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On having a more representative Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, July 4th, 2013 - 323 comments
Categories: labour, sexism - Tags:

meritYou know, I give the Labour Party a lot of stick but I’d like to congratulate them on having the courage to face up to the lack of women’s representation in our Parliament.

Don’t give me this ‘merit’ bullsh*t. You can start by putting to one side the idea that MPs are chosen purely on merit as it is – this is politics we’re talking about.

The fact is unless you believe there aren’t 60 women in the entire country who could be good MPs then you have to accept the problem isn’t women being crap, it’s structural.

Labour could sit around waiting for society to eliminate all structural barriers and usher in full gender equality, but frankly I’d rather they did something about it now.

That’s why it’s so deeply ironic to see the all this squealing from National – a party of the elite that’s dominated by privileged white males and whose policies reflect its narrow social base.

Labour represents a wider constituency, which is why one of the first things you notice when you go to a Labour Party conference is how much it looks like New Zealand. Labour’s caucus should too, yet at the moment only 14 of Labour’s 34 MPs are women and the proportion hasn’t increased in nearly twenty years.

The proposals being debated at the moment aren’t without controversy (this is the Labour Party after all) and some of them won’t make it through. One of the proposals – to have women-only selections if the local electorate wants it and the NZ Council agrees* – has got a fair bit of attention today, but it’s just one of many ideas that will be debated, discussed and voted on by members. That’s democracy – it’s messy, but it’s how it should be.

So, well done to Labour for having this difficult but important debate.

What I’d like to know now is what National’s doing to address its lack of women MPs. Any ideas?

* Ironically, this proposal mirrors one introduced recently by the austerity-loving, welfare-bashing UK Conservative Party. So much for ‘PC Gone Mad’.

323 comments on “On having a more representative Parliament”

  1. McFlock 1

    lol

    What one might call a “king-hit counter example”. :)

  2. Populuxe1 2

    Well a priori I’d like to start with enquiring about what specifically prevents women getting ahead in New Zealand politics that couldn’t be addressed by the existing list system? I don’t mean general patriarchal pressures, but parliament specifically.

    • McFlock 2.1

      Isn’t that a contradictory question?

      • Populuxe1 2.1.1

        No – I require some more detailed points than just “it’s partiarchy, supid. Check your privilege.” I would rather address specific dynamics rather than sweeping gestures.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          So, basically, you want a full description of patriarchal pressures to be spoon-fed to you in comments on a blog?

          Start here. Then click the links in the “see also” section.

          • QoT 2.1.1.1.1

            No, I think Populuxe wants us to pretend that “general patriarchal pressures” aren’t in of themselves sufficient to lead to fewer women in politics, and unless we can come up with enough parliament-specific reasons, obviously we’re just lying and actually there are 61 women MPs in the House of Reps right now.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah.
              Probably something to do with the plumbing, then. And, oh, periods or something.

            • tracey 2.1.1.1.1.2

              +1

              Gender or race advancement always ends up as a negatively framed shitfight full of pejoratives. Their arguments tend to be similar to those that propose God must be real because *I* can’t prove he isn’t.

              I think white men in the world actually believe that it is perfectly logical that they rise to the top through merit… How emasculating if it weren’t “true”.

              • Rogue Trooper

                how Apophatic tracey; Via Negativa ? ? ?

                could read, or not, St Dionysus the Aeropagite, although some cataphatics may be required for assembly. ;)

            • Populuxe1 2.1.1.1.1.3

              I can think of a list of women I wish there were fewer of in the National caucaus. Before you can have women-only seats , you have to have the women candidates in the first place, which is why I suggested gender-targeted candidate colleges – or is this going to turn into one of those “Oh I’m so much more oppressed than you” pissing matches? Or are you really wanting to paint women as timid victims? Not sure.

              • QoT

                Before you can have women-only seats , you have to have the women candidates in the first place,

                Sure. Which is why no one is actually suggesting the Labour Party randomly draw electorates out of a hat and demand they appoint women candidates without considering the context.

                Under the rule change, from my understanding, LECs have to request the women-only shortlisting. And given they’re the LECs, I have this weird hunch that they might be kinda qualified to know if there are sufficient prospects in their area.

          • Populuxe1 2.1.1.1.2

            No, what I’m implying is that if there are specific issues in the parliamentary setting, they need to be individually addressed rather than this naive, ham-fisted approach which is contrary to the spirit of democracy.

            Wouldn’t it make more sense for Labour to set up something like gender targeted candidate colleges specifically to encourage women? And if Labour really want to pursue direct intervention, why not put more women on their list rather than placing strictures on who can run in what electorate? Change the culture rather than just stick a bandaid on it.

            And what best serves the needs of the electorate – I think the voters have the right not to be experimented with.

        • The Fan Club 2.1.1.2

          For the lols, poppy, you may as well look at the substantial literature on this, much of it summarized in the Selection Working Group’s report.

    • karol 2.2

      Why “parliament specifically”. The fact that the NZLP is considering changes to the candidate selection process, seems to indicate that the, or part of the problem lies there.

      I’m not a member so I don’t have a lot of knowledge of how it works in the LP in practice. However, comments on TS point to candidates being selected by shoulder-tapping by existing MPs and/or party officials. This would be open to selection from the people with power in the party and work in favour of the status quo and against shifting to a more equal selection.

      • lprent 2.2.1

        However, comments on TS point to candidates being selected by shoulder-tapping by existing MPs and/or party officials. This would be open to selection from the people with power in the party and work in favour of the status quo and against shifting to a more equal selection.

        Not really. The preselection mostly consists of who can be bothered even wanting the job. It really is a pain of a task and should only be done if you don’t have anything better to do with your time – ie almost anything else. It is a job with so many downsides. For a starter you have to actually be nice to some people.

        As readers of this site will be aware, that is not one of my notable nor favoured nor desired traits in myself or anyone else. I tend to find it gets in the way of getting things done in a reasonable time frame. Of course most of the work of government is not about that basic point of value. It is about being perceived to be doing things while actually slowing the rate of change down to a pace that people across society can stand. Niceness and politeness are crucial parts of the grit required for a glacial pace.

        Dropping the level of conversation down to that of your average talk back listener is also important. In fact these days it really has to go to the level of being a whaleoil reader – which of course means that it is even politically more stupid than the requirements for being a political journalist…

        So most of all of the possible candidates eliminate themselves prior to even thinking about selection. Some of them get pushed into it, but usually try to get in unwinnable positions – like standing for Labour in the King Country.

        So lets say that you have the required level of either dedication to glacial change (think Helen Clark) OR the required level of self-stroking ego that blinds your ability to accurately assess your own abilities (think Aaron Gilmore for an extreme example); THEN the party MP’s, officials, and various interest groups become important.

        Personally I made a decision a long time ago that I had better and more productive things to do with my time (programming), and that I’d find a suitable MP(s) to help out. Helen Clark was pretty useful in that regard.

        Edit: Hah! Then I look at the post and find Aaron there trying to make me puke..

        • tinfoilhat 2.2.1.1

          You should definitely have run for parliament.

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 2.2.1.2

          The preselection mostly consists of who can be bothered even wanting the job.

          Which is why parents of young children – particularly mothers – will never be adequately represented in Parliament.

          • Populuxe1 2.2.1.2.1

            Would you prefer the mothers of young children be marched into candidate college at gun point?

            • weka 2.2.1.2.1.1

              That’s stupid. Guess what Pop, you can arrange anything so that it is attractive to certain people. Our parliamentary system was designed by white wealthy men for white wealthy men, so, understandably enough the structure of that system was made to suit them, and thus wealthy white men are attracted to it. If it had been designed by say mothers, it would automatically include childcare and facilitiate things like breastfeeding. Support systems would be in place so that women with kids could function within the environment knowing that their kids were also attended to.

              What you are saying is that people should adapt to the wealthy white male structure or fuck off. I’m saying, let’s change the system so that we can have true representation.

              • Populuxe1

                You cannot serve two masters – have you been a young mother recently? It’s pretty much an all consuming business, as are affairs of state.

                • McFlock

                  Ah. There shouldn’t be more female MPs because they might get pregnant.

                  • Populuxe1

                    No that is not what I said at all, but if I break my leg, I don’t enter a marathon the next day. A woman can choose to do whatever she likes, she’s welcome to try to do both – but I think it’s a big ask unless like some US politicians you have a bunch of nannies.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Oh, so you think there are solutions to the issue of how damaging a political career currently is to family life, then? That’s encouraging.

                    • Populuxe1

                      So you agree a political career is damaging to family life then? Or do you have some special contempt for family life and those who choose to prioritise it?

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      So now women are under-represented in parliament because they choose to prioritise motherhood over politics, not because of the attitudes of people who select candidates.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  *whoosh*

                • Rogue Trooper

                  “you’re gonna have to serve somebody”- Dylan ;)

                • weka

                  “Would you prefer the mothers of young children be marched into candidate college at gun point?”

                  “have you been a young mother recently? It’s pretty much an all consuming business, as are affairs of state.”

                  Make up your mind Pop, which is it – young mothers, or women who have young children?

                  I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but shock, horror, women have always had kids and worked. It’s just that now more of them get paid.

                  There is no reason why some women with young children cannot also be in politics. That largely depends on the kind of person she is, how much support she has, and whether the party she belongs to is willing to change the structures to allow women with kids to do well.

