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On party membership

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, June 2nd, 2013 - 67 comments
Categories: accountability, Judith Collins, Media, Politics - Tags:

It isn’t very often that I regret not having a TV aerial. But on the odd occasion the local TV raises its head above the parapet of simple-minded mediocrity. If I want to watch it, then I wait until it shows up online – like yesterday’s The Nation.

While I was looking at Lusk’s revelation on National’s tea-party faction, I found that I’d missed this interesting piece about how party membership is validated last year. Frontpage had put it up on their site in light of Peter Dunne losing his party (lets hope he doesn’t lose track of the taxes eh!). Actual interesting investigative journalism! Such a strange thing to see on NZ TV.

What interested me in this was the lack of accountability for the money that public lavishes on political parties once they become a registered political party. It is extraordinary to me that the definition of who is a paid-up member is so lax. Not only isn’t the veracity checked, but the definition of who is a member is completely up to the party to decide. In Labour’s case this would be affiliate members. From what I have heard, National signs up anyone whose name is on a raffle ticket – even if they didn’t pay for it themselves*.

Really the electoral commission should require accountability to at the very least the level that is taken on referendums. The parties should provide current lists of voters in confidence to the electoral commission. They should sample the list against the electoral roll to at least find out if the people are voters.

But they should go further. A representative sample should be taken to find out if the paid up members are contactable given the information provided by the party and if they can confirm paying for the membership. For instance it wouldn’t be hard to pay the $2 raffle ticket required to become a National party member

But perhaps I shouldn’t worry that much. When you look through the list of registered party logo’s at the elections site (two dead on arrivals are in the front-page image), you realise that that there must be some restraints on the system. I just don’t know what they are…

BTW: the Nation’s piece on Lusk et al was pretty tame. I’m sure that the fallout from the attempt to use tea-party political tactics will continue to reverberate.

* In my repitition statements above I am merely following the example of one of our leading politicians here. Judith Collins MP, our current Minister of Justice apparently thinks that it is ok to agree with and participate in unfounded gossip. Always interesting to see a lawyer and politician being less concerned about evidence than being a stupid gossip. Mind you I’ve heard that Collins wasn’t exactly the brightest spark as a lawyer. It is this type of thing that makes our justice system the mess that we have today – just look at the colossal waste of the Operation 8 raids coming from the delusions of a few paranoid cops in Otahuhu.

67 comments on “On party membership”

  1. North 1

    It is said that to flatulate malodorously but silently in unison with the National Party cold-caller at one’s door is to become a member of the National Party. It is a secret code for the wanting of a political embrace. Whereupon one is unquestionably engaged in the fight for Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite. And the cementing as an institution of the mindlessly limiting concept of TINOW. Anything else is Devil-Beast.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    From what I have heard, National signs up anyone whose name is on a raffle ticket – even if they didn’t pay for it themselves.

    This highlights one thing very clearly whether it’s true or not. We need to have an official two step process for joining a political party. The first step would be the signing of a statutory form declaring that you’ve joined the party and the second would be the record of donations to the party. The first step is essential as a donation to a party doesn’t indicate the will to join that party. The second step shows that you’re a financial member.

    As I don’t believe that any donations to political parties should be anonymous I also don’t see any reason why party membership lists shouldn’t also be public.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I also don’t see any reason why party membership lists shouldn’t also be public.

      You have to be frakking kidding mate.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        If the donation is public then why should the membership not be?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          You need less time in a protected bubble and more time in the trenches mate.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            That is not a reason.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              No kidding. But you’re not living in the real world if you don’t realise the potential consequences that this information might have on people and their families.

              • TheContrarian

                Particularly when you have people like Draco who boldly asserts everyone who voted National are either stupid or psychopathic.

                That he can’t see the reason why people might not want to divulge party membership he need look no further than himself.

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        I’m with CV. Imagine what would happen to all the public servants who were members of Labour or the Greens if their membership became public?

        Sure donations over a certain level should be public. But should everyone be forced to publicly declare their allegiance?

        I know a few Labour people who are really afraid of the repercussions for careers etc if their membership was made public.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          I think DTB is being dangerously naive in how NZ actually works. Ideological witch hunts and purges don’t tend to be as blatant as Stalinist USSR, but black lists are easy to draw up and you can imagine how a Labour Party member could suddenly stop getting promotions as a journalist or Treasury official.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            Working on that principle then all donations should be anonymous.

