web analytics
The Standard

NZ Herald – again that curious lack of detail

Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, June 22nd, 2014 - 112 comments
Categories: election 2014, same old national - Tags: , , ,

Back in 2007/8, I was still heavily involved as a volunteer with  the analysis of canvassing data for the NZ Labour Party. This meant that I was around a lot of the campaigners in various parts of the country, either physically or virtually. Less so around the people raising money.

But it also meant that I heard a hell of a lot of gossip. Invariably this involved the gossip about fundraisers run by various Labour Electoral Committees (LECs) trying to get their campaign limit of $20,000 and their levies to head office. But if I read the Herald on Sunday today, somehow I missed out on hearing about a $15k purchase of a book, and about a $100k purchase of a bottle of wine at what were presumably LEC auctions.  Sure it is possible. However so is time travel in physics under some very special circumstances.

Frankly, at present I don’t really believe either of those claims.  There is no detail on either of them in the coverage given in the Herald on Sunday or previous articles by the Herald. Certainly not enough to pin down amongst the large numbers of fundraisers around the country where and when these payments were made. I even went up the road to buy the hard-copy version of the Herald on Sunday, but there was no more detail in that. There doesn’t even appear to be the mythic “party source” in this latest allegations, merely a single letter that isn’t even an affidavit.

To date the Herald has not even given the detail about when the famous photo of the bottle of wine was taken being passed over by Rick Barker. FFS it could have been for the rowing club, or even taken in China, and had nothing to do with the NZLP. But nonetheless the Herald uses that photo on most of its stories. It looks to me like they have no idea when or where that photo was taken.

So far the only thing that the Herald has managed to substantiate was a proforma letter to the Immigration department 11 years ago. It now appears that they had substantial help from the National party to do even that.

Sure this could be a developing story that is being drip-fed to increase revenues to the Herald.  But it certainly doesn’t look like that. What it looks like is some journos and editors trying to spin a story out hoping it will get traction by people coming forward with corroborating details. The Herald appears to be running a smear on the behalf of the National party.

Does the NZ Herald have journalists?  Ones who check sources responsibly and informing the public. Of are they partisan hacks like Cameron Slater, working for the National party and smearing their opposition. He doesn’t publish details of his smears either. That is because then the stories can be checked. In the case of fundraisers for the NZLP, I could certainly allow find people who were there and who’d be able to say if some event did or did not happen. Perhaps that is why there have been no details?

Certainly the NZ Herald’s  journalists and editors aren’t performing to the levels that the public expects journalists to operate in. Their job is to inform, not smear. So far they seem to be doing the latter and not the former.

I rather think that they have moved into Whaleoil territory. I hadn’t realised that the newspaper business was quite that badly off…

112 comments on “NZ Herald – again that curious lack of detail”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Lets accept for a moment that the statement from Lui is correct, and that he did donate the funds stated.

    If Labour didn’t declare funds from Lui as donations because they were technically proceeds from sales (e.g. wine, books and things sold at auction), then surely those same funds should have been declared as income in Labour’s GST returns. I wonder if that happened.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      First up, can I just point out that you’ve just made the same mistake as the unknown staffer in Cunliffe’s office did eleven years ago, and mis-spelled Liu’s name? Funny old world, eh?

      And secondly, the $150k doesn’t exist.

      • Clemgeopin 1.1.1

        And thirdly, has this rich dude declared it on his IRD returns? And does he have a receipt to prove his donation? And, who behind the scene has been pressuring him to make this statement now to try and destabilise Labour just before the election?

        • Colonial Viper

          The lack of fact checking by the Herald is astonishing. It’s either time that they publish Liu’s signed statement in full, or it’s time they put an apology to David Cunliffe on the front page of their gossip tabloid.

        • hellonearthis

          Technically it was not a donation.
          He purchased a signed bottle of wine.
          He did not donate a $100k and get a free bottle of wine.
          Under the laws at the time, these kinds of purchases from political parties where no classed as donations and did not need to be listed as donations.

          If it even happened.

          • McFlock

            Any transaction of $100k would still be in the party’s financial records.

            I doubt it even happened.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Apparently National has gotten around the donation laws by holding auctions, and then totalling up the amount paid by all bidders and saying it was a donation from the event that the auction was held at.

      Since the claim here seems to be items purchased at fundraising auctions, I would not be surprised if Labour had used the same technique, and therefore there’s no evidence in their accounts that the money came from Liu.

      That doesn’t explain why such a large donation to the Labour party, much larger than their typical size, wouldn’t have stuck out like dogs bollocks from their historical returns, and as Lynn is suggesting here if donations of that size were made, they would likely be known about amongst the campaign workers. Yet again we have no concrete evidence.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        I’d have expected to hear about anything that large around Auckland, and probably around much of the North Island. My contacts down south are more sketchy.

        I was asking about the $15k signed book a few days ago and no-one could remember anything like it. It was vaguely possible that it could have been done in one of the areas that I have weak contacts because there is little Labour presence there but a lot of Chinese – like Howick. Even then most people I was talking to were incredulous that auction sale like that happened and they didn’t hear about it.

        But $100k. That is just ludicrous. I am damn sure I’d have heard about that in an auction!

