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NRT: Ticket clipping

Written By: - Date published: 4:53 pm, February 13th, 2014 - 29 comments
Categories: education, Hekia parata, national/act government, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn points out the pointlessness of NAct’s charter schools by the biggest example. They’re getting the public schools to do the work and clipping the ticket for profit.

National’s charter schools are predicated on the idea that the public education system is doing a bad job. They’re (over-)funded to do things differently. So its more than a little odd that He Puna Marama Trust’s charter school is simply getting local state schools to do all their teaching for them:

Chris Hipkins: Is she satisfied that the taxpayer is getting good value for money from the $1.8 million given to He Puna Marama Trust for its establishment costs, given that it has leased facilities at a cost of just $58,000 a year and is asking the existing State schools in the area to deliver teaching on its behalf?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Different choices are made between leasing, owning, and servicing over the life of a property. As I have said, these schools are contracted for the term of their contract to deliver educational outcomes. They are free to make those choices but they must deliver the educational outcomes expected of them.

And to add insult to injury: He Puna Marama is the most generously funded of all charrter schools, at $40,000 per pupil. By contrast, state schools are funded at less than a fifth of that rate. So they can sit there, contract out all the actual education to state providers at double the government rate, and still make $1 million for doing nothing.

This is ticket-clipping at its finest: promise something different, then provide the same service from the same institutions, just with a crony middleman inserted into the process to cream off profits. There’s no public benefit whatsoever from such “innovation”. Instead the benefit is all private – to the charter school operators. And it is simply corrupt.

29 comments on “NRT: Ticket clipping”

  1. red blooded 1

    This is absolutely appalling and should be headline news and the lead story on any public affairs show or discussion platform. Charter schools have always been a creepy concept – an attack on the state system and an extreme experiment that treats children as laboratory animals. There is already plenty of state money being siphoned off and spent on private schools and independent schools – to have it going around in a circle like this (and basically down the plug-hole) is a disgrace. What, pray tell is this organisation going to ADD to the education of the children it is funded to provide for? And where are the details that have convinced the minister that this is such an effective way of addressing their needs? It would have to be pretty damn impressive to justify such a huge outlay.

    If the state system is such a failure, how come these kids are still going to be taught within it? A ridiculous muddle.

  2. karol 2

    So how will contracting out the teaching work? Will students from the charter school be ferried down the road to take classes in another school? And how will the students in the state school react to the charter ones? I imagine some state school students won’t be so keen on what they might see as “privileged” students using their school.

  3. bad12 3

    On the surface the whole situation as out-lined in this Post would fit well into a Monty Python skit, However, Google ‘should’ be the friend of all and especially Chris Hipkins,

    ”A Company of the Te Puna Marama trust, the name comes from the Northland tribe’s A Company contribution to the second world war is a residential ‘live in’ program for young Maori men designed to enhance their leadership capabilities,

    These young men undergo a rigorous out of school time program while living at the Trust, attending their normal high schools and going home on weekends,

    http://www.2cu.co.nz/northland/listings/6199-he-puna-marama-trust

    i would suggest, without the trust having spoken that the rigorous program run by the Trust, operating since 1997, is now being fully funded from within the education vote and being a live in program this explains the $40,000 per student,

    The program is also bi-lingual which would suggest to me that Te Puna Marama is focused on Maori education both the Reo and the Tikanga while the State colleges attended by these kids focuses upon the Pakeha education…

    • RedBaronCV 3.1

      Sounds a bit like those camps that people go to in the middle east.

      • bad12 3.1.1

        That sounds a bit spurious don’t you think, the kids at Te Puna Marama attend State secondary schools does that fit in with your idea ‘of those camps people go to in the Middle East’,

        i will go out on a bit of a suppositional limb here having not talked directly with any of those attending or managing Te Puna Marama and assume that as this program has been running in some form since the late 90’s it was probably being funded from across a number of Government department budgets,

        Charter schools via a push from Hekia Parata has probably offered Te Puna Marama the opportunity to secure finding of an ongoing nature,(until a change of Government???),from just the one Government agency and anyone who has ever worked in a non-Government agency delivering social services in this country will know what a relief such direct funding from the one Government department, in this case education, actually is,

