put military and police in to restore order with the blessings of every major party involved..

        Now compare that to the situation in Iraq where it appeared that we went in because people were telling telling a US president what he wanted to hear. What he wanted to hear was that he could go off and finish the job his daddy wasn’t able to do because of the limits of a previous UN Security council resolution. So the myth of active and imminent use of WMD’s was invented without any substantive evidence. In other words the use of the big lie technique.

        Just like previous US interventions in Grenada, Panama, etc

        Those types of opportunistic US led interventions are why this ‘review’ and its preferred option are being opposed.

        BTW: I think that you are gilding the lily quite a lot in your recollection of previous interventions with some selective memory.

    • Wayne 5.2

      What exactly was the indirect military intervention by the West in Ukraine? I think you must have mistaken Obama for Putin. I guess a fairly easy mistake to make.

      But on Asia and China, this is going to be a big test for New Zealand over the next twenty years, whoever is in government. And we can’t afford to veer widely from one course to another over this. There will need to be some level of consensus on our general approach, albeit that different governments will have their own approach.

      But this is not a reason to stand apart from TPP, more a reason to ultimately include all the nations of the region. And China is considering this. I would expect TPP and RCEP will ultimately merge into a single Asia Pacific agreement. Which will fulfill APEC’s Bogor Declaration.

      • Rodel 5.2.1

        Wayne-Listen to another Wayne. (Brittenden)-Counterpoint Sunday Morning, Sunday 9 March 2014, Radio NZ.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      NZ must maintain its historical relationships and alliances with the western powers

      Nope. Best thing to do would be to declare ourselves neutral. That way we would be able to engage well with everyone and not be any countries toady.

  6. miravox 6

    From the country that brought you a nuclear-free South Pacific and kept out of Iraq. I guess we’ve sold our banks, businesses and environment. Why not our foreign policy too! – there’s nothing much else left (watch for ACC, health and welfare-to-work programmes but).

    No requirement for military operations to be “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”. No pretence anymore about who the hell are they’re governing for. I’m not sure why they don’t just be done with it and sign up as an overseas territory like Guam. Bastards!

  7. philj 7

    xox
    If only we were the USA’s footstool and not its toilet roll.

  8. emergency mike 8

    So classic of the attitude of this crony fk the public govt. USA no.1 -> how can we lick more USA arse?

    “also suggests dropping a formal guideline that peace support operations (PSOs) must “be acceptable to the New Zealand public”.”

    I can see the review team in action now…

    “Hmm this ‘must be acceptable to the New Zealand public’ means we can’t do some war things that would get us further up Obama’s arse because the NZ public dont want it. Isn’t there something we can do about that?

    “Well hey, how about this…”

    Doesn’t need to be acceptable to the New Zealand public.

    “Bingo.”

    • AmaKiwi 8.1

      Make sure the NZ public does not know what our soldiers are really doing.

      The government lied and told us the SAS were only “training advisers.” The government did everything they could (short of assassination) to silence the reporter who showed us the SAS are in combat as a highly efficient killing machine.

      The first casualty of war is the truth.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        Hardly surprising, considering the art of warfare is deception. Failure to conceal your purposes can get a lot of people killed.

  9. North 9

    Wayne…….you would know better than just about anyone that John Key will do anything he wants to do……..as long as he can get away with it. He’d be a dumb little ShonKey to think he can get away with the stuff postulated in this post. Which he’s not. So it won’t happen. Unless the old bizo about power corrupts and golf fucks…….

    In which case…….bring it on. There will come a time when New Zealand will act to save itself from the likes of you slick fullas.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    “sensitive to public opinion” maybe. They’ll know what is unpopular and do it anyway-covering it up with spin and mistruths.
    Sensitive to public opinion and acting in accordance with it – that’s something else – it would be a triumph of hope over opportunism to get that out of the Nacts.

    However, whenever we see Wayne here we know something is rumbling in the background – the combination of this and TPPA would mean us losing both economic and ethical sovereignty- client state of the USA?

  11. Sanctuary 11

    Time to start taking direct action against illegal and immoral deployments – slash a few tyres on the Hercs, a bit of sugar in the gas tanks of the LAVs…

    oh hai GCSB!

  12. Will@Welly 12

    We’ve had a proud history in peace-keeping duties, but that doesn’t fit John Key’s agenda.
    Czar John Key sees himself in the role of a modern-day Julius Caesar.
    But that goes against what most New Zealanders seek in a leader.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Not sure you can justify that: Key has been clear why he thinks our tax dollars are well spent on killing: for private profit, or “trade” as he calls it.

      Julius Caesar fought for what he saw as his county’s interests. Key wants to make mercenaries of us.

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  • Bike to the Future
    Bike to the Future. 28 September 2014. Photo: Tamara Josephine. The wunderkinds at Generation Zero put on a great event yesterday. Part celebration, part protest, the Bike to the Future event was attended by about 400 (500?) people, including young...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Peter Williams – Hero of the Week
    There are not many lawyers who I respect. However, that's not the case with Peter Williams, who is clearly one of the good guys.Not only has this highly experienced Queen's Council worked tirelessly to uphold the law, he has also...
    The Jackal | 29-09
  • Carbon News 29/9/14: Key challenged over climate impacts on Pacific islands
    Memo John Key: look Pacific Island leaders in the eye The Government is being challenged to invite the leaders of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati to come and tell Parliament what they think of New Zealand’s climate change policies....
    Hot Topic | 29-09
  • Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?
     Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?If so, will they be better equipped than they were in Afghanistan? In the following clip we see John Key reassuring  the nation after five New Zealand soldiers were killed...
    Arch Rival | 29-09
  • The question will only go away if we let it – please like & share thi...
    After only a few years in parliament, a relative newcomer to politics, John Philip Key became the leader of the National party of New Zealand.  He was subsequently elected the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 8 November 2008 and...
    Politically Corrected | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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