        The NZ Herald needs to provide some more detail from their sources. But for the moment I’m assuming that they are willingly believing liars because it makes for a good story. The sure as hell aren’t acting like responsible journalists. They are acting like sleazebags like Cameron Slater.

        • Sanctuary

          “…They are acting like sleazebags like Cameron Slater….”

          And they are clearly acting in collusion with Jason Ede and the ninth floor of the Beehive. This is an outrageous slander published without any real evidence, an easy story because it has been spoon fed to their useful idiots of reporting staff by the government.

          APN had better watch out. If I were Labour, I’d be telling them frankly and on the record they’d better keep up their partisan support for National, because the minute we are in power we coming after you with new media ownership laws.

          • BM

            Yeah what a great idea.

            Cunliffe needs to do this first thing Monday morning, I can tell you now they’d be cowering in their shoes and begging forgiveness after that sort of ultimatum!!.

            LOL, you guys are so funny, it’s one of the reasons I like this blog so much.

            • Lanthanide

              Yes, there are a few people around here that aren’t quite in touch with reality when it comes to how political parties can and should deal with the media.

              • BM

                The disconnect is quite something.

                I wonder how many are paid up party members, hopefully for labours sake, not too many.

              • Sanctuary

                kissing their ass gets you nowhere, in fact all it does is provide a veneer of balance to the Herald. acknowledging them as the enemy simply returns the left to the position it was in relation to the establishment media that existed for the majority of its existence. once in power, you do what the first Labour government did – heavily fund alternatives to the likes of the Herald (back then Labour set up the National Film Unit and the National Broadcasting Service specifically to bypass the newspapers to get their message out) and make sure media monopolies are regulated.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Nah, make sure media monopolies are a criminal offence.

                  PS: joking aside, I wonder if this is the answer: regulate something and Tory scum will defund the regulators: cf. Pike River etc.

                  Tories, with their diminished ethics, don’t need regulating, they need policing. Quite happy that the same strictures be applied across the board.

                  Stop setting up new regulatory bodies and consider the Crimes Act.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    OAB, you have to set up true public media infrastructure AND regulate private sector media.

                    You can’t do only one. You have to weaken the corporate stranglehold of biased media AND you have to provide the public with high quality non-commercial public broadcasting and media.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      ideally a 3rd prong would be supporting high quality indy news and other media to thrive in the country

          • Grumpy

            Ah, the old Aussie Labor tactic……..that went well for them…..???

          • chris73

            I agree with this strategy because nothing bad happens when you threaten the media :)

            • BM

              Absolutely, I see nothing but upside.
              It should be the go to strategy for any politician who finds himself in a spot of bother.
              When in doubt, lash out.

              • Colonial Viper

                Setting high minimum standards for news and journalism is crucial in a healthy democracy because you cannot have a healthy democracy if reality based and fact based journalism is not dominant.

                Taking rampant commercialism out of the sector will be extremely helpful to that end.

        • jaymam

          There is a lot of metadata in the master copy of the Herald photo, like about 5 pages. Most of it is from Photoshop or some other image manipulation program. Unfortunately I can only copy one line at a time.
          Here’s some more metadata. Maybe David at the Herald knows more:

          Here’s the master copy of the Herald photo, with all metadata:

          • jaymam

            Ah, I see the problem everyone is having with metadata. When the Herald resizes a picture from its master copy they remove the metadata. If you know where to look you can get the original picture which I have shown above. If I tell everybody where to look, I may not be able to look there in future!
            Unfortunately Hotmail does not seem to work any more.

    • Colonial Viper 1.3

      No GST on second hand goods unless you are doing it for business purposes

      • Grumpy 1.3.1

        You can claim GST on second hand goods.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          But can you claim GST back on second hand talking points? Wingnuts the world over wait for the answer with bated (sp. attn. Micky Savage) breath.

        • tsmithfield

          Yes. If you’re registered for GST then you have to declare the proceeds from sales of both new and second-hand goods.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Easy, comforting echo chamber blankie.

            • Grumpy

              New, or second hand? Nothing like a second hand echo chamber, after GST, of course.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The Herald will do nicely. See you behind the pay-wall, tovarisch. Such delicious irony.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4

      Yeah, just put the record on and we’ll all do a little dance for you.

      No, wait, here’s a thought: you tell us who the anonymous border official was, give us a look at Antoinne’s guest list, and then you’ll have demonstrated a shred of personal responsibility to go along with your rhetoric.

  2. Jackal 2

    I rather think that they have moved into Whaleoil territory. I hadn’t realised that the newspaper business was quite that badly off…

    We all know what happened when Slater took over at the Truth…it went under big time. Perhaps that should’ve been a warning to the Herald that such muckraking isn’t appreciated by enough Kiwi’s to keep a printed syndication afloat.

  3. Tsubasa 3

    There is a great piece by Bryce Edwards on the issue: http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2014/06/the-liu-donations-to-labour-discrediting-the-electoral-act.html

    At the very least, even die-hard Labour supporters have to admit the whole thing is murky, and it’s not enough to simply dismiss this as a media conspiracy. The fact is that both Labour and National have repeatedly resisted calls for more transparency surrounding political donations, lobbying, etc in recent years. The whole Liu saga could have been avoided if it weren’t for this reluctance, displayed by both of our main parties.