        In my view Te Puna Marama appears to be an attempt to create a large ‘peer group’ of young Northland Maori through a ‘whole of life’ ‘all of life’ program, not just a money grab for some form of non-unionized for profit schooling which should not be funded out of vote education,(which then embroils them in the politics of charter schools),instead Te Marama should be fully funded through Te Puni Kokiri and i hope that the incoming Labour/Green Government examines each of the set up charter schools to ascertain any social value being gained from them befor simply closing the lot,

        There is a constant squeal from the wing-nuts for Maori to ‘own’ and do something about Maori social problems and i would suggest that there is not a lot Maori on a tribl basis can do for those for who social problems are a deeply set way of life and the Te Puna Marama program looks from here to be exactly that, an attempt to instill in young tribal members the skills and mindset which in the future will see them not beset with those social problems,

        For Red Baron, ‘A’ Company of the Maori Battalion made up of Northland Maori fought with distinction and honour on behalf of this country during the second world war, i question exactly why they did considering what ‘this country’ had previously taken from them, but those were different times,

        It is in fact an honor for Te Puna Marama to be able to name its program after ‘A Company’ and your little slur given the facts is not only mindless but in my opinion condsidering what the aims of Te Puna Marama actually are, brainless…

        • marty mars 3.1.1.1

          Good digging bad

          I don’t know much about this trust either but I agree with what you are saying regarding motivations. I’m not a fan of military style schooling but I am of holistic schooling where more than the abc’s are taught and anything we can do to help these young Māori men has got to be good. Too many of them kill themselves or get lost and this country cannot afford that for many many reasons.

        • RedBaronCV 3.1.1.2

          Boot camps are a standard right wing approach to poor behaviour and like others I am not personally in favour of military style schooling. I’m even less impressed by the sort of blokey rallies that Destiny church and the promise keepers(? I think) that used to show on the news.
          Would have hated to think it was along these lines.
          However, I had no intention of causing offence – if it is scooping up people who would other wise be struggling and giving them a decent start. perhaps it’s a pity that they had to get the programme funded through charter schools.

    • karol 3.2

      Bad, your link doesn’t provide any relevant info.

      Maybe this.

      The aims of education and culture seem pretty good. However, I’m not keen on militaristic models for education.

      This from the PPTA.

      Assessments of the charter school submission as obtaned from OIAs:

      He Puna Marama Trust

      27% serious reservations
      27% minor reservations
      3% very good
      1% unacceptable

      “The business and operations plan were comparatively weak and did not demonstrate the capacity and capability of the sponsor, particularly around the understanding of staffing matters.”

      “Key policies such as Health and Safety, were not included…”

      I’m not sure why they need to be registered as a Charter School, and couldn’t continue with the earlier aim to send to particiapting young men to local state schools.

      • bad12 3.2.1

        Karol, my apologies, as usual my linking has let me down, but, if you need more info on what the He Marama Trust is doing/trying to do as i suggest above Google is your friend, and there are a number of links to be found by simply Googling He Marama trust,

        The PPTA is a highly vested interest in it’s denigration of He Marama and i will take little notice of their concerns seeing as it is essentially their members that watch 10-20% of students fail under the current and previous models of education,(a system i might add that is basically mono-cultural taking little account of students ability to learn and social background, this of course is solely based upon my own experience of education where like Justice, education has been subjected to much great change over the decades which at the coal face has resulted in little change),

        i think i have explained the reasons why i see He Marama Trust have allowed themselves to be pushed into Charter Schools, presumably with the offering of a large financial carrot by Hekia Parata, and the link below,(if it works),points out that He Marama has been reliant previously on diverse sources of funding to operate it’s program,

        http://www.asbcommunitytrust.org.nz/…/stage…/leadership-company

        Like you, but only up to a point, i also do not think much of ‘militaristic’ education, however, my view is slanted via having received a dose of this early in life via the Justice systems Detention Centers, a supposed 3 months ‘short sharp shock’ which certainly proved to be the case for the community on my release back into it,

        However, He Marama is a holistic view of education which includes a physical component, which if it is anything akin to my experience with the detention centers of the Justice ministry certainly ‘wakes one up’,

        The obvious difference is that these students are not simply given the run round for a number of months and then given 2 bucks and a bus ticket to act out their training upon an unsuspecting public, the holistic approach taken by He Marama in conjunction with the States educative approach would seem to ensure that the result is young Maori men able to act confidently within societies norms,

        Obviously i would prefer He Marama to have been fully funded from Te Puni Kokiri but totally understand why they have taken the money offered through charter schools as a pragmatic decision leaving the politics for others…

        • karol 3.2.1.1

          Thanks, bad.