            Probably a compromise solution. Neither the membership nor donations are public but are declared to the Electoral Commission. The lists are under tight wraps – nobody gets to see them without a warrant. Even verification could be done via computer with only ones that don’t verify having human interaction.

            • weka 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Hmmm, NZ govt computing systems….

              • Colonial Viper

                combined with our lovely GCSB enabling legislation. Political purges just waiting to happen.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  combined with our lovely GCSB enabling legislation.

                  Which need to be repealed.

                  You do understand that this entire thread is about electoral fraud don’t you and the fact that we don’t have the systems in place to do anything about it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “electoral fraud”

                    uh…who is making accusations that electoral law has been broken, and by whom?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In the first video the Alliance is specifically mentioned as probably not having the needed 500 members after it’s collapse in 2002 – there was no way to know. A party can make a statutory declaration that they have 500+ members and the Electoral Commission has no way to actually check on that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh I’m all for ways for the electoral commission to check that. To me its probably been left deliberately vague to reduce the chance of blacklist compilation.

                      Its your suggestion to make party members lists public which I find very poorly considered.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Its your suggestion to make party members lists public which I find very poorly considered.

                      I moved on from that position last night.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Identical to all other computer systems in the world. The fuckups aren’t due to government but due to the processes that force the government to acquire the software from the private sector.

                • Colonial Viper

                  As long as I am commander of this Battlestar, there will be no networked computers. We paid for that lesson with our dearest blood.

                  The fuckups aren’t due to government but due to the processes that force the government to acquire the software from the private sector.

                  Sure, because we haven’t had any problems with public sector developed software and/or public servants, police officers and civilian staff etc misusing their access to databases.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Can’t think of any public sector developed software but my point was that if the government had an in house IT department that developed all the software that it needed (it has the scale to make this economic) then it’s institutional knowledge would increase and stuff up like the Novoapy fiasco would happen less often.

                    Sure, because we haven’t had any problems with public sector developed software and/or public servants, police officers and civilian staff etc misusing their access to databases.

                    It happens. The only thing that we can do is put in place procedures and security that try to prevent it from doing so.

                    Tell me, why are you so afraid of our administration (the government departments) having the necessary tools to do that administration?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because dear sir, we’ve seen those “tools” misused and abused time and time again. Apparently to you, “it happens”.

                      But you don’t seem to think that giving the Tories (or anyone else) the ability to build political and partisan blacklists rings warning bells. Which I find bizarre given that in the USA the IRS has been found to have been targetting groups and individuals for purely political reasons. “It happens” though, right? I mean, Farrar and Slater would have no use for a public register of Labour Party members, right?

                      Seriously mate, on this matter you are 100% wrong.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Because dear sir, we’ve seen those “tools” misused and abused time and time again.

                      Yes, we have but not really all that often and we can put in place procedures to prevent such happening and serious consequences if they do.

          • mac1 2.1.2.1.2

            Draco T Bastard,
            A former MP I know from the seventies told me he was blacklisted after he lost in an election. There was no work for him locally. He survived by becoming a small farmer. He is one of the most decent men I know and was treated very shamefully by his community. On the night he lost that election, his barn was burnt.

            Maybe now you may know why putting your head above the parapet is a risky business.

            Former National MPs get on the crony list. Former Labour MPs got the blacklisting or terror treatment.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Thank you. DTB really has no idea of what goes on.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The real question is why isn’t this stuff going to the police and, if it is, why aren’t they doing anything about it?

                • Anne

                  1) In-house cover-ups.

                  2) In the past anyway (I’m talking 20 years ago) the police ran a mile from unlawful activity if it involved politics or politicians. They conducted the most cursory of investigations if they conducted any at all.

                  3) Targets were/are often too frightened and intimidated to take action.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So, what do we do about these things? What needs to change so that in house cover-ups don’t happen, that the police actually investigate and that people can be assured of the needed support to take action?

                    Lets solve the problem and not complain that it’s too hard.

                • mac1

                  I don’t think that is the real question, Draco T Bastard. Not for me. The real question is whether party membership lists should be publicly available with the associated risk of persecution etc. Such has happened and will happen again. From both sides.

                  So far as I know my example would have finished with the police. The Fire Brigade would have seen to that, I am sure, but finding and proving who lit a fire in a barn on election night in a semi-rural location? A proverbial needle in a hay stack.

                  And proving that a blacklist exists? Reality check that one with people who apply for jobs or rental housing, or go for loans etc.