    The fact that an insider like you, LPRENT, did not hear anything about this shady character’s donations is likely to be evidence not of our media slipping into a new Whaloil low, but of how easy it is for parties to get around rules meant to promote transparency. The article by Edwards has some really good points on how that could have been carried out.

    I have to say I agree with John Campbell’s point this week, when he was interviewing Cunliffe: in the end, National and Labour are not all that different, especially when we’re talking about issues of morality and transparency. Sure, National is the bigger evil, but democracy isn’t about choosing the least shady politicians; it’s about choosing people you can genuinely believe in.

    Cunliffe argues this week has galvanized support for him, but personally, it has actually made me even more certain that I made the right choice to be supporting the Green Party.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      …but democracy isn’t about choosing the least shady politicians…

      Personally, since I realised that my vote goes to the worst possible party apart from all the other ones I’ve felt a lot less conflicted.

    • lprent 3.2

      At the very least, even die-hard Labour supporters have to admit the whole thing is murky, and it’s not enough to simply dismiss this as a media conspiracy.

      Nope. I want to see some dates and locations. So far all we have seen is bullshit from the NZ Herald.

      The one substantiated detail that they have turned up do far turned out to be a proforma letter from 11 years ago, and they had to have National government ministers helping them for that to be turned into a story.

      The point is that there would have been a lot of people present when this auctions went on. I don’t need records to find out what happened there. All I need are the dates and location.

      I guess that is why the NZ Herald isn’t releasing any information about either. They don’t have a story. What they have is people bullshitting to them and they’re too irresponsible as journalists to locate substantive confirmations. They certainly don’t want someone like me having enough information to prove them wrong…

    • Bill 3.3

      jeezuz wept! According to Edwards…

      In terms of the Labour-Liu scandal, the allegation still needs to be substantiated. The onus is on both Labour and Liu to clarify the situation. Neither can just put the responsibility on the other.

      So next week when John Key, or someone acting off his agenda, comes out and claims that David Cunliffe is a sheep shagger, the onus is on David Cunliffe (and some sheep somewhere?) to substantiate the allegation by proving beyond doubt that he is not and has never been a sheep shagger?!

      I must live in a strange world. Because by my reckoning it would be up to JK or those acting on his behalf to prove the claim, rather than DC or some anonymous sheep somewhere to prove the negative of the scenario.

      Meanwhile Tsubasa, voting either Green or IMP or Labour is just fine. And the resultant balance in the vote will influence the policies and direction of the post election, left bloc government.

      • mickysavage 3.3.1

        Agreed Bill. Liu should clarify the situation and Labour can then respond. Until then it is the worst sort of shadow boxing around where you have to deny something the details of which you do not know and the veracity of which you cannot test.

        • Grumpy

          I am sure someone has asked Rick Barker what he was doing on Lui’s river cruise. I think Labour know the whole story, they need to front up or finish up looking a lot worse in the attempted cover up.

          • mickysavage

            There is absolutely no cover up Grumpy. If the Herald could provide the details I am sure it could be checked on. And I wish they would stop drip feeding the story. It gives a sense that this is a gocha operation and not the investigation of a story.

          • lprent

            Hasn’t Rick Barker already explained that he was on what he thought was a company cruise. Yep.

            “It was a surprise to me when I arrived at the boat. There was no prior indication,” Mr Barker said. He was also surprised that staff members from the cement factory he visited earlier were also on the ship. “The front office. The management team. Production workers. Supervisors and technicians. Cleaners and security staff, it felt like everyone from the cement factory and their partners were there. I felt like an intruder on a staff function.”

            Yet the NZ Herald today published the contents of a letter that attributed the whole cost of the trip as some kind of donation to Rick Barker. And didn’t even mention that.

            Doesn’t that surprise you. Looks to me like Savage at the Herald is acting more like Slater. Not as a journalist. More like a smear

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              Well he would say that wouldn’t he?

              It was a gift. If he didn’t declare it he should resign his seat forthwith! Oh…

            • Grumpy

              One does not travel 1800km out of one’s way to go on a river cruise with someone one does not know, does one?

              • newsense

                Where is he claiming he doesn’t know him?

                How does this mean that him getting special access to push his proposed immigration changes and getting Maurice Williamson ringing the police while there is an on-going domestic violence investigation is satisfactory?

          • McFlock

            well, I’m growing more sure that the entire thing is an invention by tories.

        • Bill

          Well no. The mud slingers from National should justify their shit by showing what evidence they have. Asking Liu to clarify is like Cunliffe approaching the sheep, no?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      At the very least, even die-hard Labour supporters have to admit the whole thing is murky, and it’s not enough to simply dismiss this as a media conspiracy.

      Not murky at all. Someone, somewhere is lying and it doesn’t appear to be Labour.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    More dancing to National’s tune.

    A whole week of it thus far. Why would they stop smearing and diverting from the issues? It works so well.

    ‘Lyndon was running about 10 points behind, with only nine days to go… He was sunk in despair. He was desperate… he called his equally depressed campaign manager and instructed him to call a press conference at two or two-thirty ( just after lunch on a slow news day) and accuse his high-riding opponent (the pig farmer) of having routine carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows, despite the pleas of his wife and children… His campaign manager was shocked. ‘We can’t say that, Lyndon,’ he said. ‘It’s not true.’ ‘Of course it’s not,’ Johnson barked at him, ‘but let’s make the bastard deny it.’