                  We would be so much better off with more women with young children as MPs. They’re likely to look past the next three years for a start, when considering policy.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Oooh, a typo – so glad I could have given you your jollies. Pretty sure women with older children can remember back that far. And still overly optimistic about the ability of a mother of young children to multitask two of the most important and stressful jobs in the country. Unless she’s Wonderwoman and has a staff of nannies and feels ok having her children raised by strangers most of the time, I do not see it happening. It is a matter of focus.

                    “I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but shock, horror, women have always had kids and worked. It’s just that now more of them get paid.”

                    You are priceless. You might want to do some reading on early childhood development and what members of parliament actually do in their very, very long days.

        • tracey 2.2.1.3

          “Dropping the level of conversation down to that of your average talk back listener is also important. In fact these days it really has to go to the level of being a whaleoil reader – which of course means that it is even politically more stupid than the requirements for being a political journalist…”

          Mostly it seems to be about directing conversation to reinforcing strongheld (and largely unsupported by fact/evidence) views of a certain group of society. God forbid the world should be any way other than how they view it from their respective living rooms or office floors. People are naturally resistant to change and “dated” (even if failed) lparty policy is ideal for assuaging those fears… If things cant go back to the “good old days” then it’s better they stay as they are…

          The “good old days” are, of course, a myth.

  3. BM 3

    Explaining is losing.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Electoral suicide. Expect the Roy Morgans in August to reflect this.

    • BM 4.1

      Wait till a few within Labour get in the media and try to justify this.

      Blah, blah, it’s all the fault of Men

      Blah, blah it’s all the fault of white Men

      Blah,blah, it’s all the fault of white heterosexual men.

      John Key, must be the Labour parties biggest fan, every time the bastard looks in trouble
      Labour comes out with this sort of stuff.

      It’s quite hard to believe.

      • McGrath 4.1.1

        I have to agree. What was Labour smoking when they thought up this genius plan!

    • tc 4.2

      FFS Labour try and get some fundamentals right like having members that can get some coverage in their portfolios. Finance, Industrial relations, Transport, akl, health, education etc etc…..what a bunch of useless has beens ‘led’ by an amateur.

      • Populuxe1 4.2.1

        IK, R? They can’t even sort their portfolios out in the first place – all that needs to be sorted out before they can even contemplate overhauls like this.

    • Tangled up in blue 4.3

      Yep.

      Bad political move by Labour.

    • Blue 4.4

      If there is one thing Labour is good at, it’s shooting themselves in both feet.

  5. feijoa 5

    Well, one might get treated like Julia Gillard for starters
    It’s an absolute disgrace the way she has been treated.
    Helen had similar treatment though not as much in the dregs of the gutter as the Ozzies

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Did you see Gillard’s knitting photo? I’m surprised that did not save her Prime Ministership. Perhaps strumming a guitar would have been more appealing.

    • tracey 5.2

      Pretty close, her sexuality was constantly questioned as a negative… if not to her face behind snickering hands and in blogs.

  6. Wolf 6

    Labour also needs to introduce a policy so that the gays are more equally represented in the parliament. I think there needs to be a policy so that there is a minimum of 10% gay candidates for full true true representation. They should be given a higher position in the list to ensure that they get into parliament. This needs to include gay women to, so that gay women are represented. The gays have such a unique perspective on life. Viva la Rainbow!

    • felix 6.1

      Are gays actually under-represented in the labour caucus though?

    • Populuxe1 6.2

      Don’t forget transgender, queer, intersex, bisexuals, gingers, monobrows, people who don’t like television sport, little people, wiccans, vegans, and anyone with an unusually spelled name.

  7. Bill 7

    2c worth.

    I’m thinking patriarchy is a bit more than structural barriers – it’s an entire culture. And that suggests women encouraged into and promoted through the structures of patriarchy would (needs must) ‘adopt’ certain patriarchal values and even weaken the argument (though not the need) for a genuine cultural revolution and make the attainment of that revolution much more difficult through their presence having a ‘masking’ effect on the reality of how we are as a society.

    • weka 7.1

      Or, you get enough women in parliament, and things start to change eg you get a properly funded Ministry of Women’s Affairs that in turn steers funding towards the community, and grassroots women’s community groups have an easier time organising (cuts to the Ministry’s funding by the incoming National govt in 1990 had a big impact on the ability of women’s groups to survive. The benefit cuts didn’t help either. I’d like to see NACT try that with a caucus of 50% women, and a cabinet close to that).

      The more women you have in parliament, the less pressure there is on women MPs to play the macho game, and the more the culture of parliament can be changed. It’s only because women are so outnumbered that the pressure to be blokes remains so strong.

      Personally, I think the govt should legislate that all parties ensure gender equity amongst their MPs. Some people are afraid that this means we’ll end up with a parliament full of Jenny Shipleys and Ruth Richardsons, but I think it will be more a spread across the spectrum and parliament would hang onto good women MPs like Marilyn Waring, Ann Hercus and Jeanette Fitzimmons.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        If patriarchy only existed within the confines of parliament, then I’d whole-heartedly agree with your comment. But it doesn’t. It exists through-out society. It’s everywhere, including within grassroots/community groups – and is usually much more subtle and pernicious than mere expressions of ‘blokiness’.

        I don’t know any solution that doesn’t include an appeal to a proper understanding of the phrase ‘the personal is political’. And that is not, obviously, something that can be prescribed from on high or something that can be ‘legislated’ for.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          Not sure what you mean in the first paragraph. How does the existence of the patriarchy throughout society mean that one shouldn’t address bits of it at a time eg in parliament?

          And with all due respect, how many feminist collectives have you worked in? While it’s true that many women internalise patriarchy, that doesn’t stop women from working together collectively to effect change.

          I guess what I am saying is that ‘genuine’ cultural revolution is more likely to take place where people have access to resources and things are easier. Whereas you seem to be saying that getting gender equity in parliament would some how mask the need for revolution? Well it’s already masked, so why not tip the odds a bit more in its favour?

          “And that is not, obviously, something that can be prescribed from on high or something that can be ‘legislated’ for.”

          Why not? We legislate against things like sexist discrimination for the betterment of women and the whole society.

      • tracey 7.1.2

        “things start to change”

        God NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, anything but change. That scares folks like BM and Winston the most… unless it’s change that puts themin a better (perceived) position of course.

  8. wtl 8

    There is actually a sure-fire way for Labour to fix this policy and turn the debate around: simply alter so that it is clearly about ensuring ~50% female-male representation regardless of which gender is under-represented i.e. allow “all male” electorates if it does happen that males become under-represented. In practice, this change would have no real effect. However, it makes it clear that this policy is about equality. And the headlines can no longer be that it is ‘women only’ or ‘man ban’ or whatever.

    • The Fan Club 8.1

      Ughhhh Jesus fuck the thing is I don’t give a damn if there’s 60% female representation. Floors not ceilings guys.

      Also, in point of fact, that’s not possible, cause the proposals out today are the proposals going to annual conference. (that being the way internal party democracy works.)

      It is funny to see members who continually complain about the lack of democracy etc whinge about this (am think of cv here), a fine example of internal democracy…

      • QoT 8.1.1

        I do have to agree. Especially with the people saying “OMG this is such a terrible political move!!!”

        It’s not a political move. It’s [part of] the [possible] will of the membership. And it warms my dead feminist bitch heart to see a party’s membership stand for principle over [what many people assume is] electability.

        • tracey 8.1.1.1

          ++11

          National gave the media a great way to frame the proposal, man-ban, and they took it and run. As much as it’s about the National party reaction, it is also about media, including women, who chose to take that framing and run with it. Accordingly it is now a negative thing, and it doesn’t even yet exist as a policy.

          Eddie, perhaps you could change the merit picture to a montage… Banks should be there, Worth, Field and so on…

        • Bob 8.1.1.2

          QoT, do you agree with Sue Moroney’s statement “In the Labour Party we’re really clear that we want to be more representative of the New Zealand society at large”?
          If so, do you think we should kick some Maori out of parliament? 23/122 MPs are of Maori descent, representing 18.9% of Parliament, but only 14.6% of NZers (according to the 2006 census) are of Maori descent. Maybe we could replace some of these Maori with Asians who, like women, are also underrepresented in parliament?

          • QoT 8.1.1.2.1

            Shockingly, I have no problem with less-privileged groups getting (hardly significant) over-representation. Maybe we can replace some of the horde of older, upper-middle-class white men first (what proportion should they get, pray tell?)

        • Populuxe1 8.1.1.3

          The only potential female empowerment I can see this possibly delivering is Judith Collins’ premiership in 2014.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Personally, I think it is quite condescending towards women to suggest that they might need some sort of preferential treatment to get selected rather than on the basis of their own merits. Labour would be better to take steps to actively encourage women to apply to be candidates. So long as the selection process is fair, then the gender balance problem will be addressed if there are more women applying.

    • tracey 9.1

      I think they are taking more steps to actively encourage women to apply… hence the proposal… Gives the message from the top down that you are welcomed and wanted.

      • Populuxe1 9.1.1

        Then they should just say that, rather than implying they can’t do it without goalposts being shifted.