        • Anne 2.1.2.2

          As a former government employee who was targeted by some because of my political affiliation to the Labour Party, let me assure you DTB… mickysavage is not exaggerating. Indeed the repercussions on my personal reputation – as well as my career – were to continue for more a number of years and ended up being taken well beyond the work-place. To say it got nasty is almost an understatement.

    • Anne 2.2

      <blockquote.From what I have heard, National signs up anyone whose name is on a raffle ticket – even if they didn’t pay for it themselves.

      That is probably no exaggeration. Back in the 1970s when I first joined the Labour Party the revenue gathering process was largely dependent upon small donations gathered at public functions and door knocking campaigns. It was well known that any donation of 50c or so to the Nat. Party automatically gave them membership. There were stories about people who discovered years after having tossed a 50 cent coin National’s way (more often than not to get rid of them), they had been members of the Party all that time and they never knew it.

    • Steve Withers 2.3

      Small donations can be anonymous in so far as buying a brownie at a National party bake sale needn’t require onerous bureaucracy or authenticating one’s indentity. You don’t even have to vote for the National Party.

      You just fancied a brownie.

      • Anne 2.3.1

        The ‘small’ donations I am referring to was money directly solicited and names and addresses were requested for the purpose of supplying a receipt. The donors did not ask to be members of the National Party nor were they advised they would be become members simply by giving a small donation.

        That is – and always has been – a major difference between the two main parties. In order to become a member of the Labour Party you have to first volunteer the information that you wish to become a member, and then fill in a membership form and pay your annual subscription. A rather more open and honest process don’t you think?

        If you buy a brownie because you fancied a brownie you are not ‘giving’ a donation so you don’t require a receipt.

    • TheContrarian 2.4

      “As I don’t believe that any donations to political parties should be anonymous I also don’t see any reason why party membership lists shouldn’t also be public”

      Because people like you judge others on their political beliefs.

      • Suitably Clueless 2.4.1

        I think that all donations should be handled and distributed by the electoral commission. If you believe strongly enough in one party, you will still make the donation. I just think that worldwide, politicians just cannot be trusted. So, in this respect, party membership should be free and voluntary. That is my 2 shekels on the subject.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.4.2

        I may call them idiots but I won’t actually harm them. What MS, Anne, mac1 and CV are talking about is actual harm.

  3. just saying 3

    Having recently requested notification of the times and places of local branch meetings, which I was told occur monthly, and received nothing, I’ve come the the conclusion that party membership is simply a revenue gathering exercise and participation of riff-raff like me is not desired.

    In the week or so since my request, I have however had two requests for more money.

    I’d tell them to shove their poxy party, but there is an off-chance that I may, some day, be able to use my membership to vote for a different management team, an opportunity I would take pleasure in using.

    • What electorate are you in JS?

      • just saying 3.1.1

        After what happened to CV, I’m a bit cagey about too many details.
        Since when were electorate meetings by invitation only? I did tell them that all the local members should be notified about the meetings. Too radical?

    • Jenny Kirk 3.2

      Get hold of whoever is the chair, or secretary (phone/email the Labour Party HO office for this if necessary) and ask when the next Labour Electorate Committee (LEC) is being held. Some are held monthly, some two-monthly. Any financial member of the Labour Party is entitled to go along to an LEC meeting, and (with approval from the chairperson) is able to speak/ask questions.

      Unfortunately, there has been a trend lately where LECs only need hold four business meetings a year – this has happened in Whangarei – so we never know when the LEC is meeting officially, and the other meetings are for planning strategy, discussions and are often held on Sundays or other days when its difficult to get to them. Every so often we get informed when a real LEC meeting is being held.
      We should have one in June, but I’m not holding my breath !

      • just saying 3.2.1

        They did tell me when they are held (monthly). It’s where and at what time that seems to be the secret part. They said they would let me and the other local members know. Still waiting….

        Let’s face it – the new democratic membership input into policy – not happening.

        • Jenny Kirk 3.2.1.1

          To Just Saying : get onto them again. Get a definite time/date/place out of them about the next LEC meeting.

          Either they’re slack, or they’re very busy, or they are the sort of people who like to keep things to themselves in a tight little circle.

          If you still can’t find out – get onto Labour HO. ph 04 384 7649 email nzlpho@labour.org.nz and ask who is the regional representative for your area – get their contact details – and ask this person
          to find out for you.

          • just saying 3.2.1.1.1

            Thanks Jenny,
            Yes I’m sure I could hunt them down, and prise myself into the ‘official’ meetings, but I don’t want to. You shouldn’t need to have the hide of a rhinocerous to participate in a truly democratic process.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.2

        These changes have been made to further weaken the strength and cohesion of LECs/branches.