          I did do some google searches, but didn’t find that much of use except the link to the trust itself.

          Your ASB link doesn’t work.

          I agree our current education system doesn’t work so well for Maori. However, my experience working with many at the coal face is that they would like to be able to provide a very good education for Maori. And I do think the PPTA is more for the good of all students than you give them credit for.

          As Basil Bernstein said once “education cannot compensate for society”.

          The education system could be improved by bringing the likes of the trust into the state system, rather than via a privatising measure – which suits NAct’s agenda.

          The sticking point though is that the trust will be sending students to local state schools, which would seem to be against what you are advocating for.

          • bad12 3.2.1.1.1

            Ummm, Karol, the students/cadets at He Marama are still receiving all or parts of their education at the colleges they now attend,and ‘seems’ is simply your interpretation of what i have actually said,

            Given that small fact i fail to see exactly what is ‘wrong’ with He Marama as far as it’s approach goes, they obviously see benefit in the State’s education and are simply providing a far more intensive education than that able to be supplied by the State,

            Other than ‘political attitude’ which has many simply decrying the likes of He Marama which i see as delivering the best of both worlds it would seem that as far as the education of these young Maori men goes they could not receive a more thorough secondary education,

            i am sure Karol that those managing He Marama, especially those tasked with raising the funds the Trust relies upon to deliver it’s programs would agree with you entirely about He Marama being brought into the States education system and have just achieved this by taking the Charter School funding,

            The politics of this of course are that Hekia Parata can now ‘use’ He Marama involvement in the Charter schools funding as political leverage,

            The State’s education system fails more than just Maori and the only reason for my focusing upon He Marama is that the Post does so, just as many Pakeha are failed by the states education system and even tho as you say teachers might try their hardest to educate the 10-20% who do fail ‘History’ says that their best efforts have failed not in the term of the present politicians in charge but in terms of 50, 60, or 100 years of the ‘education system’,

            i would happily see the State fully fund ‘alternative education’ in an attempt to lift the education outcomes of those who the present state curriculum fails, but, when have they???,

            An obvious point to be made when discussing ‘alternative education’ for all racial groupings is that teachers themselves are trained to deliver a curriculum which somewhat devalues any attempt at alternatives which require different modes of teaching, and, without any evidence to back up such a suggestion i would tend to agree with He Marama where a split model of education may be the most effective for many students…

            • karol 3.2.1.1.1.1

              bad, my criticism is not of He Marama or the work they are doing with young people. My concern is about the privatisation of education via charter schools.

              I do think the education system was moving forward, although too slowly, for all children prior to the next government. There are a lot of teachers working sincerely for better education for disadvantaged groups of children.

              I will continue to argue for a better state funded system (not a PPP one that is privatisation by stealth). I would like to see independed organisations like He Marama brought fully within the state system, and not as PPPs/charter schools.

              I think giving some independence to organizations working for disadvantaged sections of his community, fully within the state system may be the way to go. Recruiting more people from within such communities to take lead roles, etc.

              The charter schools ethos will ultimately be damaging for all groups.

              • Jenny Kirk

                Hi Karol and Bad 12 – I can throw a little light on the history of He Marama.

                I was a member of the ASB Community Trust when that Trust decided to fund five educational projects which it was hoped would make a difference to the educational achievements of Maori and Pacific Island children. Three of those projects were He Marama, Rise Up, and another one called C-Me (mentoring South Auckland students into jobs with firms like Pacific Steel etc). C-Me also applied for charter school funding, and missed out. The other two received it.

                The basis behind He Marama was that a certain number of Maori students (boys) would be chosen each year from throughout the north – they would attend secondary school in Whangarei, and they would board Monday thru to Friday with He Marama, going home in the weekends.

                While boarding with He Marama they would be supervised/mentored into doing their homework, doing active sports of their choice, learning how to cook healthy food, learning te reo, waiata, their cultural history, etc. And somewhere they fitted in other hobbies like music, etc. I have only been back to He Marama a few times in the early years – but from the comments the whanau made on those occasions about the progress the boys were making, it seems that this initiative was working well.