    • Anne 4.1

      The NZ Herald and H.O.S. now prefer to believe this man:

      A senior police officer in China will investigate a wealthy businessman’s involvement in a bribery trial and subsequent citizenship application in New Zealand.

      The Herald revealed yesterday that Donghua Liu, whose links to the National Party led to a senior minister’s resignation, gave cut-price real estate deals to a Chinese politician and received business favours in return.


      Hmmm… and he’s also pleaded guilty to domestic assault charges in NZ.

      But of course he’s a a much more reliable witness than either the president and leader… or the former president of the NZ Labour Party.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        Frankly if he’s fallen foul of the “Justice System” of the People’s Central Committee he should be granted immediate citizenship as a political refugee.

    • meconism 4.2

      That is exactly the story that sprung to mind for me as well.

  5. barry 5


    Rick Barker must know if he was given a free $50 000 cruise in China. I know he is saying he can’t remember dinner, but a cruise is almost like a helicopter ride.

    If he can’t come out and categorically deny it (and account for his time in China) then he is in some trouble surely.

    I too, find the $100 000 purchase of wine at a Labour fundraiser hard to believe. It would have stood out like .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      It’s already been established that Barker must resign from Parliament.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      A cruise is considerably longer than a helicopter ride. It’s reasonable to expect there might be photographs from a cruise, but not from a helicopter ride, for example.

    • Again with the spin. “A free $50,000 cruise” is not the same as “spent $50,000 on a cruise.”

      Assuming (and it is purely assumption) that Liu is telling the truth, it’s not difficult to see how a dinner cruise involving boat charter, fancy dinner for all Liu’s staff, alcohol, entertainment, sound system, and taxi chits to get everyone home easily adds up to a (ridiculously) large amount of money.

      For comparison: it’s only slightly more than Tim Groser spent on a two-day trip to Paris.

    • Anne 5.4

      A free $50,000 cruise in China?

      What Barker recalls is an off the cuff invite to attend a dinner function with Liu, which turned out to be a staff function on a boat. It sure wasn’t a cruise. If this is Liu’s latest allegation then the man’s clearly lying or barry’s lying.

      • mickysavage 5.4.1

        Certainly it was not a $50k gift to Barker if that is the case. And in any event it was a gift to Barker and not Labour.

        • Anne

          Barker spelled it out in detail 2 or 3 days ago. I think it was RNZ’s Checkpoint programme. He also challenged Liu to provide affidavits so he (Barker) would know exactly when the donations etc. were supposed to have occurred, so that he could check the facts. Liu declined to oblige.

          • Anne

            Oh and Barker arrived at the place where the dinner was being held to be confronted by a boat. Perhaps it was lost in translation, but he wasn’t even aware he was being taken to a boat. That squashes any idea he went on a $50,000 cruise because he wouldn’t have had his toothbrush with him.

            • RedLogix

              Whether it was primarily a staff function that Barker happened to be invited along to – or a staff function that was organised to honour Barker’s visit seems to have been completely lost in translation.

              Either way it seems utterly absurd to suggest it was in any sense a $50,000 donation or gift of any kind to Barker.

  6. hellonearthis 6

    It was not a donation it was a purchase at a fundraiser and was legally did not need to be declared under the rules at that time being different from a donation.
    It’s all just distracting tripe and a backup up for National to use the ‘they did it too’ card.
    I wish the press would get over this and start to look at what policies the parties are offering for the future and not trivial pursuits from the pasts.
    I also wish the journos would look as deeply into current statements by parties when they contradict another parties policies, giving figures they pull out of their ass. Or just make up stuff, like John Key did on ‘the Nation’ when he said the USA invaded Iraq because of a civil war, when is was because of weapons of mass destruction (turned out to be lies) and the civil war was in Afghanistan. What a mistake by the Minister of our intelligence agencies and yet, they press didn’t say, um sorry John WTF you talking about.
    But the main point needed about these financing issues is “We need a Electoral Finance Act”

    • tsmithfield 6.1

      As I pointed out above, if it was a purchase, then Labour should have declared GST on the proceeds. If they have done this, then all is fine. However, if they are telling the electoral commmission that it was a sale, and IRD that it was a donation, then they could be in trouble IMO.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        If what was a purchase?

        Baby steps, Amygdala-Boy, show us the proof of your allegations.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        As someone else pointed out. Second hand goods do not have GST.

        Someone would have paid GST when they purchased the book prior to Helen signing it.

        Your argument is both silly and farcical.

        • tsmithfield

          The IRD doesn’t seem to agree with you. They have plenty to say about GST on second-hand goods.

          Your turn.

          • Grumpy

            Correct, as pointed out earlier.

          • lprent

            Yes they do. For exports and the like.

            However not for sales of second hand goods on auction sites. Haven’t you ever used trademe? Nor for selling houses by individuals when it isn’t a business. etc

            Please point to a policy about selling second hand goods in an auction… Basically you are grasping at straws.