        It makes it easier for Wellington to hand pick officer positions on an LEC, influence how votes are cast at Conference, parachute in Wellington-sympathetic candidates etc.

  4. Tigger 4

    Collins should watch out for gossip and such affairs…oh did I say affair? Wonder what I meant…

  5. Really the electoral commission should require accountability to at the very least the level that is taken on referendums. The parties should provide current lists of voters in confidence to the electoral commission. They should sample the list against the electoral roll to at least find out if the people are voters.

    Why? You don’t have to be an enrolled voter to be a “current financial member” for the purposes of registering a political party. Here’s the definition from the Electoral Act 1993, s.3:

    in relation to a political party, means a member of the party—
    (a) whose membership of the party resulted from an application made by the member to join the party; and
    (b) who is, under the party’s rules, subject to an obligation to pay to the party a membership fee—
    (i) on becoming a member; and
    (ii) then at specified intervals of not more than 3 years; and
    (c) who has paid to the party every membership fee that has for the time being become payable by the member in accordance with those rules.

    • Yep and what about 15, 16 and 17 year olds?

    • lprent 5.2

      Good point. Kids and non-residents.

      But are the rules are broad enough that you can “vote the graveyard”?

      Looking at this section, then probably yes. If I bought a raffle ticket for $2 (the membership fee) from National (wrote down my name and address for a basket or goodies to “apply”). I become a paid up member.

      If they did what Mana do and have the max 3 year interval… Then hey, I could die the day afterward and still be on the membership books for National in 3 years time.

      In fact with these rules having a rule that says “pay when you can” could keep me on the books forever because even from the grave I’d just be incurring the obligation.

      Of course it’d be possible for someone else to pay $2 every 3 years. You could imagine that someone like Alan Gibbs could carry the Act party for decades with a dead membership for decades.

      Incidentally what would stop a shelf company from becoming a member?

      • In fact with these rules having a rule that says “pay when you can” could keep me on the books forever because even from the grave I’d just be incurring the obligation.

        No … paragraph (c) … “who has paid to the party every membership fee that has for the time being become payable by the member in accordance with those rules.”

        • lprent 5.2.1.1

          That was what I was pointing out. Write the rules so that there is no requirement to pay in a timely manner. After all a rule that requires payment within 20 years is still a rule..

          • Andrew Geddis 5.2.1.1.1

            Don’t think that would work.

            When para. (b) says that a member must be subject to “an obligation to pay to the party a membership fee … at specified intervals of not more than 3 years”, I would interpret this to mean the requirement is to actually pay the money over to the party at least once every three years. Then para. (c) says you ain’t a current financial member unless you actually have done so.

            I’m pretty confident a court would read this the same way (i.e. the purpose of the definition is to make sure that once every electoral cycle, members must take the positive step of renewing their membership (complete with putting some financial skin in the game)).

  6. Furrball 6

    In regards to the New Zealand Labour Party, how much of this sounds familiar?:

    “Graf wrote his report in time for the 2011 Labour party conference. However, while some senior officials have seen it, the report has not been widely circulated. It contained four key conclusions. First, there was a need to deal with what Graf describes as the party’s “bureaucratic rather than a relational culture”. A new member coming into their first meeting should expect more than bureaucracy and hierarchy. They should be welcomed into a group that offered trusted, working relationships and interesting political discussions.

    Second, the party had to stop treating members as drones rather than leaders. Many of the party members Graf visited in the regions seemed to think that if there were genuine leaders in the party, they were all in London. Most orders came from the capital. It was in London that the leaflets were designed, the timetables set and the marching orders given.

    Thirdly, the party was too closed: Labour gatherings were often suspicious of outsiders, particularly people who were Labour sympathisers but not prepared to be members. It seemed hard for newcomers to break in.

    Finally, the party offered little inspiration to its members. Graf blew open a complacent consensus that branch meetings had to be boring. He could see that they could offer more, and dared them to be so: “We grow up and get meaning from relationships … politics should provide that.”

    Perhaps the most radical of Graf’s proposals was his call for open primaries, meaning that Labour’s candidate would be selected by the area’s population as a whole, rather than just its members. Although Graf was only suggesting a trial in volunteer constituencies, he met active resistance: “Not everyone was willing to open up the party … I spoke to one person who said, ‘But if we allow in a lot of people and give them the vote, who knows what they’ll do?’ I thought, ‘Well, if you want to stitch up everything, maybe that’s why you’re losing so badly …’”

    A second proposal was for community membership, which would allow voluntary associations to join as collectives. They would get one vote per institution, and they’d have responsibility for bringing their members into the party. People who were members of the institution but not individual party members would then have a way of engaging with the party.