                The “military” Academy stuff IS a little off-putting for people who don’t know the history – but He Marama were given permission by the people connected to the 28th Maori Battalion to use that name, and to have parades along those military lines.
                As Bad 12 says – it was an honour for He Marama to get this approval – and one or two of the ageing survivors of the 28th Maori Battalion also attended the ceremonies in those early years.

                It was the hope of the ASB Community Trust trustees at the time of setting up this alternative educational initiative that the success being shown by these projects would be taken up by the Ministry of Education as examples of what other alternatives could do for Maori and Pacific Island students’ achievement .

                We also hoped the projects would be able to obtain funding from other sources to be able to continue operating. From memory, I think the ASB Community Trust intended to support the projects for five years – might have been less – in the hope the projects would become self-sustaining. This “self-sustaining” aspect does not appear to have happened – and no doubt the people managing these projects saw the National Govt’s Charter School concept as an opportunity to allow them to keep operating.

                I don’t think any of us trustees envisaged that the National Government would use them as prototypes for Charter Schools. Certainly, I personally am not in favour of Charter Schools and I perceive dangers in them to our state education system.

                And from what I have read in the media, the Charter School programme appears to be different from the original project set up by He Puna Marama.

                But the original intention with He Marama was to get those massive statistics which showed Maori boys in particular failing at school and ending up in prison in later life in very large numbers, turned around. Ditto with Rise Up, and the other projects.

                • bad12

                  Thanks Jenny Kirk, a good comment from someone who obviously knows a lot more about He Marama than i do,

                  A two pronged question Jenny, do you see He Marama having taken the poisoned chalice of Charter School funding being forced or voluntarily changing the current program, and, do you see such a ‘split model’ of intensive education such as the He Marama model being of any efficacy were the program to be used to attempt to alter the outcomes of the 10-20% of students adjudged to have failed in the States system…

                  • Jenny Kirk

                    I don’t know enough of the current details re He Marama , Bad 12, to answer your queries.

                    But what I did think at the time the ASBCT was setting up this project was that it would show the Ministry of Education that there are valid reasons for Maori boys failing so spectacularly at secondary school, and that the current state education system needed to change to meet their needs, and maybe this project could pave the way for some of those changes.

                    But some state schools in the same district are doing wonders with Maori kids – Tikipunga High – a low decile area, has been achieving really good results with its students – many of whom are from low income families. Their recent principal – just retired – introduced many new ways for getting the kids interested in studying, and achievement – and like I said before, personally, I’d rather the state education system incorporated more of those initiatives and were more flexible around how to get Maori and PI kids achieving, than going down the Charter School track.

              • bad12

                Karol, i have said it twice but will repeat,my view is that Te Puni Kokiri should be fully funding He Marama in it’s efforts full stop,

                As He Marama sends it’s students to State colleges then these students should be funded from vote education full stop,

                He Marama should be the subject of intense scrutiny to asesss what the difference in outcomes are for those who pass through He Marama and i would like to see such scrutiny continue to track these students so as to ascertain their ‘life outcomes’,

                For 80% of the student population their education is a success and the current State system is adequate for them, for the 10-20% who are failed by the education system some ‘other’ model might prove to be far more successful in conjunction with the State system,(other than the present which data indicates will leave those failed to the un-tender mercies of the Justice system),

                Obviously Carter Schools are an open invitation for the private sector to clip the ticket of vote education and such should rightly be resisted, however, there may be the odd piece of gold that emanates from within the Charter School stupidity and if He Marama turns out to be that piece of gold then it is obvious that for the 10-20% of failed State school students there should be far far more intensive schooling based upon the He Marama model…

  4. freedom 4

    “It is completely usual within the education sector for sharing and collaboration of resources. ”
    Hon Hekia Parata

    The minister is correct in that this structure has been in existence for many years, especially the sharing of technical and arts related facilities, resources and staff. I think back, so long ago now, Our high school regularly hosted pupils from other schools. Especially if the needs of a pupil exceeded the resources of their own school. For example, a school with a less developed Drama Department across the city would send some pupils, one of whom is now a celebrated director writer and producer. Without the access to our school’s Drama programme that particular career might never have begun.

    The sharing of resources between schools should never be casually criticised.
    Sharing is a good thing.
    The specifics of how those resources are shared though, that must be transparent.

    The striking difference between the community I refer to above and whatever it is the Minister is trying to evade defining, has to be the duration of the contracts and the terms therein. Ours was a semi-permanent arrangement across various programmes. The staff, the resources and the expense were public record. State schools are state schools, so the governance, expenses, staff and so on are [mostly] well managed and more importantly transparent. This is a problem for National.

    Not in any reference to the partnership schools involved in this sharing of resources, do I see a clear statement of the duration or the fixed terms of any contract.

    1.8 million establishment dollars, over five years? thirty years? Can they apply for more? For maintenance? New buildings? What, if any, are the fixed annual operational costs to be supplied by the government in years to come? Are these costs linked to inflation? If they change corporate structure do they repay the establishment money? Can they reapply for more with the same directors on new boards? Do they get renegotiated regularly.? How often? By whom? etc .?. etc .?.

    There is an excessive amount of information on partnership schools that is, quite simply, vague.
    Vague is not a concept I welcome if that concept is being relied on to be a foundation of a new education policy for our country. There have not been enough questions on partnership schools. Hipkins’s questions only scratch the surface!

  5. tc 5

    Love the way parrota simply doesnt even appear to feign concern and make a sham attempt to take some sort of action at this clear diversion of education funds into private pockets.

    More govt engineered corruption from shonkey and his wrecking crew.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Gone by lunchtime. No compensation for investors.

  7. KJT 7

    The “bright future” of New Zealand’s education.

    https://www.nsfwcorp.com/dispatch/education-hostage/17cceda6b3d44b20031f5583a3c40e5d0c630f30/

    “In this standoff, the hostages are public school children. They are being held captive not by a rag tag bunch of Somali buccaneers nor by Tea Party loons with that distinctly wild-eyed serial killer look in their eyes. No, a generation of youngsters is being held instead by pinstriped corporate executives, buttoned-down foundation officers and the local school board officials those aristocrats buy and sell.
    Reminiscent of Hans Gruber’s high-class crew, this smooth-talking team of bandits is armed with billions of dollars of “charitable” – and therefore tax-subsidized – cash from both brand-name corporate behemoths and individual plutocrats like Microsoft’s Bill Gates, insurance magnate Eli Broad, media titan Michael Bloomberg, Enron billionaire John Arnold and Wal-Mart’s Walton family. With school districts refusing to adequately fund their education systems, and with a tax code boosting the plutocrats’ anti-public-school activism, this rogues gallery is now calling the shots – and demanding ransom. If a community pays the ransom by letting these distant marauders do what they want to the local school, then the perpetrators won’t purposely harm any hostages, even though their policies may inadvertently maim a bunch. But if a community defies these moguls’ wishes, then open threats against the cute little hostages commence.
    The commercial application of this extortion scheme is straightforward. In shock-doctrine-like fashion, the corporate community that typically lobbies against higher taxes to fund schools makes a business opportunity out of schools’ subsequent budget crises”.

    At least we have the Teacher unions to oppose the process. Or we did until National bought some off recently, with their “bribes for Teachers that toe the line” policy.

  8. Philj 8

    Xox
    Yup, another swipe against the solidarity of the teachers union. Elite teacher pay offs, and Charter schools will test the union. The PPTA is the last strong union to be dealt to by a National Government. A brilliant tactic. How will the PPTA respond?

  9. Papa Tuanuku 9

    the left should start using language like charter schools taking money away from state schools

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      The Left should start using language like “when we defund/close/take over these private schools, no compensation will be paid. You can’t buy education policy from the National Party without losing your shirt.”

  10. The Real Matthew 10

    And to add insult to injury: He Puna Marama is the most generously funded of all charrter schools, at $40,000 per pupil. By contrast, state schools are funded at less than a fifth of that rate. So they can sit there, contract out all the actual education to state providers at double the government rate, and still make $1 million for doing nothing.

    Are you refuting the claim made on Kiwiblog that all schools, charter or state, are funded exactly the same amount? (providing the number of pupils are the same)

    If so can you provide the evidence to support this claim?

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    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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