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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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    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • 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
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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