            • tsmithfield

              In my business we have sold plenty of second-hand goods (items of excess equipment, vehicles no longer required etc) to members of the public. These sales often haven’t been part of our core business. We have always had to declare these sales as inclusive of GST.

              Also, we have purchased second-hand items from various private individuals. So long as we have had evidence of the purchase our accountant has been happy to claim the GST on these items, even though they haven’t come from a GST registered person.

              So, I think you need to check your facts. If Labour is GST registered, and especially if they were claiming GST on the expenses associated with these auctions, then they should have been paying GST on the proceeds of sales. Anyway, only Labour will know the true situation in this respect.

              • lprent

                Maybe so. But the Labour party doesn’t run auctions. LEC’s or supporter clubs do. But until the fuckwits at the herald provide enough information we don’t even know what LEC or other body might have done the alleged fundraiser and what that bodies GST status is.

                Basically National should provide details with their smear. But I guess that would be difficult if none of this actually happened.

                • tsmithfield

                  Of course I have no idea of the structure all this was done under.

                  All I have been pointing out is that using a loophole to avoid an obligation on one side of the equation can create an obligation somewhere else.

                  So long as someone has thought all this through then it may well be OK. However, what makes me suspicious is that declaring it for GST would of course cost the GST component, so it would reap a lot more money if the funds were declared as a donation.

                  • lprent

                    Well since we can’t even find when and where these ‘purchases’ were made – probably because someone is lying through their teeth, it is moot anyway.

              • Colonial Viper

                In my business we have sold plenty of second-hand goods (items of excess equipment, vehicles no longer required etc) to members of the public. These sales often haven’t been part of our core business. We have always had to declare these sales as inclusive of GST.

                Oh look, the brilliance of National Party supporting business people at work right here.

                Tell me TS, when you first bought those “excess equipment” and “vehicles” did you claim the GST from them as purchased business assets?

                • tsmithfield

                  Already answered above. A GST registered entity can claim the purchase of second-hand goods purchased from a private individual so long as they have proof of the purchase.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Not if there is no GST on that item to claim back!

                    • tsmithfield

                      These transactions are effectively GST inclusive, so there is GST to claim back.

                    • William

                      Yes, you can claim a GST refund when the seller of the secondhand item is not registered.
                      See IRD

                      I recall the reason is because when the registered entity subsequently resells the item they will have to account for gst. If for example they sell at the same price they bought the item, they’d otherwise be suffering a 15% loss, hardly equitable. The same applies if they cease to be registered.
                      The IRD would have received GST on the new price when it was originally sold, effectively they’re just continuing the cycle that places the GST cost on the final buyer.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      William, thank you for your reply.

  7. fender 7

    The Herald is a joke, the sooner it disappears behind a pay wall the better. I look forward to seeing them go bankrupt financially as well as ethically.

  8. Wayne 8


    This seems a highly risky strategy by you. As I have said, for Labour (including you) to be going into this whole territory was, and is, a mistake. I am not talking about the Williamson letter, but the donations issue.

    Does it really seem likely to you that the Herald has no more information? They have known of this statement by Donghua Liu for some time, but have only now decided to release it.

    From my experience with the Media, once they start asking direct and pointed questions, it is because they know a whole lot more.

    I had experience of this on Q & A around ANZAC 2011. I was asked to go on Q & A to talk about ANZAC. I must say I thought at the time there could be more to it than simply a discussion on the meaning of ANZAC. So Guyon Espiner proceeds to to ask a few innocuous questions about ANZAC day.

    Then without warning, he asked “Tell me about the reprisal raid in Baglan last year”. I had to instantly work out that he knew everything about the operation, so saying “We don’t talk about SAS operations” was not an option. So I said “Yes, there was an operation, we were protecting the PRT from the people who had killed Lt O’Donnell”. There were many other pointed question that followed. And if I had said, “We don’t talk about SAS operations”, I could not have answered them, and they were questions that needed to be properly answered.

    Interestingly the NY Times had reported the operation two or three days after it occurred, with all the details, but not that it had involved the NZSAS. ISAF routinely puts out press releases about it’s operations, where they know they will become public in any event. In NZ we just don’t have the specialist defence journalists who can work out what is going on, who know all the relevant provinces of Afghanistan, and who read every single ISAF press release, and who have daily contact with ISAF and their media team. Well, possibly John Stephenson.

    Anyway the point of all of this, is that what has happened on donations has been perfectly predictable. In fact the PM, some weeks ago, in answer to questions in Parliament (as I recall), actually said that it would not be a good idea for Labour to pursue the issue of donations, because of Labour’s own involvement.

    And I used to see things like that when I was in Parliament (usually a “warning” given by Helen Clark or Michael Cullen). Sometimes the hint was taken, sometimes it was not. It was usually better to take on board the hint.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      So Maurice and Judith and Banksie are off the hook because political donations?

      Nice try Dr. Mapp.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      A conversation about what you did that made New Zealand fall back in with that Four Eyes crowd is out of bounds because political donations, Dr. Mapp?

      Just exactly how many uses does your “…but but but Laaaaabbbbbboooooouuuuuurrrrrr” get-out-of answering-hard-questions free card have, Dr. Mapp?