    • aspasia 9.2

      But perhaps not as condescending as your assumption that Labour and women are somehow two different entities and that Labour (apparently not female) should be encouraging women to be candidates. It does not seem to have dawned on almost anybody in this debate that the proposals come from Labour women who have already spent DECADES doing all your kindly meant suggestions. But having raised women’s representation in the Labour caucus from 4 to 14 by years and years of arduous effort ( none of this happened by accident or evolved inevitably) the process is now stuck and probably going backwards. In other fields of endeavour the phrase “low hanging fruit” is often trotted out at this point. The next step towards more equal representation will take greater effort. Once women become about 30% in any context they are perceived by men ( and some women) to be a majority. The result of all our strenuous hard work, though, is perceived by commentators such as Tim Watkins on Pundit as just the natural state of affairs in the Labour Party. It is not! One minute’s cessation of effort and the rock begins to roll back down the hill.

      Two points for the “Labour shooting itself in the foot again” brigade to consider. 1. In 1981 62% of women voted National. 2. National only has the female representation in Parliament that it does because Labour has created a benchmark that has National has needed to make some efforts to match.

      By all means win back the male blue collar vote. Much of what is needed to do that is good for women too. But if misogyny is the only strategy to reclaim these voters Labour needs to be very aware that women’s support is neither natural or inevitable.

  10. jaymam 10

    Labour already chooses list MPs by balancing gender and ethnicity during the election process. I think that is a bad idea. This new idea is even more stupid.

    • Anne 10.1

      At the Labour regional list conferences I have attended delegates have been particularly sensitive about ensuring a reasonable balance of gender and ethnicity. If there is a fault with the current system I suspect it lies further up the hierarchal ladder and not at membership level.

      I’m inclined to agree with CV. Labour does love to open itself up to misrepresentation… and laying the foundation for false perceptions to be created amongst the public at large. Think light bulbs and shower roses. Just because the party currently has a lower ratio of women representatives probably has more to do with electoral misfortune (think lightbulbs and shower roses) than a return to patriarchal style selection processes.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Where is Labour’s sense of spin and timing in putting out a proposal like this? Ok, say I don’t like the details of the proposal for whatever reason – but at least the party could be presenting it to the public and media sphere in a politically sharp way. In order to raise important gender equality issues that we face in our society and how Labour is looking to address them.

        Isn’t the ability to do this like bread and spuds for any political party? Why isn’t it happening? Why is it being left to fall flat on its face? The proposal is a liability IMO but does that mean that the execution and presentation needs to be a liability too?

        I mean, wtf.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          Spinning and delaying (sorry, “timing”) remits and proposals from the membership?

          Yeah, that would be a better look /sarc

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, like its just sooooo good right now McFlock /sarc

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree. I can see you’d support it 100% if the Labour head office had delayed and “spun” remits for conference. My mistake.

              • Colonial Viper

                If a political party can’t even do basic PR preparation and framing, it’s toast. The fact that you think that’s OK, is not a surprise to me.

                • McFlock

                  Go on, show us how the super-Viper would have spun (sorry, “framed”) these remits in such a way that the tories would not be saying exactly the same shit?

                  And if they’d delayed it based on the coverage of the KDC hearing, I reckon there are good odds that you’d have been bitching about anti-democratic suppression of remits in labour (or somesuch bullshit).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Go on, show us how the super-Viper would have spun (sorry, “framed”) these remits in such a way that the tories would not be saying exactly the same shit?

                    Nah. Don’t waste my time.

                  • weka

                    Someone suggested this morning that Labour could have used social media, and had several good posts up on the issue before WO got hold of it.

                    • lprent

                      They aren’t very good at that…

                    • McFlock

                      Maybe.

                      But I reckon it would still have the same result: flash in the pan now with screams of “sexual discrimination”, maybe another at conference, forgotten by next year. And Labour lives with it, becomes more inclusive because of it, and takes a move back towards the left.

                    • weka

                      Except, we could have been having a discussion about what the proposed rule change is, and how it could work, instead of this on the back foot defense thing because WOKB are in rant mode.

                      It’s kind of pathetic still having some hope that Labour might get its shit together though.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Why would they need to do any media on the issue? It’s just one of twenty or so proposals to go to conference and it is an internal issue, not one that needs a press release.

                      I’ll be voting for it, btw.

                    • The Fan Club

                      It’d be kinda improper for Head Office to use media to try and sell members on proposed rule changes. We’re not that kind of party.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Nope, but you could issue a press-release saying something like “issues to be considered at next months meeting will include…” staid, boring, etc. Then the story is that you’re thinking about something, and newsflash! It’s a non-story.

                    • The Fan Club

                      Except, ah, they did that. About lunch time yesterday, at the point they intended to release those proposals, absent the leak from WO.

                      The proposals have been around for months. The Party can’t always be paranoid about internal democracy.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Paranoid? How about proud of it for fuck’s sake?

                      The proposals have been around for months, but the best time to talk about them was just after Cameron Slater introduced them to the public. Naturally.

        • AmaKiwi 10.1.1.2

          Yes, CV. this is a PR disaster.

          Mentoring. MPs and party leaders mentor people you want to see move up the ladder into Parliament.

          Watch David Cunliffe. He is often encouraging (mentoring) young, minorities, and women.

          If there is a quota system, it is in his head, not in the party rules.

          Mentoring is how Helen Clark brought so many women into Parliament.

          • Alanz 10.1.1.2.1

            “Mentoring is how Helen Clark brought so many women into Parliament.”

            I can’t see Shearer capable of doing any mentoring, whether that is mentoring upcoming young potential leaders, ethnic candidates or women.

            But I can see him needing a lot of mentoring for quite a while yet.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Bugger. I’ve been looking for someone to teach me the finer points of mumbling insincerely while looking tough and peeling a mango.

            • Rogue Trooper 10.1.1.2.1.2

              lolz Alanz

  11. Im speechless, Im without speech.

    Go right ahead Labour and push this thru, your giving National a third term.

    • felix 11.1

      Yeah, because no-one in their right mind would vote for a woman.

      • Brett Dale 11.1.1

        Felix:

        yeah because this is what this is about, huh.

        So felix, if you wanted to run for the labour party in your district, but cant because
        of your gender, your fine with this??

        Im honestly truly stun by the bs here.

        I thought you had integrity.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          I don’t know what you mean. It’s not as if I could just “run for the labour party” now.

          I think you might be a bit confused about what the Labour party is, Brett. It’s not like a public swimming pool where anyone who feels like it can jump in and have a go on the slide.

          [lprent: You're losing it - how could you forget to reference peeing in the pool? :twisted: ]

          • Brett Dale 11.1.1.1.1

            Felix:

            Im guessing, someone can join the labour party, and then put there name forward to be a candidate for them, in what electoral they live in?

            Well isnt labour saying now, we will just pick female candidates for certain areas.

            How can anymore not be disgusted with this.

    • weka 11.2

      “Im speechless, Im without speech.”

      We wish.

  12. Curtis 12

    What a great distraction from the GCSB Bill the mainstream media have pulled here. OH NO! Labour are going to discuss equality at it’s annual conference lets take to the streets! Who gives a toss what dodgy crap the Government is getting up too!

  13. redbaron77 13

    The public is likely go along the idea of a more representative parliament and Labour is right to take steps toward addressing this issue. However its going about it the wrong way with a hamfisted change to its rules that essentially posits Labour naively favoring gender over talent . Aside from adding to the perception that Labour is “too PC” and out of touch, the proposal is likely to grate against a deep-seated value of equality that is an integral part of New Zealand culture. However if Labour launched programme that actively looked to seek out and developed great talent from across society that would add value to New Zealand life then it is more likely to fly with the voting public who will recognise the benefits of a more representative pool of people in its line up including gender.

    • swordfish 13.1

      Absolutely agree with redbaron77 and CV. The political naivety is just breathtaking. Verbalised a loud “Oh for fuck-sake !!!” when I heard it on my car radio (courtesy of Radio NZ National News) while driving down Boulcott St towards Willis St (as it happens, but that’s not important right now).

      It may only be one of many proposals and it may involve various caveats but it now seems to be dominating the news in a particularly crude, unnuanced (and entirely forseeable) way. Labour is now the Party with the “Man-Ban”. Way to reconnect with the average voter.

  14. millsy 14

    I think Labour needs more inspiring candidates. Regardless of gender. It seem they are all PolSci and MBA graduates these days.

    • Tamati 14.1

      MBA?

      Can’t think of any. All B.A’s and Law Degrees.

      Not that I think they should be chasing the MBA type!

      Perhaps some more people who haven’t spend half their working life in a University, some real life experience would be good. Some actual working class people wouldn’t go a miss. Just because they haven’t gone to Uni, doesn’t make them stupid.

      • tracey 14.1.1

        I remember when a real working class woman went to parliament (Sue Bradford) she was another who got pilloried and parodied the entire time…

      • Populuxe1 14.1.2

        Whenever I hear someone suggest academics don’t live in the real world, I have this vision of a humanoid creature in tweed that photosynthesises and reproduces by binary fission.

    • lprent 14.2

      Huh?

      I think that Cunliffe has a public admin degree. Parker was a lawyer. That is about as close as any of the current MP’s got to to a MBA (like my antique Otago one). Mind you, National are no better. Lots of talk about business – but mostly I just see a lot of business amateurs who are more used to brown-nosing their mates than actually making a business (Steven Joyce comes to mind).

      Since Helen Clark left, I think that Phil Goff is the only polsci degree in Labour. I could be wrong on that. But basically polsci these days is like a compsci degree – if you do it, then you tend to leave the industry early.

      I think that you’re just making it up myself.