    Another idea was establishing a supporters’ network, which would provide individuals with a way of engaging with the party if they didn’t want to become full-blown members. Supporters might be asked to pay a small amount of money, and that would entitle them to vote in Labour selections; or they could be asked to pay nothing but have some say over the party’s manifesto.

    According to Graf, Miliband was engaged with all of these suggestions, but massive obstacles remain. The theme of “vested interests” is a favourite of Miliband’s, but he tends to be better at challenging them in policy than within his party. Many people with power – from those in head office to the chairs and secretaries of local branches – want things to stay the same. Some Labour members think it is all very well having local, issue-based campaigns and discussions to get to know each other and build relationships, but this takes time away from an old model that still has merit: knocking on doors and getting out the vote, delivering leaflets and checking which way residents are voting. However, Graf believes it is not the case that these models clash: “The party that just says ‘vote for me’ isn’t worth very much.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/21/arnie-graf-labour-party-miliband

    For more, Google ‘Arnie Graf’. In the future, successful political organisations will have to put some thought into this, as younger generations are less likely to be inspired to action by collective organising by committee:

    “The young are less likely than their elders to consider themselves part of any particular religion, less likely to join a political party or a trade union and, according to the long-running British Social Attitudes survey (BSA), less likely to have a “high or very high opinion” of the armed forces. As far as they are concerned, people have a right to express themselves by what they consume and how they choose to live.”

    http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21578666-britains-youth-are-not-just-more-liberal-their-elders-they-are-also-more-liberal-any

    Collectivism in the statist sense is dying and it won’t come around again unless in times of genuine national or international emergency. Parties of the left in the Anglosphere have been struggling with this since the 80s. And if you think that British youth are substantially different to Kiwi youth, then to be honest, you’re part of the problem.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Thank you for this. Te Mana organisers. Please pay attention.

      • Furrball 6.1.1

        Scoffing, contempt and mockery aside, within the wreckage of the Lusk papers there are some small germs of truth in that New Zealand politics sometimes does appear to be amateur. And this, I believe, is a cultural issue.

        Money aside, it’s my contention that one of the reason why the National Party is relatively successful is that it can leverage the practices of business and marketing with less internal cultural conflict, than parties of the left. Despite my sympathies with the aims of the left, tired old Trotskyite posing is just a doomed circle-jerk of ever-decreasing proportions. These days, the lens of oppressor vs. oppressed just isn’t going to be enough to build and sustain mass membership, and more importantly, enthusiasm.

        Here’s some quotes from Tony Alexander’s reports from the BNZ on how NZ is viewed from offshore. It’s about the culture of business in NZ, but you can map the organisational elements onto political parties:

        • Too focussed on rules and regulations rather than relationships
        • Low in business acumen
        • Unemotive and lacking hunger

        http://tonyalexander.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Our-Deficiencies-Summarised.pdf

        Some of the best thinking on membership and participation comes from the third sector — the voluntary and community sector — where the aims of social justice are met with professionalism in areas such as marketing, communications and fundraising.

        When was the last time someone, anyone, said to you that they were proud to be a member of the Labour Party, to associate themselves with the brand, in a way that people would be proud to associate themselves with a charity, a sports organisation, an environmental cause, a community group etc.?

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          The rise of the professionalisation of politics came with the 1980s+ “neoliberal” revolution, and works against left wing values. The NZ left/;labour movement doesn’t need more professionalisation, it needs less. It DOES need to be well-organised, but not along market principles.

          Professional politics is a a top down game organised on managerial terms. The whole notion of political parties as “brand” is taking from the business world’s marketing approach. It puts superficial gloss, over heart felt values, and things that have real meaning to the people on low incomes, most in need of a political voice. This professionalisation has led to increasing political disengagement by those with least power and the lowest incomes.

          The left needs more grass roots organisation and the politics of conviction.

          • Furrball 6.1.1.1.1

            Professional politics can and is practised in different ways and the way the third sector generally works can provide models for community engagement that the left can learn from. It’s not axiomatic that it works against left-wing values.

            After all, all a brand really is, is a reputation. And what marketing does in a political context, is to communicate that reputation and those values in a succint manner and engage with stakeholders, whether they’re supporters and/or voters. I completely agree with you about grass-roots organisation, but in an increasingly atomised world, the importance of relationship-building is crucial to building and maintaining participation.