    • mickysavage 8.3

      You are right Wayne in that the story has morphed from Williamson breaching a cabinet rule on interfering with police prosecutions which is justifiably prohibited into one of donations in general. But that is not Labour’s fault. The media has been manipulated into moving their attention.

    • lprent 8.4

      This seems a highly risky strategy by you. As I have said, for Labour (including you) to be going into this whole territory was, and is, a mistake. I am not talking about the Williamson letter, but the donations issue.

      Why? I’m not the Labour party.

      If there are problems with the donations system then I’d like to know about it myself for both Labour and National. After all there is the story about $50k being paid at an auction in 2007 for John Key’s tie.


      Besides I’m of the view that whole of the political system should be state funded and NO donations apart from volunteering should be taken from anyone. Lets just retroactively open up the whole system running back to say 1999 and put in some real controls for the future. Thats what I’d like to do.

      The way that the NZ Herald has been handling this reminds me of the way Whaleoil operates – completely irresponsibly. In the meantime if they have verifiable information. Then lets have it. Getting some allegations from a letter that has no background or verification is just stupid.

      So far through this saga, what we have seen is the anatomy of a smear campaign without any useful checkable verification from the Herald. That needs to stop, or I can’t see why journalists need any more protection under the law than we do.

      Anyway the point of all of this, is that what has happened on donations has been perfectly predictable. In fact the PM, some weeks ago, in answer to questions in Parliament (as I recall), actually said that it would not be a good idea for Labour to pursue the issue of donations, because of Labour’s own involvement.

      And I used to see things like that when I was in Parliament (usually a “warning” given by Helen Clark or Michael Cullen). Sometimes the hint was taken, sometimes it was not. It was usually better to take on board the hint.

      Yeah, the MAD approach to how things operate. However I tend to view this as being non-transparent and generally not in the public interest.

      Anyone who knows how I operate around political parties is entirely aware that I don’t like that approach. I provide my skills towards the commonweal. I’ll even donate money in this rather daft system that the National party has set up over the years. I rail against the types of secrets like anonymous donations of something like the Waitemata Trust.

      If the National party or the NZ Herald had supported the obvious transparency of the Electoral Finance Act of late 2007 rather than repealing it and replacing it with the half-arsed act of 2011, then we’d have been long past this kind of problem.

      • Ant 8.4.1

        It seems like National’s messaging is winning this one, shifting the conversation to be about donations in general. The problem is not people donating money, but the dirty habit National have of giving people favours for their donations.

        They’ve very effectively changed the conversation the same way they did with ‘the battle of the mansions’, everyone seems to fall for it.

    • McFlock 8.5

      so your evidence that the media never ask questions to fish for further information is that you caved immediately at the first question from Espiner and provided further information.

      • Wayne 8.5.1


        But I knew what was going to happen next (or at least I had a reasonable sense of what Q & A likely knew about the operation, and what the line of questions would be). And given that there was an allegation that civilians had been killed (noted in the NY Times article and subsequently investigated by ISAF). I knew it was imperative that any such questions be properly answered. And in fact Guyon did ask this question.

        In fact our soldiers were being attacked by armed Taliban (AK 47’s and the like), and this was the source of the allegation.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          What do you think of the fact that these matters can’t be discussed because donations, Dr. Mapp?

        • McFlock

          It would have been interesting to see what Espiner would have asked if you hadn’t confirmed the existence of an operation and provided additional details.

          edit: and, closer to the current issue, what would you have said if NYT had alleged an operation that didn’t happen?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.6

      Your silence speaks volumes, Dr. Mapp.

      I pay attention to your contributions because for one thing, I think you’re a better wingnut, and yet the cat haz yr tongue.

      • Wayne 8.6.1

        One Anonymous Bloke

        My comments have really been about the strategy, not the specific facts. It is an area with a huge risk of blowback.

        And in fact a large number of people, including the PM were warning Labour, “Don’t go there”.

        Pretty obvious really, but if Labour wants to spend a month talking about donations, thats their call. And this site has been part of that enthusiasm.

        Well at least Labour is in the news, but is it in a good way?

        • lprent

          The real question is why National can’t even organize a smear that has some factual basis. So far they are looking like a pack of incompetent fools.

          The pm disagrees with his deputy. Woodhouse changes his story 3 times in a day. Nationals sock puppets at the herald assert that a labour fundraiser is done on Sunday in a long weekend

          FFS what crap will they spin this week from john keys top drawer?

        • felix

          What are you and Key so scared of, Wayne? Why do you want so badly to shut down this topic?

          Maurice is gone. Judith’s story is all known by anyone who wants to know.

          Or is it? What’s still secret that you and Key are so desperate to hide?

        • newsense

          So John Key promised us a dirty campaign because he had one lined up?

          Your cash for access deals are appalling. The law change hasn’t fixed that. Judith Collins looking after her husband’s company is a conflict of interest. There is no change there.

          So tell us what you know Wayne. Or is it now your M.O. to have the National Party run by the Whaleoil lot as well as the mayoral campaign? What happened to the principled conservatives? Are there any left? Or have they all resigned for ambitious amoral puppies like Simon Bridges?

    • geoff 8.7

      Wayne Mapp – always has Labour’s best interests at heart…

  9. Blue 9

    Does the NZ Herald have journalists?