      • Chris 14.2.1

        Shane Jones has a Masters in Public Admin… think he did Pol Sci first. Joyce has a Degree in Zoology… perfect leader for the nats

        • lprent 14.2.1.1

          Shane Jones… Ummmph. Well I’m sure that doesn’t diminish the value of those degrees. I just think he has crap political instincts at both a strategic and a tactical level. No amount of training can correct entirely for that.

          Interest courses and degrees are actually fun to do. And surprisingly effective at what you wind up using out of them. Certainly I get quite a lot of interviews based on me taking history courses. But not as many as I get from the comment about being addicted to multiplayer online startrek on the DEC 1170 at Waikato in 1980.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.2.2

        Let’s have a quota to address the lack of polsci graduates.

        • vto 14.2.2.1

          A quota for beneficiaries too.

          A quota for union members.

          A quota for rich pricks.

          A quota for Pacific Islanders.

          A quota for immigrants.

          A quota for Asians.

          A quota for males.

          A quota for the disabled.

          A quota for christians.

          A quota for fish.

          A quota for the young and a quota for the old.

          A quota for the quota-holders.

          I mean really, where do you stop? Where do you stop?

          • Colonial Viper 14.2.2.1.1

            I think we should have a quota for capable leaders.

          • marty mars 14.2.2.1.2

            “Where do you stop?”

            When we get to equality and the disadvantaged in our society are not structurally and daily discriminated against by those who have advantage for no other reason than they ‘belong’ to the right group.

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.2.1.2.1

              The poor are the most structurally descriminated against on a dauly basis.

              Why is there not a quota for them, using your own criteria?

              • McFlock

                maybe you should have suggested a remit at your local branch meeting.

              • rosy

                Gotta +1 that for a Labour Party that is meant to represent the needs of the poor. But equitable representation for poor women. I wonder how that would go down?

    • tracey 14.3

      Did you just make that up????

  15. Te Reo Putake 15

    Pop quiz! Guess which wannabe MP this comment is from:

    “I can’t understand why the Labour Party would be emphasising something like this when they’re trying to get the focus on jobs and power prices and the need to get wages up, so strategically it doesn’t make sense to be talking about this right now.”

    She did not feel a need to be pushed forward as a candidate based on her gender.

    “Certainly I wouldn’t stand in a seat where I felt like the implication was I couldn’t win it on my own accord without some ‘special help’,” she said.

    “That’s the thing about quotas – for me they are short-term measures, they’re a kick-start when needed.”

    While there could be a need for quotas in countries such as Afghanistan – where women have been excluded from the political process – that was not the case in New Zealand.

    “We absolutely need more women represented in Parliament – but we need a diverse section of women represented in Parliament – and I think that’s more effective.

    “I feel there needs to be a diverse range of women represented in political processes and in the Labour Party, but I think this is a blunt instrument.”

    • felix 15.1

      “We absolutely need more women represented in Parliament – but we need a diverse section of women represented in Parliament – and I think that’s more effective.”

      Any idea what she means by this? I’ve read and re-read it a few times and I have no idea.

      • vto 15.1.1

        I think it’s a bit like how they talk when they give dairy farmers big dollops of money

    • tinfoilhat 15.2

      Trevor Mallard ?

      • Te Reo Putake 15.2.1

        Nope, but right end of the island. For what its worth, Damien O’Connor was even worse:

        West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor said he was confident his electorate would “not ask for something so stupid” as a women-only candidate selection.

        • QoT 15.2.1.1

          Stupid enough to (s)elect Damien O’Connor …

        • Chris 15.2.1.2

          Having been part of a branch committee and LEC, I suggest Damien doesn’t know his electorate as well as he thinks.

    • karol 15.3

      I cheated and googled it. That’s the way with Blairite Third Wayers – want to have it both ways and end up a contradiction in terms.

    • tracey 15.4

      “While there could be a need for quotas in countries such as Afghanistan – where women have been excluded from the political process – that was not the case in New Zealand.”

      This is like saying we don’t have poverty in NZ because here people are way better of thanin the Sudan.

      Until people understand that the real key to equality of selection is opportunity, they really ought to keep their comments to themselves… And opportunity doesn’t mean “they can apply if they want to”.

  16. Matthew Hooton 16

    The fundamental flaw in this debate is the idea that gender is the main factor in whether or not one is represented in parliament. Speaking personally, the person who has best represented my economic views in parliament in Ruth Richardson; my law and order views Judith Collins; my Treaty of Waitangi views Chris Finlayson; my child discipline views Sue Bradford; my foreign policy views Don’t McKinnon. People’s ideas and diligence are much more important in terms of being effective as representatives than gender.

    • How do you feel about our representatives not being representative of us?

      • felix 16.1.1

        He’s cool with it, as long as they’re representative of him.

        • Tamati 16.1.1.1

          Perhaps he should be asking, should Parliament represent our views, or represent us demographically?

      • Matthew Hooton 16.1.2

        Micky:
        You seem to imply that women can only be represented by women and men by men.
        That is a bit of an insult by you to Helen Clark isn’t it?
        Presumably, although you are male, you felt she represented you well?
        But she didn’t really represent conservative, anti-abortion Catholic females did she?
        And are you saying David Cunliffe can’t represent women?
        Or that Judith Collins does?
        All crazy.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1.2.1

          Where does Mickey “imply” that?

          Oh, in your “mind”. Are you telling the truth about what you think today?

          • Matthew Hooton 16.1.2.1.1

            Because in a discussion about a gender quota, he says our parliament, not having a 50:50 gender split, is not representative of “us”.

            • tracey 16.1.2.1.1.1

              Which is an interesting from someone whose daily bread is very much based on perception isn’t it Matthew?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1.2.1.1.2

              Yes, which you twisted into a weasel question about whether an individual can be represented by another one with no regard to the overall makeup of the group as a whole. Nice shot, well played, etc.

              Sixteen out of fifty nine. Tell me, do you think the low-life gender bullying endemic in right wing circles is to blame for drop-kicks like Gilmore and Bennett and Key being selected in favour of talented female candidates, or is it something else?

    • tracey 16.2

      Which is why we need as many people believing (and actively pursuing) representation is open to them. Collins and Richardson, for example, had made it a long way up the glass ceiling before entering politics. They were used to succeeding in a very patriarchal environment already…

      It is human nature to appoint, favour those who reflect ourselves or seem “like us”. But when you know better it is discrimination born of wilful ignorance.

      • Rhinocrates 16.2.1

        It was said of American East Coast country clubs that they always had one Jew on the board whose job it was to ensure that no other Jew was allowed to join. More or less the same principle applies to Hoots’ specious blithering about how “representative” NACT is.

  17. Matthew Hooton 17

    The fundamental flaw in this debate is the idea that gender is the main factor in whether or not one is represented in parliament. Speaking personally, the person who has best represented my economic views in parliament in Ruth Richardson; my law and order views Judith Collins; my Treaty of Waitangi views Chris Finlayson; my child discipline views Sue Bradford; my foreign policy views Don’t McKinnon. People’s ideas and diligence are much more important in terms of being effective as representatives than gender.

    • Socialist Paddy 17.1

      The fundamental problem with your comment Matthew is my sense of deja vu …

    • felix 17.2

      “The fundamental flaw in this debate is the idea that gender is the main factor in whether or not one is represented in parliament.”

      What a lovely strawman – ooh look I can see his little ears!

      • Matthew Hooton 17.2.1

        Um, do you have a point to make?

        • weka 17.2.1.1

          His point was that your comment had no bearing on what is actually being debated and was posted as a way of diverting attention from the real issue.

          ie no-one has said that “gender is the main factor in whether or not one is represented in parliament.”. That’s just stupid.

        • vto 17.2.1.2

          Mr Hooton I think you should just defect and get over it

        • felix 17.2.1.3

          Yep, and it was very straightforward.

          No-one has claimed “gender is the main factor in whether or not one is represented in parliament”.

          I’m surprised you didn’t manage to follow that, there weren’t many big words for you to read. Did you get confused by all the not-believing-your-obvious-bullshit in between them?

          edit: what weka said

        • mickysavage 17.2.1.4

          I am sure the Greens will be happy to have you as a member but they may be cautious on your effect on Green policy …

    • Sable 17.3

      You really are the doctor Jekyll and Mr Hide of voters aren’t you.

      • felix 17.3.1

        Hardly. He listed National, National, National, a private member’s bill, and National.

        More like Doctor National and Mr National.

        • Matthew Hooton 17.3.1.1

          That’s right. They have represented me well, with gender, sexuality and other identity aspects not being relevant. On the grounds someone needs to be the same gender as you to represent you, Labour males must have felt terribly unrepresented at the highest levels from late 1993 to late 2008.

          • fender 17.3.1.1.1

            Don Brash is the best fit for you.

            • felix 17.3.1.1.1.1

              Matthew is so far out on the wing, and so unaware of his position there, that he doesn’t even realise that could be taken as a slight.

          • felix 17.3.1.1.2

            Are you considering voting Labour next year Matthew?

          • Rhinocrates 17.3.1.1.3

            other identity aspects not being relevant.

            “Relevant”

            Translation “I’m alright Jack/Jill. I’m so comfortable with my privileges, I can’t even see them.”

    • Rhinocrates 17.4

      I wonder who Hoots thinks represents his views on race, considering his egregious attempts to promulgate the worst stereotypes of the violent “dumb bros” in his recent NBR column?

  18. felix 18

    I’d have no issue with this if women were grossly underrepresented in the Labour caucus. You know, like they are in National.

    But are they though? It’s pretty close. Is the proportion falling over time or rising?

    I guess I’m not asking whether it’s worthy, which in principle it is, but whether it’s needed.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    NZers voted in John Key in 2008 with just 16% women at the top of the National list. Think about what the electorate views as important right now, and focus there.

    • karol 19.1

      Is it just about getting voted into government then, and not about what the party represents?

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        Wrong question. Instead, answer the question, what is the electorate waiting for from Labour.

        • McFlock 19.1.1.1

          Really? Because it sounded a lot like the old “not the right time for this, focus on the real issues, we’ll get around to your silly little identity-politics issue some time”.

          • weka 19.1.1.1.1

            +1. It’s interesting seeing that creeping into the debate in the past few hours.

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Suit yourself weka. Think about a broad church Labour Party which is representative of the interests of the entirety of society, but somehow can’t climb above 32% in the polls.

              And try and figure out where the disconnect is. If you accept that there even is one, because it sounds like most of you think that this is putting Labour right on track.

              • weka

                well just to clarify CV, I don’t think this will do anything fundamental to change Labour in the short or medium term. It’s not going to make up for the problems of Shearer or the ABCs or that Labour is disconnected from their traditional constituency or that Labour are still co-opted by the neoliberals.

                As far as I can tell the problems with Labour are to do with its internal power structures and the fact that the membership can’t effect change. And to be honest, I’ve been watching this debate about what is wrong with Labour for the last 18 months and I don’t see any real substantial change, even with the conference remits last year. Or to put it another way, putting the gender equity issue aside now won’t help your cause.

                Gender equity should happen in the same way as say legalising gay marriage. There is never a ‘good’ time, so may as well be now. The rule changes should just be part of a number of ongoing measures that reflect changes in society irrespective of the bullshit that is in parts of the caucus.

                In terms of the long plan, the point McFlock makes is not new. Women are well used to the argument to sit and wait. Once the glorious revolution happens then we can sort out the problems of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability etc etc. Trouble is that women got sick of waiting (along with everyone else), and we know from bitter experience, if we don’t keep pushing these issues through, they will never get addressed.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Trouble is that women got sick of waiting (along with everyone else), and we know from bitter experience, if we don’t keep pushing these issues through, they will never get addressed.

                  You know a lot of women who want to get on to the Labour list? Great, should be about 13 places for women in caucus after the 2014 elections.

                  Let me know when you think Labour is going to be able to push through legislation mandating a 50% female quota in Parliament and for the public service as a whole.

                  • weka

                    “You know a lot of women who want to get on to the Labour list? Great, should be about 13 places for women in caucus after the 2014 elections.”

                    That’s your job mate, not mine. And if Labour doesn’t have enough women wanting in, what does that say about Labour? Maybe you should talk to the GP about how they manage to get people interested.

                    “Let me know when you think Labour is going to be able to push through legislation mandating a 50% female quota in Parliament and for the public service as a whole.”

                    Strawman.

            • The Fan Club 19.1.1.1.1.2

              Oh yeah. Internal Democracy, but only when it’s manly democracy, not femmy shit. FFS.

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.2

            Fuck your pretty progressive theoretical spin and strawmen quotes. This thing is an electoral anchor, accept it and move on.

            • BM 19.1.1.1.2.1

              I disagree, I think it needs to be openly discussed, no holds bared barred for at least the next six months.

              I nominate weka to be the main spokesperson.

              [lprent: Public nakedness is not appropriate for this forum. Please use a dictionary. :twisted: ]

              • Colonial Viper

                BM, and here I was thinking you were a crappy sexist Righty who didn’t have a sense of humour! ;)

            • McFlock 19.1.1.1.2.2

              If the labour party was run along your lines, it’s be as “left” as and popular as Chris Trotter.

              • Colonial Viper

                Seems to me its getting there just fine mate.

                • McFlock

                  Nah, it’d have work really hard to be the “Waitakere-man” fuckup you want it to be.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Go away and say something nice about Shearer. Or at least how he’s not that important in the lead up to 2014, and its really all about policy getting traction.

                    • McFlock

                      Such a shame. After all your dictats about how Labour should be a party of principle and promote genuine socialist principles such as equity and true representation of the membership (and how it would be if only Cunliffe were leader), suddenly you get all bitchy when somebody tries to bring Labour closer to that ideal.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      More straw men quotes? Good on ya McFlock. On the other hand do you want me to come up with a few instances where you say whoever leads the party into 2014 is quite unimportant, and its really just about good policy?

                    • McFlock

                      Meh. Do whatever you hsve to do in order to pretend that whenever you look in the mirror a fucking hypocrite doesn’t stare back.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sticks and stones McFlock.

          • Populuxe1 19.1.1.1.3

            Not when identity politics pissing matches get in the way of the rights of the electorate.

        • weka 19.1.1.2

          “what is the electorate waiting for from Labour.”

          To get its shit together. This is one way it can do that, but obviously it’s not the only, nor even most important way. Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen though. Or do you have a time when you think it would be better to do this?

          • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.2.1

            Or do you have a time when you think it would be better to do this?

            yeah, not today.

            • weka 19.1.1.2.1.1

              = never.

              • weka

                btw, you think this is bad, wait until you see what happens when abortion becomes a political issue in NZ again. Are you going to say then too that it’s not the right time (because it almost certainly will be a bad time)?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey weka, great idea, lets start promoting abortion law reform as a top election issue for 2014.

                  • The Fan Club

                    Why the fuck not? I mean, Christ you fucker, you crucified the party for your own ego trip, but now we do something that’ll make a real change it’s “toe the focu group line”?

                  • weka

                    So you are ok with women’s poor access to reproductive health services and think it’s ok for this issue to be put off indefinitely? And what happens if the ultra conservatives make it an issue? Will you still think that the left shouldn’t move on this? We should let abortion rights degrade further?

                    This is what I meant in the Assange debate when I said that women are well used to men on the left marginalising issues that are important to women but not to men. It’s old, old news CV, and it doesn’t wash anymore.

                    Besides, your arguments are getting weak now.

                    Let me put it another way. Labour are fucked. I think the gender equity issue should happen because it’s the right thing to do, and I don’t believe that it would make that much difference to the election next year. But if it does then (a) Labour are way more fucked than I thought, and (b) good, it’s about time they fell over so something else can take their place (whether that’s just the ABCs being moved on, or whether Labour is eventually replaced by the Greens and Mana). You can’t blame the failings of the Labour party on gender equity policies, that’s extremely ridiculous.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You can’t blame the failings of the Labour party on gender equity policies, that’s extremely ridiculous.

                      Ahhh. You conclude that because gender equity policies are a significant priority for you. But it is actually not what I blame the Labour Party’s failings on.

                      Which is a complete disconnect to what the NZ electorate, men and women, are looking for from Labour right now.

                      BTW this proposal is electoral suicide for Labour in 2014. I said it earlier and just want to make sure people know that I stand by it.

                    • weka

                      “Which is a complete disconnect to what the NZ electorate, men and women, are looking for from Labour right now.”

                      [citation needed]

                      “BTW this proposal is electoral suicide for Labour in 2014.”

                      How? Specifically, how does the timing and implementation fit with the election?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      [citation needed]

                      Are you serious? A frakking citation is going to make the claim credible or not? Who from? Naomi Wolf?

                      How? Specifically, how does the timing and implementation fit with the election?

                      There must be only one focus for 2014. Establishing that Labour is fit to govern the nation on behalf of all its people.

                      But whatever, who gives a shit. I’m off this train for the evening.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I mean, can you tell me if there is a better time than 2014 for Labour to start pushing progress on this issue again?

                  • weka

                    No I can’t, because I’m not closely enough involved in what is going on. You’d have to ask the women that are directly fighting to maintain abortion rights about timing. As I said in the other comment, there is also the issue of whether it’s the fundamentalists that will push the issue into the forefront. The left really doesn’t want to be on the backfoot with this if that happens.

    • weka 19.2

      “NZers voted in John Key in 2008 with just 16% women at the top of the National list. Think about what the electorate views as important right now, and focus there.”

      Some NZers voted in John Key in 2008 with just 16% women at the top of the National list. Think about what the electorate views as important right now, and focus there.

      fify

      But not sure what your point is. Do you mean that Labour’s move towards gender equity won’t get them votes? Can you see that having more women MPs might be a good thing irrespective of election strategy?

      I’m not sure if more women MPs on the left will get the left more votes or not. We should be doing it because it’s the right and fair thing to do. I’d be happy if NACT did it too.

      • Colonial Viper 19.2.1

        Good luck with that. I mean it. Really hope it flies electorally.

        • weka 19.2.1.1

          It works for the GP (women feel valued and attracted to the party as a result of the gender policies). You might want to ask what it is about the Labour constituency that means it might not work for Labour, if that’s what you think.

          On the other hand, you could offer support to women working within Labour to make the policy work (or be adopted). I’d be interested to know how the rule change was developed. Does Labour have a women’s issues group?

          • The Fan Club 19.2.1.1.1

            Hahaha do you mean the notorious “women’s council”? Because yes Labour has one of those. It also has a whole bunch of other bits. This proposal came from the org review via a working group and NZ council.

            • weka 19.2.1.1.1.1

              So, would it be fair to say that the number of women in those parts of Labour had an influence?

              • The Fan Club

                You mean, would it be fair to say women’s (as a sector) and women [as a a group] are really heavily involved in this proposal? I would say “very fucking much”.

                • weka

                  So we could perhaps conclude from that that having women in the Labour party serves women well?

                  • The Fan Club

                    Yeah, it’s almost like reliying of blokes like cv isn’t a super reliable way of getting anywhere…

                    • weka

                      so it might be a good idea to putt structures in place so that women don’t have to rely on men who won’t advance their issues :-)

  20. RedLogix 20

    Seems to me that the blokes have had a very generous crack at the job for a few millenia now, and so far seem to have made an almighty bodge of it.

    How about total “man ban”? Could only be an improvement….

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      They should have kept the vote to white Christian men of good standing with at least a quids worth of property.

    • vto 20.2

      Sounds good to me redlogix, could do with some time off

      • weka 20.2.1

        “How about total “man ban”? Could only be an improvement….”

        Except that women don’t tend to naturally work as the top level in dominating societies. I’d prefer an egalitarian system that took into account the skills and values of all genders without locking individuals into gender specific roles.

      • Colonial Viper 20.2.2

        Sounds perfect. Missus and her family already make most of the dough.

        • vto 20.2.2.1

          i think the missing link in all of this weka viper is the missing link of the male. how do you overcome that?

          • weka 20.2.2.1.1

            What do you mean?

          • lprent 20.2.2.1.2

            …missing link of the male. how do you overcome that?

            Ah the straight line – how can one resist..

            What you have to do is to fix the weak arse Y chromosome so it doesn’t suffer quite as much genetic deformation… Females have a much more robust and stable genetic profile (just as they do in the human social world as well)..

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y_chromosome

            By one estimate, the human Y chromosome has lost 1,393 of its 1,438 original genes over the course of its existence, and linear extrapolation of this 1,393 gene loss over 300 million years gives a rate of genetic loss of 4.6 genes per million years.[14] Continued loss of genes at the 4.6 genes per million year rate would result in a Y chromosome with no functional genes — that is the Y chromosome would lose complete function — within the next 10 million years. Comparative genomic analysis, however, reveals that many mammalian species are experiencing a similar loss of function in their heterozygous sex chromosome. Degeneration may simply be the fate of all nonrecombining sex chromosomes due to three common evolutionary forces: high mutation rate, inefficient selection and genetic drift.[10] Furthermore, comparisons of the human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes (first published in 2005) show that the human Y chromosome has not lost any genes since the divergence of humans and chimpanzees between 6–7 million years ago,[15] and a scientific report in 2012 stated that only one gene had been lost since humans diverged from the rhesus macaque 25 million years ago.[16] These facts provide direct evidence that the linear extrapolation model is flawed and suggest that the current human Y chromosome is either no longer shrinking or is shrinking at a much slower rate than 4.6 genes per million years estimated by the linear extrapolation model.

            Ask a silly question – get a silly but informative answer :twisted:

    • Sable 20.3

      Yes, because Helen Clarke and Jenny Shipley did such a great job when they were in office. Sexist PC claptrap.

      • weka 20.3.1

        Helen Clark got the legislation passed that allowed midwives to attend births without a doctor present. That legislation transformed midwifery services in this country, including midwifery education, the professionalisation of midwives, and gave women a much better standard of care than they had before. Whatever else you say about Clark, she did do something outstanding for the women of NZ.

        (apparently Shipley was pro-women when she first came into parliament too, but go swallowed up by the old boys network).

  21. Tanz 21

    It’s a sexist idea. Gender should be irrelevant, and merit more important. Men generally make better bosses in my experience, they are more relaxed and fairer, on the whole. But merit should win out, and isn’t discrimination against the law?

  22. Sable 22

    I think anyone should have the right to run for political office irrespective of their gender, race or sexuality. The real problem is the “quality” of politicians in this country as this piece touches upon.

    I’m not anti Labour but I do believe Clarke did real damage to the party and its perception amongst voters, a price they are still paying today. Equally Keys is doing National no favours at all, but then they are the party of the rich so perhaps being an “ass” is part of the job description.

    In truth its not what’s between your legs but between your ears that matters.

    • weka 22.1

      So why do you think there aren’t more women in parliament?

    • Pete 22.2

      Clark kept the plates spinning in the air for three terms, but ultimately failed in succession planning. Which is understandable. It can be the case that once a successor is identified, the leader becomes a lame duck and can’t get anything done.

      Labour is still trying to find its way after Clark and I don’t think history will speak of Shearer in the same way it does of Kirk, Lange and Clark. In the absence of sound political leadership, there’s a lot of directionless factionalism and in-fighting, which doesn’t inspire much confidence.

  23. Saarbo 23

    This paragraph sums it up for me, spot on Eddie!!!

    “Don’t give me this ‘merit’ bullsh*t. You can start by putting to one side the idea that MPs are chosen purely on merit as it is – this is politics we’re talking about.”

    This is great, I support it 100%!!!

    Labour needs to become a party of PRINCIPLE, it then needs politicians that can sell their (Labours) message. I was watching Citizen A tonight and they mentioned that no matter what Key says he remains NZ’s most popular PM. Basically National’s 40% to 50% support dont care when Key Lies, which reflects on these people pretty badly…people watch Key and they think that because he can brush anything off by bull shitting then they can too, I sometimes wonder how damaging Key’s leadership will be to New Zealand longer term.

    I guess we (Kiwis) have always seen ourselves as an honest bunch, and in my business I rely on honesty and 95% of Kiwi’s are bloody honest, but you still get around 1 in 20 that will try and do a Key and bull shit. I suspect we will see this ratio increase as Key makes bull shitting in New Zealand part of everyday life, we’ll be no different to Aussies soon.

    Labour needs to do more of this!!!

  24. AmaKiwi 24

    The first rule of politics is, “Get elected.”
    The second rule of politics is, “Get elected.”
    The third rule . . . . .

    Does anyone here (besides CV) want to win the next election?

    • weka 24.1

      Taking this issue out of the next Labour conference will do nothing to help Labour win, because it’s not what Labour’s problem is.

    • Saarbo 24.2

      Why have labour made (and sticking with) Shearer as Leader then? If you created a list of factors that are most important in getting elected I’m sure your party Leader would sit at the top, way ahead of small constitutional matters such as this.

      Tau Henare and his National mates might be happier in the Muslim Brotherhood.

  25. AmaKiwi 25

    The topic was, “On having a more representative parliament.”

    Answer: Break the whipping system.

    Your MP does NOT represent YOU. She/he is the obedient slave of the leader.

    “Would you care to comment, Mr. Cunliffe?”

    DC: “No comment.”

    Obey the leader or be expelled. Them’s the rules.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      Just about time to end the political party system of MPs…

      • AmaKiwi 25.1.1

        Agreed.

        But how?

        • Pascal's bookie 25.1.1.1

          There is no answer to this question.

          Parties exist for a reason in democracies. They are not top down things created to control thought.

          They exist because there is no consensus. There really truly isn’t. People really truly disagree with each other, about all sorts of things and in all soprts of ways.

          So when you have a parliament, people will form coalitions with people who have similar views to them, in order to outvote those with less similar views. Over time, those coalitions will become more and more formalised. People will stand saying I’m like these people and I oppose those other people.

          If you do away with parties, ban them, or whatever, they will just evolve again under a different name. Political parties are an emergent characteristic, if you like, of the polis.

  26. John Drinnan 26

    Have i gor this right? Fourteen of Labour’s 34 Mps are women. But people think that men should be shut out of some electorates to it can get past 50 per cent.
    ]

    • Pascal's bookie 26.1

      Not really John.

      Firstly I very much doubt that this policy is a knee jerk response to the current make up of the caucus. This is a structural debate, not a suggested bandaid.

    • karol 26.2

      No. It would like the caucus to get up to 50% (not over) by 2017.

    • QoT 26.3

      No. We think men should be locked in tiny cages and fed scraps.

  27. AmaKiwi 27

    What difference does it make? The only opinion that counts is John Key’s.

  28. Green machine UpandComer 28

    Well that’s a shame. I really wanted to stand for the Labour party, but I’m not going to be given a fair go as they already have enough males.

    • weka 28.1

      Why don’t you go and read the actual proposed rule change. Then you will be able to make an informed comment and know what you are talking about. Surely an asset for someone wanting to be an MP.

      • AmaKiwi 28.1.1

        “I really wanted to stand for the Labour party”

        I hope you enjoy following orders and justifying to the voters why you voted for something you don’t believe in.

        We call that hypocrisy. In parliament it’s called being a team player.

  29. Frustrated 29

    I’m a woman and I think this policy is sexist, demeaning and ridiculous.

    It’s like admitting that the Labour Party can’t trust its own processes to pick talented women with leadership abilities, so they have to bring in a silly blunt rule. How can Labour’s female MPs be taken seriously if people think they only got the job through positive discrimination?
    Are we really willing to reject talented male candidates in ‘women only’ electorates? Won’t this simply encourage males not to bother voting in those electorates?
    The trick is to address the barriers that stop women from wanting to go into politics in the first place – the aggressive, combative culture of Parliament, the long hours and family-unfriendly nature of the job, the requirement to have a huge ego and crack schoolboy jokes….

    Get the basics right Labour – simply choose quality candidates who are intelligent, quick-witted, articulate, compassionate, have people skills, are consistent in their values, are focused on core issues like jobs, health, education, affordable housing, keeping national assets, and who have the charisma to inspire other NZers to follow them.
    I don’t care what sex, colour, sexuality or how many limbs they have!

    Yes, it would be nice to think that eventually we’ll get more MPs in Parliament who reflect the diversity of our society, but isn’t that gradually happening anyway? Under the last Labour govt we had the world’s first transsexual MP and she did a great job.

    I made the mistake of voting for a new mayor in my city based on the fact that she was female, as the other candidates were all older males who seemed quite conservative and dull. I assumed she might take a broader view of the city’s future direction. How wrong I was, she’s been one of the worst of the lot. It was wrong of me to stereotype another woman – some are good, some are bad, just like men, and lesbians, and ethnic minorities, and people who own Fords/Holdens.

    I appreciate that it’s hard for women to get their issues on the agenda without equal representation in Parliament, but I really don’t think this policy is the right way to go about it. Positive discrimination doesn’t work in the long run, it only angers and marginalises talented people.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 29.1

      “…Labour Party can’t trust its own processes to pick talented women with leadership abilities…”

      But a change to the process is the wrong way to go about it?

      I think you’ll find, in the real world, positive discrimination only angers racists and misogynist cry-babies.

      • Populuxe1 29.1.1

        “I think you’ll find, in the real world, positive discrimination only angers racists and misogynist cry-babies.”

        Are you still beating your wife?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 29.1.1.1

          The argument is that positive discrimination only angers talented people. Perhaps you can see a similar flaw in that sentiment.

          • Populuxe1 29.1.1.1.1

            Not really. You pass over a talented person for someone of lesser ability but who ticks all the diversity boxes and see what happens.

    • karol 29.2

      The system in political parties, especially the National Party is biased toward selection of male candidates.

      How can Labour’s female MPs be taken seriously if people think they only got the job through positive discrimination?

      By your reasoning, given the traditional masculine bias in parliament, how can any male MPs be taken seriously?

    • weka 29.3

      “Are we really willing to reject talented male candidates in ‘women only’ electorates?”

      Can you please give a citation that this is what Labour intends to do?

      “I made the mistake of voting for a new mayor in my city based on the fact that she was female, as the other candidates were all older males who seemed quite conservative and dull. I assumed she might take a broader view of the city’s future direction. How wrong I was, she’s been one of the worst of the lot.”

      Sure, but can you see that your mistake wasn’t in voting for a woman per se, it was because you thought that voting for a woman outside of other factors like competency was a good thing to do. No-one is suggesting that Labour favours candidates who are women but who are incompetent. It’s a complete misunderstanding of the issues to think that the proposed women candidates won’t be competent.

    • Rogue Trooper 29.4

      yes, made for interesting reading until the last sentence (thanks OAK)

    • QoT 29.5

      a silly blunt rule

      Right, so we’ve established early on that you haven’t bothered finding out what the actual proposal entails.

    • Mary 29.6

      “How wrong I was, she’s been one of the worst of the lot.”

      Do you live in Whanganui?

  30. AmaKiwi 30

    @ Frustrated

    “choose quality candidates who are intelligent, quick-witted, articulate, . . . . and have the charisma to inspire other NZers to follow them.”

    If Labour had a leader like that, they could win an election.

  31. Santi 31

    What is going on at Labour? This policy is ridiculous, absurd, even for those who do not support the party.
    Copying the Greens is no good, no good at all.

  32. chris73 32

    I think Labour needs to be strong and show it will not bow down to opinion polls, this is a brave move forward and will only benefit NZ in the long term.

    Any backtracking now and it will look like they’ve been scared off so they need to push on through with this

    Stand strong Labour and don’t give in to the rampant sexism that pervades NZ

    :)

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 32.1

      Two possibilities here.

      1. You know this is at a “proposal” stage rather than actual policy, but lying about it makes you feel clever or
      2. You’re ignorant and too stupid to fact check your assumptions.

      Which is it?

      • Winston Smith 32.1.1

        Neither, its more like having fun at Labours expense because when they’ve got National on the ropes they do something stupid to take the heat off National (again)

        Its almost like they don’t know what to do when they have the ascendency… :)

  33. Descendant Of Sssmith 33

    Affirmative action policies are sometimes necessary and it would be great to see the Labour Party more representative.

    It seems to me though that the list is the ideal way to fix the gender imbalance and to provide a way for introducing and mentoring new (more women) MP’s to parliament.

    We initially saw this with the introduction of both more female and non-European MP’s and while there was the occasional and spectacular failure in the main we saw more diversity and spread of representation.

    In general I still want my electorate MP to be a person understanding of and committed to local issues and prepared to work on constituent issues.

    List MP’s on the other hand can and should be used to address both gender and ethnic imbalances and to provide a training ground for up and coming MP’s and succession planning

    Pairing the new list MP up with their future constituency location MP to develop those community relationships and get the support of the local people at some point in the future would be part of the succession planning.

    This approach gives someone at least three years to learn the parliamentary ropes, learn select committee processes, etc.

    Too often the list is being used to protect existing power bases rather than as both a balancing and development tool.

    • Pascal's bookie 33.1

      See any problems with using the list as a way of ensuring diversity?

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 33.1.1

        Some experienced MP’s might have to fight a bit harder for their electoral seat?

      • karol 33.1.2

        A lot of females added to the bottom of the list to ensure overall gender balance, while males hog the top positions?

        Gender balance is an issue in politics, and candidate quotas is one way to try to tackle it. Another is mentoring potential candidates, providing them with skills and political knowledge to give them confidence and capabilities to stand as a candidate.

        The biggest and most fundamental problem that I see for women (and LGBTi) people in politics is in the stereotyping. It has a major impact on women MPs in senior and leadership roles. it impacts on the kinds of ways women are expected to behave to be politically successful: ie the need to balance “feminine” presentation with “masculine” traits deemed necessary for political success.

        This impacts on the kinds of portfolios women in the governing party are given.

        Quotas may go some way to countering this. But I think there needs to be more awareness by selectors of how gender traits are perceived (by themselves and the public, via the way the media portrays them).

        My biggest criticism right now of the Labour caucus, gender-wise, is that it has a very male-dominated leadership team. And it panders a lot to gender stereotyping (eg Shearer’s courting of John Tamihere a while back).

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 33.1.2.1

          There’s also the personal stress. Can you imagine the reaction if anyone went after Bronagh Key the way the National Party went after Peter Davis?

          MPs get a lot of personal abuse directed at them; the men’s families are off limits.

          • Populuxe1 33.1.2.1.1

            Unless you’re Hone Harawira – though I seem to remember a while back that Max Key copped some attention for tweeting homophobic comments or some such.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 33.1.2.2

          No not to the bottom of the list but to the top. I thought that was self explanatory.

    • Tangled up in blue 33.2

      I agree that positive discrimination is fine in some contexts. But 14 of Labour’s 34 MPs and 8 of their 22 electorate MPs are women. I’m not convinced that it’s necessary here.

  34. One Anonymous Knucklehead 34

    On first blush it looks like a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

    On closer inspection, it appears that the walnut is made of teak, or maybe oak :)

  35. AmaKiwi 35

    My MP could be a two-headed tri-sexual Martian for all the difference it makes.

    Your MP does NOT represent their constituent. They serve at the pleasure of the party leader. They are dogs on a leash unless they get to the head of the pack.

    How could any self-respecting person approve a bill on which 29 pages were blacked out? Do you imagine all National MPs are so thick that everyone of them supports the GCSB changes or charter schools? Of course not.

    Get the power to recall your MP and suddenly they will serve YOU.

    Liberate your MP. Make him/her accountable to the voters in YOUR electorate.

  36. AmaKiwi 36

    Wikipedia: “A recall election (also called a recall referendum or representative recall) is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended.

    “Recalls, which are initiated when sufficient voters sign a petition, have a history dating back to the ancient Athenian democracy[1] and are a feature of several contemporary constitutions.

    • Colonial Viper 36.1

      You answered your own question :)

      There should be an option to recall specific pieces of newly passed legislation as well.

      • McFlock 36.1.1

        Nah. Too californian. They ended up with too many projects and not enough taxes to pay for them.

        Someone suggested an 18-month expiry for some legislation (might even have been you), which needs to be re-passed to become permanent. I’m probably more into that than recalling legislation or MPs, although with firm electoral finance limits the recall option isn’t so bad.

        I reckon the more pressing alteration is around lowering the threshold for list seats, so you don’t get the 2008-11 situation where one party just missed out on the threshhold but another ended up with five mps by virtue of an electorate seat, even though it got many fewer party votes.

        Side note: “many fewer”? “a lot fewer”? “much fewer”? Hmmm.

  37. Adrian 37

    The first thing a potential candidate needs is legitimatcy, so offer an electorate a candidate that is deliberately chosen from only one sex and see how that goes.
    Should go well, ay.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 37.1

      Actually if they are a quality person it won’t matter.

      Positive discrimination means that you favour one group when you have more than one person suitable.

      So if you have three suitable people, two male and one female, you would choose the female.

      Quite a simple concept to grasp.

      Now if the issue is that there are stuff all suitable people regardless of gender or ethnicity then Labour is in extremely poor shape.

      • tracey 37.1.1

        AAA+++

        Succinct and simple and look how many posts we had to wade through to get to it. THIS is how Greens describe their policy. WHY is that so hard for Labour…

        The blind leading the blind over there. The Labour Party will be single-handedly responsible for National’s second and third (if they get it) terms and any damage done to our country (further asset sales and attached lolly scramble) will be on their collective heads. I wonder if that’s a message sinple enough for them to comprehend.

        I wanted Shearer to be leader. However I heard him speak after Norman on the radio about the GCSB… he is still awful…

      • Adrian 37.1.2

        In reality it does because the perception would be that the selected female was inferior to the quality of males in the selection process therefore the males had to be eliminated purely on the basis of gender, or a whole new undefencible political concept of Gendermandering.
        Whatever electorate, even a safe left one, that this stunt would be pulled in would be unwinnable.

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 37.1.2.1

          Bullshit.

          • Adrian 37.1.2.1.1

            Try it and you’d finish behind the McGillicuddy Serious Party! The candidate would spend the entire campaign defending the selection process and the fact that they were selected in a discriminatory fashion, meanwhile poverty, health disparities, and true gender equality issues etc wouldn’t get a look in.

            • Colonial Viper 37.1.2.1.1.1

              Labour is too blind to take off its beltway glasses and see the obvious. Make no mistake; the measure will pass and Labour will be pilloried all over again by the media going into election year.

    • AmaKiwi 37.2

      “The first thing a potential candidate needs is legitimatcy.”

      No. The National candidate in my (Labour) electorate needs GPS to find his way to the electorate.

      Under MMP, the party vote is all that matters.

      Key, Goff, and Cunliffe don’t live within a 4 hour walk of their respective electorates.

  38. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 38

    Your post has a picture of Aaron Gilmore, presumably to show that the person who was 56th on National’s list would have done a better job had he been selected solely on the basis of his gender. Fair enough.

    Anyone remember Alamein Kopu? Selected by the Alliance only because she is maori and a woman. How’d that turn out?

    • tracey 38.1

      How many more can you name, that fit your paradigm, and how many that don’t? Worth, Banks? Capill, ….

      • jaymam 38.1.1

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

        “Shortly before the 1996 election, Awatere Huata joined the ACT New Zealand party. This surprised many commentators, as ACT was not generally associated with the sort of cause that Awatere Huata had previously supported. She was ranked in fourth place on ACT’s party list…”

    • felix 38.2

      “Selected by the Alliance only because she is maori and a woman.”

      Yes, it’s inconceivable that a maori woman would be selected on any other basis.

      The problem beautifully illustrated, thank you gormless.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 38.2.1

        Felix, what other knowledge and experience did she bring? Her years of unemployment immediately before entering Parliament clearly prepares her well for the hard work and high moral standard she applied during her stellar parliamentary career. But give her a tick for representing an entire gender and one whole ethnicity.

        • felix 38.2.1.1

          I don’t know. What did Aaron Gilmore bring? What does David Bennett bring? What does Chris Tremain bring?

          I can’t think of a single useful quality or skill between the three of them. So I guess by your reasoning they were only selected on the basis of their ethnicity and gender.

          • Populuxe1 38.2.1.1.1

            Yes, actually – they were more than likely shoulder-tapped because they were white and male. It’s still a bunch of undemocratic shit.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 38.2.1.1.1.1

              Except Gilmore is maori.

              • Populuxe1

                Is he? It’s hard to tell under all the grease.

              • felix

                Really gormy? What’s his iwi?

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  I do not know. Why?

                  • felix

                    Because I don’t know and I thought you might, seeing as you’re the only person on the planet who had any idea about his no doubt proud maori heritage.

                    Not that it has any bearing on the comments above. I still have to assume, according to your own claims, that he was selected only on the basis of his ethnicity and gender.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      you’re the only person on the planet who had any idea about his no doubt proud maori heritage.

                      Do you doubt it?

                    • felix

                      I don’t follow. Do I doubt what?

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      That he’s maori.

                    • felix

                      I have no reason to doubt you.

                      But it makes no difference to him being selected only for his ethnicity and gender, does it?

  39. tracey 39

    Wow, look at the number of posts, for my sins I read them all…

    A party that is lagging in the polls is generating this much vitriol over a proposal

    I don’t know, I guess it just seems like some folks find this kind of suggestion threatening, but to what, they say “fair play”, but the evidence is the system has been contra fair-play for hundreds of years. It has improved in that time but why not keep improving it?

    Encourage more women to put themselves forward for candidacy and election. What a truly horrible concept and a true affront to notions of fair-play.

    I googled the policy and all I got was links tot he media discussion (I use that term sparingly) of it.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 39.1

      It’s a good discussion to have though.

      You’ve seen the easy reversion to a male dominated party in National after it too made some headway.

      You’ve seen the Maori Party with both male and female co-leaders and Greens the same.

      It shouldn’t be surprising that the left wing parties move to a much more equitable playing field.

      Letting the right paint this as a nonsense and set the portrayal of it as such is problematic to a small extent but those things should be expected and will blow over in a few days.

      It will get supported within Labour or it won’t but the discussion and the debate will be worth it because it can only advance equality and equity issues.

      Hopefully there will also be discussion on workers rights, welfare systems and so on as well.

      • Waffler 39.1.1

        Agreed. It’s a good discussion to have. It’s a shame that they couldn’t have framed the discussion better and been less reactive.

        Personally I think 50% should be the target – and judicious use of the list is a good way to get that.

  40. Delia 40

    Until I was about 25 everyone in parliament was a man usually white. Us girls growing up got the message you do not matter in the affairs of running the country. How can National justifiably criticise Labour for this, when they themselves have a target system to get women on boards. What is the difference? The more women in parliament the better. National it has nothing to do with you, how Labour selects its candidates anyway.

  41. tas 41

    Asians are even more underrepresented than women. Asians make up 10% of the population, but less than 5% of MPs. (They are also an important voting block.) Will Labour take action to ensure there are more asian MPs?

  42. Populuxe1 42

    Here’s a good left wing critique as to why this is a silly idea on Labour’s part
    http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/the-gender-trap.html

    • Pascal's bookie 42.1

      The author clearly wants deeper changes in Labour, and that’s great.

      But as a critique of this proposal it’s a mess.

      The author says that Labour should be doing other things, but that doesn’t mean that doing this is what’s stopping those other changes from happening.

      The things the author wants to see could happen alongside these changes, or without them. They are not connected in any way, so far as I can see.

      • Colonial Viper 42.1.1

        The piece is fairly simple. Labour is happy to pursue issues of gender balance as it doesn’t pose a challenge to the capitalist and neoliberal portions of its economic thinking.

        • Pascal's bookie 42.1.1.1

          Yes, and?

          the problem isn’t the gender issues, it’s the failure in other areas.

          Failing as well on gender issues sounds like a great plan.

          • Colonial Viper 42.1.1.1.1

            Shall I spell it out for you? These measures would get 3 more female MPs into today’s Labour Caucus.

            Celebrate this success in “gender issues”, by all means.

            • Pascal's bookie 42.1.1.1.1.1

              So?

              The author says that Labour should be doing other things, but that doesn’t mean that doing this is what’s stopping those other changes from happening.

              The things the author wants to see could happen alongside these changes, or without them. They are not connected in any way, so far as I can see.

              Adress this, or GTFO.

              How would not doing this help with the other changes?

              I see Jones and others whinging about this, but I don;t see a peep out of them in terms of actually making the other changes. So what gives?

              • Rosetinted

                I want it all, and I want it now! And why not? We have been waiting long enough to see good women, Maori and other ‘minorities’ to get into the padded chairs of decision making, structural change and power.

                A forward move by a political body to make way for more capable women to advance shouldn’t take up all available energy to make change and progress people’s, and the country’s circumstances. That is if the body concerned is not so diseased, frail and sick and wasting away that it cannot summon the vitality to make positive moves to save itself and the rest of us who care about the country’s direction.

                We will still get some good girls who have too much undeserved respect for male views and the status quo that such women have left leave, but then that’s just another diversion from clear thinking like alcohol, and we’ve plenty of lushes we accommodate in our leading figures. Maybe they all will learn to be more discriminating in their standards and vision eventually.

                • Rosetinted

                  I’ll just reply to myself, talking to oneself often produces…? The idea of Labour having a set 50% of women on their list is arbitrary and sounds sexist and patronising. Also pc and ideological.

                  Just because someone clicks their tongue disapprovingly and says they have thought of a way to make things fairer and better, doesn’t mean that they come up with a sensible and workable idea. Labour gone middle class away from beating poverty and bad working conditions, tends to attach itself to nice theories too often short on practical outcomes.

                  More women of merit should be encouraged, and it just can’t be left to electorates who might tend to find a male, middle aged lawyer, to be a more suitable candidate than an active Labour supporter from a factory with good political nous. (Few of those around because of a lack of factories now, and perhaps that is because of too many middle class lawyers, men and women, getting picked! A vicious circle.)

      • The Fan Club 42.1.2

        The people who are against this change are against deeper changes also. All one fight.

    • fender 42.2

      Looks to be an article about how it’s futile for Labour to do anything until it shakes off the neo-liberal fleas.

      • Colonial Viper 42.2.1

        Nope – its an article which expects Labour to keep doing everything but challenge the neoliberal economic paradigm of growth through free markets and free trade.

    • RedLogix 42.3

      I’m not too surprised at how this modest proposal (it’s not all that radical really) has brought out the reactionary underbelly of this country. It’s par for the course really.

      The underlying idea to promote gender equity is a good idea, but the execution from Labour has been appalling. Sheer lack of political skill at every level.

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  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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