            My general point is that Labour parties in the UK and NZ (I don’t know enough about Australia) seem to be suffering from top-down, command and control and bureaucratic processes which, in this day and age, will tend to work against turn out. Conviction is not enough in itself, communicating that conviction and more importantly, enabling people to feel that they’re part of something larger with a sense of purpose and involvement, is at the core of community organising.

            • karol 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Furrball@ 1.55pm My general point is that Labour parties in the UK and NZ (I don’t know enough about Australia) seem to be suffering from top-down, command and control and bureaucratic processes which, in this day and age, will tend to work against turn out

              It is always important to communicate one’s message clearly to the target audience, I agree. I’m not a member of the Labour Party (or any party). I think political disengagement these days is far wider than issues of party membership.

              I think we are both looking towards the same aim, but coming at it from different directions. NGOs make a valuable contribution to the community, and there are things that can be learned from them. however, they are not the same as political parties, organisations and networks.

              in spite of your desire for the left to be more politically engaged with the flax roots, your posts still takes a very top-down approach. And you use a lot of management/business speak that has permeated the political and NGO sphere since the 1980s.

              Left wing/labour movement politics gain their strength from “the people”. Business-speak and methods are not the way to re-engage them, IMO. The managers need to let go of some control and allow space for the voices “from below” – sometimes chaotic, diverse, sometimes contradictory, but motivated and spoken with conviction.

              it’s the people, it’s the people, it’s the people.

              • Furrball

                I don’t want to get into a narrow and prescriptive policing of language, because that smacks of a copout – denying ideas because of how they’re phrased. You use the tools, words, that come to you and reflect your experiences and background and I’m happy to accept people’s arguments at face value, instead of insisting that their arguments come from a specific sphere of society.

                Political parties aren’t that different to the voluntary sector. Although community organisations tend to be specialists, they face the same issues: fundraising, recruitment, communication, media liaison and so on. Most importantly, they rely on enthusiasm and motivation which is where we agree, especially when it comes to disengagement from the political process. These same issues arise in many areas of business, which is why many of these concepts are adaptable for political movements, provided they’re implemented in an appropriate way.

                I think Robert Putnam’s ‘Bowling Alone’ is a seminal work when it comes to an understanding of how the anglosphere relates to group organising these days. It’s not enough to merely say ‘it’s the people’ when people think and behave in very different ways than they did 60 years.

                Anyway, good to chat with you. It’s felt interesting and constructive. Cheers.

    • Furrball 6.2

      Final post in this thread and I’m sorry for the UK articles, but given the decline in turnout in the last NZ general election, these trends have a habit of washing up in NZ sooner or later:

      “According to the Hansard Society’s 2010 audit of political engagement, 54% of people said they were certain to vote in a general election; now that stands at 41%. The recent election for police commissioners saw a dismal 15% turnout. Politics professor Matthew Flinders of Sheffield University says this “democratic drift” is because “the old rules do not appear to suit the new game, and yet the … old rules still apply”. So what exactly is this new game? According to the Hansard Society, civic engagement – “direct democracy” – is healthy. The public are far from apathetic. Last week, for instance, it was announced that trade union membership had increased for the first time in years, up by 59,000 to 6.5m. Far from its 13m peak, but lessons are being learned. “We have to let go,” says TUC national organiser Carl Roper. “We have to work with members, not tell them what to do.”

      Arguably what has given an extra charge is the fight to assert values that counter, for instance, the behaviour revealed in phone hacking, tax avoidance and the avarice of the 1%. On 22 June, for example, the People’s Assembly takes place in London, supported by unions, charities, individuals and new alliances on the left urging an alternative economic strategy. Preparatory meetings have attracted hundreds. Enterprises such as Citizens UK and Tessy Britton’s Social Spaces work to revive community action while 38 Degrees, with its online e-petitions on issues such the bedroom tax, has attracted 1.5 million members.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/02/parliamentary-politics-disengagement

      If there’s any buzz about NZ Labour, I might not be looking in the right places, but I’m not seeing it.

  7. stpat 7

    Has anyone else noticed that in the John Key interview segment of the Nation piece, at one point Key seems to be intending to justify an answer by saying he hasn’t read the papers, but I am sure he says “..I haven’t SPREAD them…..” (about 5:25). Now this could be Key’s usual dreadful diction or a Freudian slip of a phrase practiced too much

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    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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