    No, they don’t. I will personally be referring to them as ‘content providers’ from now on, because they do not deserve the designation ‘journalist’ and it would probably make me physically sick to refer to them as such.

  10. ianmac 10

    Should have put this here rather than Open Mike.
    Statement from Moira Coatsworth, Labour Party President, Donghua Liu reported allegations – summary of facts
    22 Jun 2014

    Several media organisations have reported that Donghua Liu claims he purchased a book for $15,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser in 2007. We have found no records of any such purchase. No-one has provided any documentary evidence to us that contradicts our records.

    The Herald on Sunday has reported that Donghua Liu has signed a statement claiming he paid “close to $100,000” for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser. The Herald on Sunday have refused to provide us with a copy of the statement or even let us read the statement. We consider this to be a denial of natural justice.

    The Herald on Sunday reports that Donghua Liu’s statement was signed on 3 May 2014, but the paper only contacted us about the statement yesterday. This delay raises serious questions.

    The Herald on Sunday have, however, disclosed to us that Donghua Liu’s statement claims the fundraiser was held on 3 June 2007. We have found no record of any fundraiser held on that date.

    We have had no approaches from the Electoral Commission or any regulatory agency. We have always cooperated with regulators, and will always do so when required.

    We continue to call on Donghua Liu and any third parties who might have information about these allegations, including the Prime Minister, to place what they know into the public domain or to refer to the regulators.

    • NZ Femme 10.1

      Maybe Liu has caught Key’s brain fade affliction and has confused which party he actually donated to.

  11. Jan 11

    Moira Coatsworth of the Labour Party says they have been provided with the date of 3 June 2007 for the fundraiser in question but no record of fundraisers on that day can be found. It is interesting that the day was a Sunday, I would have imagined that a fundraiser of the magnitude described would more likely have been a Friday or Saturday, in my experience Sundays were reserved for small family type gatherings such as barbecues at the Member of Parliament’s house, or picnics, though maybe not in mid-winter. Most MPs with families tried hard to keep Sundays for those families. There must be someone from that weekend who can remember if anything momentous (and that price for a bottle of wine is momentous believe me) happened then and surely Rick Barker’s diaries would show an event of that nature. Obviously the Herald is not going to provide any details to back up its muck-raking accusations unless they are required to in a court of law

    • lprent 11.1


      Statement from Moira Coatsworth, Labour Party President, Donghua Liu reported allegations – summary of facts

      22 JUN 2014

      1. Several media organisations have reported that Donghua Liu claims he purchased a book for $15,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser in 2007. We have found no records of any such purchase. No-one has provided any documentary evidence to us that contradicts our records.
      2. The Herald on Sunday has reported that Donghua Liu has signed a statement claiming he paid “close to $100,000” for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser. The Herald on Sunday have refused to provide us with a copy of the statement or even let us read the statement. We consider this to be a denial of natural justice.
      3. The Herald on Sunday reports that Donghua Liu’s statement was signed on 3 May 2014, but the paper only contacted us about the statement yesterday. This delay raises serious questions.
      4. The Herald on Sunday have, however, disclosed to us that Donghua Liu’s statement claims the fundraiser was held on 3 June 2007. We have found no record of any fundraiser held on that date.
      5. We have had no approaches from the Electoral Commission or any regulatory agency. We have always cooperated with regulators, and will always do so when required.
      6. We continue to call on Donghua Liu and any third parties who might have information about these allegations, including the Prime Minister, to place what they know into the public domain or to refer to the regulators.

      On a Sunday. In the middle of queens birthday weekend? No-one schedules fund-raiser auctions when everyone is off having a holiday.

      Pfft… It just went into complete fantasy and I suspect that both the Herald’s and Liu’s credibility went out of the window.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        Pfft. The low level of the Herald’s credibility was never in question. Liu gets the benefit of the doubt for his courage in risking the death penalty for supporting the wrong gang in China, but the Herald? Pfft.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    Labour should demand a retraction and an apology from the Herald/APN, and/or sue them.

    • Anne 12.1


      I doubt they would have any trouble raising the money required in legal fees to sue them for false misrepresentation of facts. And I say that even if it is discovered Liu gave a donation (anonymously) or bought something at a fundraising auction for say $1000 to $5000. I doubt it would have been much more than that.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        I doubt they would have any trouble raising the money required in legal fees to sue them for false misrepresentation of facts.

        Lack of appropriate and journalistic due diligence around cross checking facts and sources.

        • Anne

          Lack of appropriate and journalistic due diligence around cross checking facts and sources.

          Well, its better than false misrepresentaion of facts.
          Bit of an oxymoron there methinks.

  13. karol 13

    The way I see things unfolding is this:

    Rumours of an affidavit a couple of days ago. Stuff reported that lawyers were poring over an affidavit because it lacked documentation.

    Yesterday, NZ Herald reports that Liu says he won’t be producing an affidavit of any further statements. I took this to mean the affidavit was rejected by the lawyers because it didn’t stand up to scrutiny – lack of documentation and all.

    Today the Herald reports they have a May 3 signed statement from Liu. Is this the rejected affidavit, or a statement that was a forerunner to the affidavit – and with as little documented evidence as the affidavit?

    So did the Herald, having been promised an affidavit that never eventuated, decide to go with the earlier statement – in the semblance of providing more evidence to smear Labour with?

    Is Liu to be trusted? And why is it a problem if it was legal, and did not mean cash for favours?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Of course Liu is to be trusted: he can be trusted to donate to the government of the day.

    • ianmac 13.2

      Maybe Liu realised that the affidavit would have to actually true. Oops. Too hard.

  14. Clemgeopin 14

    Here is the present president of Labour party, Mrs Moira Coatsworth’s comment:

    Labour president Moira Coatsworth has hit back at reports wealthy businessman Donghua Liu made large donations to the party, repeating Labour’s position that it has no records of them.

    In a written statement Coatsworth said several media organisations had reported Liu claims he purchased a book for $15,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser in 2007.

    “We have found no records of any such purchase. No-one has provided any documentary evidence to us that contradicts our records,” she said.

    She said the Herald on Sunday today reported that Liu signed a statement claiming he paid “close to $100,000″ for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser, but it had refused to provide Labour with a copy “or let us read the statement”.

    “We consider this to be a denial of natural justice,” she said.

    She said the newspaper disclosed to Labour that Liu’s statement claimed the fundraiser was held on June 3, 2007.

    “We have found no record of any fundraiser held on that date.”

    Coatsworth said Labour had not been approached by the Electoral Commission nor any regulatory agency.

    “We have always cooperated with regulators, and will always do so when required.

    “We continue to call on Donghua Liu and any third parties who might have information about these allegations, including the Prime Minister, to place what they know into the public domain or to refer to the regulators.”


    A few points:

    [1] Labour has to take the fight back to National who are causing all these dirty tricks destabilisation. National needs to feel the backlash of the party and the public. The public are fair minded and will see through the evil ways of the right wing sleaze machine.

    [2] Labour should. at the same time, begin to release all the policies one by one in spite of these RWNJ sewer politics.

    [3] Labour should announce that if they are in government, then within the first 100 days, they will introduce legislation to revamp the party donation laws. It should in my opinion state that every donation to a political party by any individual or any entity over a certain low amount, (I suggest $499) can not be anonymous.

    [4] Demand National to come clean as to how much this character has donated to National from 2007 to now.

  15. Clemgeopin 15

    Take a look at the biased anti Labour so called news storiers dished out to the media from our so called ‘objective and fair ‘”journalists”:

    Compare Mr Cunliffe’s (1) response during Q and A on TV1 this morning regarding the latest donation allegations and attack on him in the first link and (2) The reporting of it on One News 6 pm today by Damien Christie on the second link where only one or two of his statements were mentioned:



Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Are New Zealand Economists Going in the Right Direction?
    In a speech to economics teachers  earlier this month, the Secretary of the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, argued for a different approach to economics from the one which dominates the profession in New Zealand....
    Pundit | 24-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #58: Four Seasons in One Year
    58: Four Seasons in One Year What if we made more of seasonal change in Auckland? Auckland does not, despite what many of us say, have a tropical, or sub-tropical climate, but a temperate maritime one. All the palm trees...
    Transport Blog | 24-11
  • More rubbish stupid Tories
    Back in 2010, George Osborne made some rather stupid promises:The formal mandate we set is that the structural current deficit should be in balance in the final year of the five-year forecast period, which is 2015-16 in this budget.And:In order...
    Left hand palm | 24-11
  • Tories admit they are stupid liars
    From the Guardian:Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, May said: “It is of course unlikely that we are going to reach the tens of thousands by the end of the parliament. Why is that? It is because we...
    Left hand palm | 24-11
  • Labour the winner on the day…
    After The Nation's Labour leadership debate in Hamilton a few weeks back, I said to some of my colleagues, 'if Little doesn't win this, he should be given the strategy job of making Labour relevant again, that's what he seems...
    Pundit | 24-11
  • How to get rid of the State Services Commissioner
    Over the wekeend, Andrew Little effectively called for State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to resign over his mishandling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment claim. I'm inclined to agree. But as DPF points out, the SSC can't just be sacked,...
    No Right Turn | 24-11
  • How British
    How corrupt is the British establishment? This corrupt:The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed. Two...
    No Right Turn | 24-11
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    frogblog | 23-11
  • Labour’s front bench: Demographics
    When he became Labour leader last week, Andrew Little promised a front bench that was representative of New Zealanders' background aspirations, and also promised a front bench that represented New Zealand's future aspirations. Here's how he did: The average age...
    Polity | 23-11
  • Was Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations...
    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog | 23-11
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn | 23-11
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity | 23-11
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign | 23-11
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn | 23-11
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU | 23-11
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address | 23-11
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn | 23-11
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute | 23-11
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute | 23-11
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union | 23-11
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity | 23-11
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World | 23-11
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero | 23-11
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left | 23-11
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog | 23-11
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell | 23-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science | 23-11
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical | 23-11
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address | 23-11
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog | 23-11
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline | 22-11
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi | 22-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science | 22-11
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road | 21-11
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address | 21-11
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour | 24-11
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens | 23-11
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour | 23-11
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour | 23-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics | 24-11
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere