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On polls and things

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, February 25th, 2014 - 105 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, Media, national, polls - Tags:

Danyl McLaughlan poll of polls

I sense a certain lethargy creeping into the continuing debates on opinion poll results. The polls bounce all around the place.  One minute there is the euphoria of a likely change of Government this year to the forces of light and goodness and then there is the agony of the prospect of a Key led Government being able to rule in its own right.  The never ending stream of results do not stop the bloggers (me included) from commenting every time a new one appears.  We go through bouts of depression and exhilaration depending on the latest poll result.

The latest TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll has provided a feeling of depression to some on the left.  The result, Labour steady on 34% is actually OK.  If Labour gets to 37% and the Greens hold steady on their normal results then a change in Government is on the cards.  The surprising result, that Greens lost 5% to go down to 8% indicates to me strongly that the result is something of a rogue.  Two trips to Dotcom mansion by Russel Norman is not justification for such a precipitous drop.  The theory offered very quickly by David Farrar after the results were released, that Labour had lost support to National but gained it from the Greens, does not make sense.  There has been no event to justify such a change.  There is also the interesting feature that undecided voters have increased from 11% to 13%.  But polls go up and down.  The feeling that I get on the ground is that the mood for change is much higher than the latest polls present although this is going to be a tough election.

Danyl McLaughlan’s tracking poll offers an interesting perspective.  His latest results are above in graphical form.  It adjusts various poll results for anticipated bias based on poll results from the last election and then averages the results.  (lprent: It is also adjusted by the average poll deviation from actual results in the 2011 election. Polls over many elections consistently overstate National vote and understate NZ First for instance).

It suggests that National’s true level of support is currently at about 44%, Labour is at about 32%, the Greens are on 10% and NZ First is on 7.2%.    With these figures anything can happen.  The graph is very interesting and shows individual poll results plotted against the trend over time. It suggests there is a consistent over reporting of National’s support and a consistent under reporting of NZ First’s support although I suspect that the last result was because of lefties tactically voting to make sure that NZ First made it over the line.

It is clear however that the trend is in the wrong direction for the left.  Right wing bloggers obviously think that the ferocity of their attack on Cunliffe, Norman and Turei is the reason.  I think the trend has much more to do with the upbeat feeling that summer and the buoyant economic outlook has brought about.

The accuracy of land line based polling systems has attracted comment from a number of Standard readers in the past.  News that the number of Telecom landline holders has reduced by 11% over the past two years will only add to concerns that the various polling systems are not properly sampling the population. Usage was estimated at 85% in 2013.  If the Telecom figure is extrapolated then we are looking at a landline in households proportion of about 80% which would match the figure in Australia.

The depressingly negative reporting by the media is of continuing concern.  For instance Labour’s stable polling in the Colmar Brunton poll was reported by the Dominion as “Labour Limping” and Key was then allowed to frame the debate and tell Labour what it is doing wrong.  The article was then bolstered by a headline Labour targeting wrong issues – Key which reads like it came out of the Prime Minister’s office rather than the Dominion Post.

And the Herald continues its re elect John Key campaign.  A recent article had a heading proclaiming that Labour was putting Auckland on the road to chaos by supporting Len Brown’s wish list of transport projects.  The only problem is that Labour has not.  The heading was especially naughty because Brian Rudman, the writer of the article was more nuanced in his comments. For the record Labour supports the inner city loop but does not support all of the roading projects.

IMHO what the left should do is not panic but keep talking about the issues and avoid all the distractions that the right are going to throw in its way today.  And it needs a principled and competent approach to campaigning sufficient to persuade non voters to vote and swinging voters to vote left and to persuade activists to work harder on the ground to ground campaigns which will be the difference between winning and losing.

It is going to be an interesting year …

105 comments on “On polls and things”

  1. karol 1

    I find the obssessive following and reporting of the polls frustrating and annoying. I’m not much of a poll watcher, and prefer to look at other aspects of politics.

    However, as you show, micky, the way the MSM and right wing bloggers eagerly watch, report on ans spin the polls IS the main problem, and makes it difficult to ignore them totally. They use them to frame their poltical spin.

    This adds up to a huge distraction form the key issues. I also think it is part of the whole “horse race” focus that turns off my potential voters than it eages. It’s part of what makes many members of the public cynical about politics.

    NeverthelEss, I think what engages the a lot of the public more, is stories about the trials and tribulations of their daily lives, and stories about “everyday” people. This is where the left should focus more than obssessive poll watching, in my view.

    • Monty 1.1

      I remember one Helen E Clark was obsessed with polling. In particular I remember very well her shock at the massive increase in support for National (and corresponding slip in support for Labour) following on from the Don Brash Orewa speech. The polls allowed Labour to come back with a policy change (which also included the Labour over reaction to the Seabed and Foreshore.

      So polls are an important tool for the politician. Their ability to remain in power or get into power is based on polling and getting feedback on what works and what is a failure. I therefore do not think polling is a distraction but critical to success. Which leads me onto the next point.

      I do not think Labour are very good at reading and understanding the electorate. The left is ideologically entrenched with certain positions that really do not matter. The evidence of this is the current stuff poll about what is important. there are a number of selections such as economy health education asset sales and so on. Far and away the most import thing for the electorate is the Economy. Everything else pales into insignificance.

      On the economy National are essentially untouchable and in spite of what you read here the Nats are doing a great job in that space. So much so that David Parker has essentially been silenced. There is a reluctance by Labour MPs that the economy is performing well (es[ecially when you consider the basket case that the Nats inherited in 2008) But it is the other areas where the Left are focusing and not getting the traction. Polling shows traction is low.

      Sort of puts the left in a very difficult position going into the election. They know from polling what the issues are, but capturing the imagination of the electorate is another issue.

      • framu 1.1.1

        “So polls are an important tool for the politician. ”

        true enough – but thats a different matter entirely to the MSM spending their entire time telling voters whos winning the race.

        note how your whole other point is entirely fueled by the media and their reporting of polls?

        you prove the damage of this kind of media approach in your own comment.

        note – thats not about having a different opinion – but that the opinions formed arent based on policy analysis, historical context or even fact – its all based on spin, perception and populism

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          Exactly, framu. Partly, media organisations get their own polls done as a way of creating news – they then can claim an exclusive. Of course, they then need to make it sound dramatic each poll, so they beat up any changes, even if the changes are within the margin of error.

      • Concerned 1.1.2

        We will catch the imagination of the public by announcing new taxes and spending. That will be a vote winner.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          What, as opposed to the current government’s taxing and borrowing and spending?

          All governments levy taxes. All governments spend money. Some reduce the country’s debt. Some reduce the country’s GINI.

      • KJT 1.1.3

        “basket case that the Nats inherited in 2008”.

        Not according to Bill English.

        Fissure has been joined by another satirist.

        Or. Is Monty Fiziani astroturfing in disguise?

        [lprent: Nope. I know Monty of many bans past – all the way back to 2008 as I remember it. He knows the basic rules of the site, and I’m pretty sure he isn’t Fisiani. I haven’t needed to look at him this time around so far. ]

      • mickysavage 1.1.4

        I do not think Labour are very good at reading and understanding the electorate.

        Monty if Labour matched National or were perhaps to the right of it you would think that they were properly reflecting the electorate’s views.

        You are also so wrong about the reality of the economy. Labour paid off the debt and left the country’s books in a state where Key has been able to have a big spend using the country’s credit card for the past five years. And say it as much as you want the country’s economy was in robust good health in 2008. I despair at your inability to realise or acknowledge this and your insistence that you are right.

    • lprent 1.2

      I find the obssessive following and reporting of the polls frustrating and annoying. I’m not much of a poll watcher, and prefer to look at other aspects of politics.

      I mostly look at the Roy Morgan poll every other month to see if there are any sustained trends emerging. Just at present there is a post-xmas recovery for National. However it isn’t exactly a trend (especially just after xmas – you can see this happen in many years).

      The usual rapid shifts just after xmas are even more evident in RM’s GCR

      Basically we’re getting anticipation of the effects of the one off ChCh rebuild (finally) and continued high milk powder prices. But basically we’re far too dependent on this countries prosperity on a single product – milkpowder. I’m just waiting for the inevitable crash..

      The competition for international dairy sales is steadily mounting. For instance the US dairy industry has been having really fast export growth in the last 5 years. There is also a lot of milk powder capacity coming online. Plus the main new market in China is starting to slow a lot.

      Meanwhile outside of fixing ChCh and selling commodities, the industrial export sector is most notable for the lack of companies entering it since this government removed or reduced all effective help from R&D tax credits to offshore support from MFAT in 2009. Since they have done nothing to promote new export industries.

      That is why, despite National talking up the economy over the last couple of years, wages haven’t moved and the nett number of people out of work or underemployed has been still rising.

      • lurgee 1.2.1

        Unfortunately (? – given my wife works for Fonterra) I don’t think any crash is likely to come between now and the election. And while the boost from the Christchurch may be ‘one off’ it is never-the-less real enough for the people benefiting from it. The irony of a rightwing government being obliged to invest in a massive economic project has been remarked before – but that doesn’t really matter to the electorate. With asset sales ruled out, and a lot of shouting about increasing the minimum wage ‘responsibly,’ a lot of people will vote National on the assumption they’ve done well enough thus far.

        • lprent 1.2.1.1

          Curiously I just wrote a post about that. Not so much about the public perception. Just that in reality the economy is still quite stalled.

          However I suspect that the despite the amount of hyping, the sense that nothing much outside of ChCh is happening will show up.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    +1

    The mainstream media is not the only game in town.

    • JanM 2.1

      No, but sadly, it’s what ‘mainstream’ New Zealand mainly accesses

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        Mainstream New Zealand also walks down the street, visits its local market, etc etc. Cunliffe makes it very clear in today’s RNZ interview that the doubling of party membership is going to translate directly into street presence etc.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Does he mean automatically or is Labour actively increasing its use of non-MSM strategies?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1

            It sounded more like increasing use of.

          • karol 2.1.1.1.2

            Cunliffe said they are working hard on a strategy behind the scenes. It involves organising volunteers on a street by street basis to be out there engaging with Kiwis in their local areas. He said it’s the sort of thing not reflected in the polls because the public, obviously at this stage, can’t see what they are doing.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.2.1

              That’s good to hear, because I’m banging my head on the desk over the superannuation policy this morning.

            • Granted 2.1.1.1.2.2

              So how long before the behind the scenes work transfers to highly visible efforts that engages the public?

              I can’t imagine National would call an early election, however such a move although it would be highly politicised etc, could leave labour under prepared???

              • karol

                The on-the-street campaigning hasn’t started yet – it’s just in the organisational phase – as in the Cunliffe RNZ interview.

            • Skinny 2.1.1.1.2.3

              As a result of the last Leadership husting meetings held around the country there was a rejuvenation of membership sign ups. If the Labour Party could send out a blanket letter encouraging members to get in behind the party and join in campaigning.

              We need to commit all hands to the pump. Merely joining up and paying your subs won’t be enough to get a victory later this year.

              It is vital to wining this years election that we draw people in to become actively involved. The battle will be waged in the suburbs and their streets, house by house, leave no property unanswered. First we enroll people, and then continue to ensure they turn-out to vote.

              We need to start thinking cross party unity, by opening up a joint campaign with our collation partners the Greens and Mana (who are very dedicated on the ground campaigners).

              We on the Left must do everything in our powers to get as many of the 800,000 non voters from the last election to vote. They are the ones who will make a real difference. If we can collectively target this bloc and successfully get hundreds of thousands to vote all polls will be turned on their head including the main poll the 2014 general election.

              This is what needs to happen so let’s hear this from the NZLP.

  3. Puckish Rogue 3

    I agree, its alot to do with the weather and its a rogue poll so don’t panic and change anything. Just keep doing what you’re doing and give Cunliffe a bit more time and Labour will win the next election (the election in 2017 of course)

    • fender 3.1

      You’re really popular here PR, so don’t do a fisiani , that would be a real shame…

      • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1

        fisianis a good man

        [lprent: Also a exceedingly repetitive one who just made a very dumb and general set of assertions about others.

        I tend to get a hell of a lot harsher kicking off anyone doing mindless trolling coming up towards elections as a prophylactic measure. Otherwise the sites comments become far too boring for me to enjoy reading. I looked at the comment if banned him for and thought about seeing another six months of that kind of crap. ]

      • lurgee 3.1.2

        I thought that was a rather well turned joke. Are we all getting a bit grim and tight lipped on the left?

  4. shorts 4

    Polls are the sports results of current affairs for our media- ie something their talking heads understand, winners and losers… subtlety lost and bias confirmed

    I don’t think many people outside of those politically active give a shit – maybe closer to polling day but for now they’re just a distraction from the real news – what the celebs are up to and, well, sport

  5. xtasy 5

    Yes, it is wise to not pay too much attention to the polls, because they are the stuff the MSM love, and that are also used to drag people before the TV screens to pay attention. Polls are treated a bit like the “America’s Cup”, the “Melbourne Cup”, a leading international All Black game against the Aussies or Springboks, yes like racing and sports competitions, focusing on numbers and “results”, rather than efforts and details.

    The way polls are conducted have been and are questioned by many, as we know, and polls can also lead to self fulfilling tendencies and prophecies, as the MSM media reporters, moderators and “personalities” use them as “guidance” for their own “sensing” of situations and trends, only feeding back into people’s minds a sentiment, that will end up being poll driven, and is anything but policy focused. In the end we would have a repeat of the last election campaign, where the focus is lost, as too much concern is placed on polls at any given time.

    Trends are fluctuating and can change abruptly, be up and down for long or short periods, and this cannot serve as a good “guide” for running an election campaign. It can serve as an aspect to give serious consideration, but must always be seen alongside many other aspects to consider.

    Nevertheless, as Labour – and also some in the Greens – “stuffed up” a bit over recent weeks, or exposed themselves to media getting a chance to challenge and expose weaknesses or publicly unknown stuff, it is time to bloody LEARN out of all this, and I address this especially at caucus members in both parties, especially Labour though. Do you WANT to win and govern, or do you not??? Get off your backsides and start making that necessary difference. Get your staff to do research, use information smartly and well targeted, and bring new good policies that make a real difference to what we get from NatACT.

    I feel this morning David Cunliffe managed very well in an interview on Radio NZ National with Kathryn Ryan, and he is not taking the polls as something to drag him down, it seems. It is a challenge, which just as well comes this early in election year, to get the act together. Here is the audio of the RNZ interview with Cunliffe:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2586927/david-cunliffe-labour-party-leader

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    The question remains why do we poll?

    They don’t add anything to the democratic process.

    Simpletons are competitive and like to be seen on the ‘winning’ team. If people assessed the parties on their actual policies rather than the results of these corrupt polls, the election result would be a lot different.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.1

      +1 Enough is Enough

    • karol 6.2

      This obsessive polling is a neoliberal thing. It’s using practices taken from the business world to test on branding etc.

      It shouldn’t be the the corner pin of the operations of the left – conflicts with left wing concerns with people, communities and the lives lived therein.

    • lurgee 6.3

      Oh, come on, you can’t grumble about the purpose of polling just because they are going against us. If the poll had Labour on 40% and the Greens on 15%, people here-about would be demanding the poll be the lead story on the news for a week and for Key to call an immediate election.

  7. Ad 7

    Loved your last post to get more young people enrolled. Just sensible. Keep going Mickey.

  8. Notanymore 8

    I am confused. The polling for mid-last year shows an upwards trend for Labour and a downward trend on the blue line. Didn’t David Shearer stand to one side because of the bad poll results ?

    Now the trend lines are both moving in completely opposite directions, the red line has taken a distinct dive surely.
    If that is not the case then the blue line, and the associated dots, are all approaching the mid to high-forties again.

    While we keep hearing the only real poll is the one held on election day then what is the point of these numerous other efforts ? David Shearer, for one, must be wondering why he is sitting on the bench he is now. It seems he is not the only caucus member having thoughts.
    Do polls matter or not ?

    • fender 8.1

      I for one feel confident that the more exposure Cunliffe receives when the election campaign kicks off proper we will see support for Labour increase. He hasn’t had much exposure of late except for some silly MSM trivialities that have confirmed they will do Labour no favours. Much will have been learned from the last couple of weeks hopefully and Cunliffe should realise it’s better to stay on message rather than be dragged down to the playground level of debate Key specialises in.

      Polls seem to matter mostly to those who wish to use the results as a tool to validate their bias. The lack of discussion around the undecided is quite telling, so don’t get too depressed by assuming Key will automatically get another 3 years of destructive divisiveness to play out.

      If Shearer is wondering why he is no longer leader all he needs to do is look back on the tapes of his stumbling bumbling efforts.

      The leaders debates will give Cunliffe the opportunity to show how much more he is PM material than Key the one-hit wonder rockstar wannabe who keeps playing his scratched record ad nauseam is.

      • Anne 8.1.1

        Much will have been learned from the last couple of weeks hopefully and Cunliffe should realise it’s better to stay on message…

        And that is what he said this morning. Not afraid to admit he’s made mistakes.

        You know something? As we draw closer to the election and Joe and Mary Bloggs begin to recognise Cunliffe’s talent, what’s the bet there will be a subtle change in MSM reporting. And the reason would be because they’re hedging their bets. They like to be in the winners camp and if Labour’s fortunes improve enough, they will start a’courting them in case they win.

        That, I think, is what is worrying NAct and is why they are sinking to such dirty, low-down tactics (spying on opposition pollies looking for gen on them)) in their efforts to discredit their opponents.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1.1.1

          +1 Anne …and that recent raising of the minimum wage can be clearly seen as an acknowledgement by National that Labour’s message that ‘the economy is not sharing good fortune in good times with all of us’ is a strong one that they can’t counteract apart from a token raise-at-the-last-minute.

        • fender 8.1.1.2

          Yep. I have faith in my judge of character, and it leads me to believe that the more people are exposed to the talents of Cunliffe the more they will see he’s a refreshing change from what Key can offer.

          I fail to accept voters are happy to have a flippant lager-lout as their PM.

          • Pasupial 8.1.1.2.1

            The most interesting part of the OneNewsColmarBrunton (CB) poll for me was the Preferred PM question:

            “Now thinking about all current MPs of any party, which one would you personally prefer to be Prime Minister?” IF NONE: “Is there anyone who is not a current MP who you would prefer to be Prime Minister?”

            http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/images/140214_ONE_News_Colmar_Brunton_Poll_report_15-19_Feb_2014_prelim.pdf

            The question as asked seems to come across as; “name a politician, any politician”. Not surprisingly the current PM came out on top (43% – approximately 430 out of the 1007 people interviewed), but this was closely followed by “don’t know” (30% or 300 people). Especially if we include “other” (2%), “none” (3%), or “refused” (1%), in the “Don’t know” category (36% or 360).

            Cunliffe came in at 10% (100 people), but look how his rise from 0.4% (4 people) in last year’s April poll is mirrored by Shearer’s fall from 15% (150) to 0.5% (5 people). As always, in third place is Peters at 4% (40 people).

            But this is where it gets most interesting; of the following 18 Preferred PM nominees, only 3 hail form National; English on 0.4% (4 people), Joyce & Collins both on 0.2% (2 people). Colin Craig devotees mustered 0.3%, as did Pita Sharples (3 people).

            On the broader left there is; Norman 1% (10 people), & Turei 0.2% (2 people), plus Harawira 0.1% , & Anderton 0.1% (1 person). All of the remaining 9 are Labour MPs (although the 4 people giving Helen Clark 0.4% are probably trapped in the same time-warp as Anderton’s supporter; so call it 8 current Labour MPs).

            What this suggests to me is that the left’s strength lies in being represented by a team of committed MPs. Cunliffe shouldn’t adopt the presidential style framing by going mano a mano against Key. If it’s a question of inclusion vs exclusion, then the Left will win every time.

            • mickysavage 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Good call Parsupial. Why is it that the left do not care about who the leader is but care which party is in control?

      • thechangeling 8.1.2

        I agree that the leaders debates (if Key actually bothers to front) will give Labour a significant boost as Cunliffe will focus much more on the nuts and bolts of policy whilst Key will just launch superficially based character attacks based on perceived past policy ‘failures’ and ‘facts’.
        I expect Key to get particularly nasty and vicious especially if the polls have narrowed more than they are now which I expect they will.
        As another poster said, the best thing that Cunliffe can do is ‘stay on track’ and keep talking about policy and it’s related detail and don’t lower himself to Key’s level which is the best way for Labour to win through in the end.

    • karol 8.2

      Dear, stillconfused – read the post. It explains the correction applied to the raw poll results,

    • Stamper 8.3

      They matter if you’re ahead; they are “just another one means nothing much / too early” etc etc if you’re behind.

  9. tricledrown 9

    Many of us on the left said this was going to be a difficult year with the economy growing and National crowing.
    It has Now been proven unfortunately true.
    The Only way we can combat it is to get numbers on the ground and get nonvoters out young by twitter facebook etc
    Maori and pacific Islanders we need volunteers on the ground.
    No more infighting complaining.
    A lot you thought wr had this election in the bag.
    I said this election was going to be hard work.
    Get with your left party and help on the ground negative blogging and giving hooton and srylands BM whatfor ain’t going to win this election.
    The only brightspot would be the resurgence of ACT who would put an end to Keys Hollow promise that the National party wil not be selling anymore assets.
    They will blame ACT for breaking that Hollow promise.

    • Skinny 9.1

      Key has been let off the hook by MSM interviews. When the prick said there would be no more assets sales the media should have asked the broader question of contracting and consulting out what public/state sectors we have left. A third term National will go all out to carve up contracts to their mates. Which will mean further job cuts, mark my words.

      Just look at the prolific rise in costs associated to contractors and consultants under this regime.

  10. David 10

    I think the Morgan Poll of 20 Feb has the biggest answers here: by its tracking of confidence levels in government, the Nats have been on a roll for 6 months. http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5437-new-zealand-voting-intention-february-20-2014-201402200349 I was waiting for this to track more strongly into the other polls, and my guess is that’s what’s happening now. So we face a challenge: here arent things tearing away at the underbelly of this government, as one might expect after 6 years. Disaffection is real and is crystallizing, but so is a basic ease on the part of a big chunk of the electorate with overall direction and progress. The biggest mistake Labour could make now would be to tear itself to pieces over this: Labour will get an excellent chance to present itself as an alternative government later this year; it has a strong and articulate leader who will do well head to head with anyone, and is articulating polices that will make a real difference to those who the Nats have undermined and eroded. I think we will look very attractive to a lot of people later this year, but we need to stay positive now.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      The thing is, that Morgan question isn’t anything to do with the government, by they report the result as if it is.

      The question is something like “Do you think things in NZ are generally going in the right direction, or wrong direction?”.

      If the question was actually “Do you have confidence in the government”, which is what they are touting it as, they would get different answers.

      When I was recently polled by Roy Morgan I deliberately answered “wrong direction”, even though I don’t believe that, because I know they report it as a government confidence rating, when I don’t have confidence in this government. Things are going in the right direction despite the government.

    • lprent 10.2

      Agreed. What is rather irritating is that the confidence tends to be misplaced.

  11. McFlock 11

    The thing about the economic good news stories (well, the ones that aren’t found to be bunk three months down the line, line surpluses and christmas trading levels) is that I don’t believe they are relevant to most people.

    I suspect that what we all can do (not “labour should…” or “the Greens need to…”) is keep asking how relevant some of these figures are to each of us as individuals. The one constant of this government is massive numbers of people looking for work or more work. They’re not looking for the hell of it – they’re struggling. That’s the reality. Too many of them, I think, feel that their circumstances are the exception rather than the norm. The believe the good news stories in the face of their own contrary experience.

    We need to remind folk that their experience counts, too. Remind them that they count, too.

  12. Bob 12

    Who created this graph? How is it possible for there to be 5 results below National’s rolling median result and dozens above? Did you get this graph from the IPCC by chance?

    [lprent: The link is in the post. You just wasted my time in responding to a general question about a post on out site that you could have shifted your lazy arse and found out about if you’d read the post.

    Banned for 4 weeks. ]

    • Granted 12.1

      HaHa!!! I was about to ask the same question.

      Stats stats and Lies or something isn’t it???

      [lprent: Same 4 weeks to you. Besides, your stats in 12.2 is complete crap. I’d suggest you go and read some texts. You obviously belong to the Whaleoil school of logic where 1 + 1 = “11” ]

    • Granted 12.2

      Actually add the error margin to National and subtract from labour and it is 46% to 30.2%. Or the other way 41.8% vs 34%

      But graphs are graphs are graphs. To be fair I recall that NZF were hardly on the charts prior to last election and did pretty well – so the above graph certainly has some validity.

      I agree with last sentence completely – it will be an interesting year.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.3

      It’s explained in the post: poll bias is calculated by the difference between said polls and election results (the big dot on the vertical line).

      So the polls that said National would get 56% of the vote before the 2011 election, for example, in doing so, exhibit a bias of +9%.

      Lots of reasons why this is so the largest of which is the decreasing percentage who have land lines.

      I’m sure you’ll prefer to deny this method of assessing the polls. Why don’t you make some ad hominem remarks about the author instead?

      • Bob 12.3.1

        Okay, fair enough,

        ‘Why don’t you make some ad hominem remarks about the author instead?’ Okay, how do these two comments (admittedly by diffrent commentators) align:
        “Polls over many elections consistently overstate National vote and understate NZ First for instance” and yet “It suggests there is a consistent over reporting of National’s support and a consistent under reporting of NZ First’s support although I suspect that the last result was because of lefties tactically voting to make sure that NZ First made it over the line”, really? I take it Mickeysavage has never heard of Occam’s Razor!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.3.1.1

          I don’t need tactical voting to explain the phenomenon. I’m sure Micky is quite capable of speaking for himself though. Why don’t you ask him?

          • Bob 12.3.1.1.1

            Simply because you asked me to make ad hominem remarks about the author, so I obliged.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.3.1.1.1.1

              Pointing out a flaw in someone’s argument is not ad hominem, but this is getting silly.

              The good thing about a model like Danyl’s is that (if applied consistently) it makes testable predictions, and can be retrospectively tested against existing info.

        • mickysavage 12.3.1.2

          Because Bob it is possible that NZFirst’s result is always under reported but the result in the last election was so good because not only of the under reporting but also because lefties wanted to make sure that NZ First made it over the line.

          I am not sure that Occam’s razor has anything to do with it.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 12.3.1.2.1

            You don’t need tactical voting to explain it. It could be that the votes the polls said belonged to National went to NZ1st instead. Hence Occam’s razor.

  13. jepenseque 13

    Hi everyone.

    Possible labour policies/actions that might get this righty thinking about voting for you:

    Make work pay – where at all possible reduce effective marginal taxes on labour. I.e increase other taxes if need be, think of more clever ways to help families than wff. What about a land tax to fund a strong tax free threshold?

    Be the party of small businesses. There was an excellent article on TDB the other day about the nzicas proposals for small business tax

    Make the cgt a higher % and reduce corporate and personal tax rates.

    Change your language towards business and success.

    Don’t expend energy helping people on min wage earn a higher min wage but rather how can we encourage continual upskilling and labour market movement. People shouldn’t be cleaners for life.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Can you please provide an example of the language towards business and success that needs changing?

      I’m only asking because although I see a lot of right wingers talking shit about what left wingers believe, I never actually see any evidence to support the right wing smears.

      So, to demonstrate the views you allege are ubiquitous on the left, quote a prominent left-wing politician (you need to show they have support for their beliefs) displaying the sort of language towards business and success that you don’t like.

      On the other hand you could withdraw and apologise.

      I expect you to fail miserably to provide a shred of evidence for your false statement, and switch to a different feeble smear, or attack me.

      • jepenseque 13.1.1

        Hello Mr bloke, I don’t believe they are ubiquitous but they are there (just as on the right there is generic smears eg dole bludger etc). Will post some examples later. Cheers

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1

          So, you think some comments made by left wing people towards business and success need to change but you can’t say what any of them are from memory. Can you see how that might tend to undermine confidence in your sincerity and/or accuracy?

          My criticism of right wing policy is based on my observation that it tends to rely on prejudice.

          You’re making it worse.

          • jepenseque 13.1.1.1.1

            Hi again, sorry it was just that I was busy. In fact an example just popped up. http://thestandard.org.nz/guest-post-labour-candidate-deborah-russell/ “Bosses” “expendable labour” taking one minor anecdote and turning it into something much bigger.

            Cheers

            • felix 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Be specific please. What exactly does Deborah say that you find so offensive?

              You’ve put a couple of words in quotation marks, but devoid of any context there’s no way for readers to figure out why you find those particular words so awful.

              Of course that might not have been a particularly good example anyway. You could always just skip that one and move on to some of your other examples.

              • jepenseque

                Hi there, the article describes a world of fear “looking over our shoulders” companies viewing workers as “cheap expendable labour”. These are the mentions the world of business gets. It is divorced from reality for MOST people. It points to a negative and us and them mentality. It plays well to some audiences but gives many in small medium and large businesses the idea that those on the left neither understand or like them very much. So thier support goes elsewhere. This is unrelated to policy even. Its just a style of rhetoric that is a turn off. My 2c. Cheers

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  When you say “most people” you mean “me”. Just saying.

                  • felix

                    It is divorced from reality for barristers, senior partners of chartered accountancy firms, dentists, and corporate executives.

                    You know, most people.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1.2

              The word “bosses” does not appear once in Russell’s article.

              Jepenesque, you’re confused. Deborah Russell describes ways in which the National Party has undermined success by rendering people powerless and that means she hates success in your “mind”?

              I think in your “mind”, “change your language” means “shut up”.

              As in “Shut up about workers’ rights. Shut up about equality of opportunity.”

              Perhaps you’re being sincere (lol) however. Explain how to discuss workers rights and equality of opportunity in your brand new politically correct way.

              • jepenseque

                Hi again, it should have read “boss” and it appears twice even! Its used as a bit of an epithet sometime. Speaks to an us and them viewpoint. She is free to use it but its an old school language and imagery that doesn’t tie in with most peoples experience of people they work with. Is there any reason why worker rights couldn’t be talked about in a more positive manner?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  So you’re saying the Left should employ more politically correct language when talking about people who undermine success?

                  I thought you were against people who undermine success.

                  What synonym would you prefer for “capricious boss”? How about “trash”, or “bludger”?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  PS: your comment is rife with assertions about other people’s workplace experiences. Pardon me for thinking you might not have the first clue beyond your own, experience that is. But please, if you can cite some research to support your notions of workplace attitudes, cite it by all means.

                  I Googled “workplace attitude survey nz”. The top articles are all about National Party thugs workplace bullying.

                  So much for your lovely politically correct utopia.

                • felix

                  “it should have read “boss” and it appears twice even!”

                  And what? You don’t like the word “boss”? What other words would you like stricken from the language? Museli? Backgammon? Necklace?

                  Why don’t you say what you really mean instead of wasting time with these stupid fucking games?

                  • jepenseque

                    You are being mischevious. I never said I don’t like the word boss or want to ban it. I said if you want to each a wider audience for your policy it helps not to use class warfare language.

                    All the best

  14. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 14

    Hi Mickey Savage

    I like your advice re “ keep talking about the issues and avoid all the distractions that the right are going to throw in its way today.”

    Good and positive advice, not just for today, but for the whole year. We need to continually focus on the issues and the answers to those issues and not feed the distractions by buying into them; this way we continually bring the narrative around to what is really going to make this country a better place.

  15. Tracey 15

    michael bartlett of aucklands chamber of commerce stated this morning that employers wont struggle with the govts raising of the minimum wage which rather begs the question:

    why wait for the govt to make it law why not raise it yourselves.?

    second point is about the economist the other days who didnt regard our economy as a rockstar, it has elicited this response
    “I am inclined to agree with the majority of economists that the outlook for this country looks considerably brighter than a few detractors would have us believe.

    Donald Blair is the Managing Partner of Paradigm Strategy Partners, a New Zealand-based corporate advisory firm. An American-born economist, he has over 28 years of experience in global markets across the public sector and in a diverse portfolio of private-sector firm”

    Did mr blair and the majority of economists predict the gfc? the crash of 1987? cos if they did must have whispered it.

  16. Tracey 16

    on my tablet no reply button shows” Two generations ago New Zealand had hardly any paid public relations people. There was of course a PR person working for the alcohol industry (and probably had been since about the time of Christ), and there were PR people for perhaps the Manufacturing Federation and one or two others. But in total it was a small handful.

    By one generation ago various private PR companies had appeared and PR staff were starting to be hired by politicians and all sorts of organisations. But today it has changed out of all recognition. The public space in which politics can occur is crowded with huge numbers of well paid PR and “communications” staff. The news media can sometimes do independent and even spectacular work, but most of the time, on nearly every issue, the PR people are better resourced and more numerous. Most news, and often the angle, timing and quotes, do not come from journalists’ observations or journalists’ questions, but from the calculated efforts of PR and marketing people, media advisors, professional speech writers, ad agencies and so on, with journalists racing to rewrite the materials pouring in hour after hour in time for deadline.

    I wrote a paper on this called “Imagining a world where the PR people had won”. In it I drew a comparison with water in New Zealand, which for generations we assumed would always be abundant and clean. When there are only one or a few dairy farms in a valley, the river systems can probably handle it. But we have seen that as one after another industrial farm arrives, the river beds quite suddenly turn slimy, the water becomes undrinkable and so much water is taken that some rivers run dry in summer. It is a good analogy for what’s happening in the democratic sphere.

    We live in an era where the public spaces are cluttered with paid spokespeople and commercial agendas: where lobbyists for foreign-owned banks are more likely to be heard commenting on economic news than community groups, where legions of other PR people vie to promote their clients’ interests and where the public spaces available for real democratic activity are shrinking. This is about the cumulative impact of an ever-growing, professionalised industry for political and media manipulation: more and more paid manufacturing of news, more and more paid voices in so-called public discussion, greater influence of corporate election donations, fake community groups, more scripting of politicians by unseen advisers and so on; all of it tending to crowd out ordinary people or citizen groups that don’t have a PR company and a large advertising budget. If we have more and more and more of this stuff pouring into the public spaces, at what point do we realise that the river is no longer fit to swim in or to drink?

    These profound changes to the way politics occurs have unfortunately coincided with the multiple crises occurring within the news media. Exactly when better journalism is needed to compensate for so much organised manipulation of news and politics, highly commercialised media organisations have (with notable exceptions) become more superficial, more susceptible to vested interests and less thoughtful about what counts as legitimate news and commentary. In recent years, for instance, two major news organisations have published regular political and election columns by David Farrar, without telling their readers that he earns his living as the chief pollster for the governing party, the National Party, including being the person who regularly briefs the prime minister on the poll results. He has also appeared regularly as a “political commentator” on Newstalk ZB and breakfast television. A good measure of media organisations is to look at the balance in their choice of political commentators. Most are not balanced.

    In my book The Hollow Men, when the ACT Party campaign manager Brian Nicolle was privately coordinating a leadership coup for Don Brash within the National Party, he identified private radio as especially sympathetic to the right. “We need to target key talkback hosts in [Newstalk] ZB and [Radio] Pacific,” he wrote to Brash, “there are plenty sympathetic.” The plan was to “produce some common lines that become the ‘mantra’ on your journey to become leader of National and the country” (p. 47).

    The more that these commercial media organisations cut resources to journalism the more they become susceptible to organised manipulation. An under-resourced, reactive news media naturally tends to give prominence to the ideas pushed by well resourced and vigorous interest groups. The result is that the conventional picture of politics we get through the news media is often distorted and inaccurate.” Nh Bruce jesson lecture

  17. captain hook 17

    the polls are conducted by organisations with a vested interest in the status quo and they have been proved wrong on numerous occasions.
    what David Cunliffe has to do is to start talking about jobs and the economy.
    at the moment he is caught in the glare of the beltway and the dweebs and banal poltroons who want to tie him up in knots talking about abstract bullshit that only they understand.
    If he wants to be a man of the people then he must start talking to the people.

  18. Mark 18

    The polls are a joke as they are currently run. . When you run a land line poll in a country that has not got 100% land line coverage the poll becomes a nonsense. Throw in an undecided group which numbers anything from 11% to as high as 18% and the polls are a snapshot of 70% of the population at best. They should be reported as such. When they are not you have to question the ethics and professional standards of both the editors and the journalists involved.

    • Bob 18.1

      I agree, it is wrong to publish these polls without disclosing the undecided’s. Disclosing these would give a far more accurate picture as to how the poll’s actually sit and make them more worthwhile.

  19. Tracey 19

    dc should congratulate key for seeing those at the bottom need help. sadly giving only 50 cents an hour more doesnt suggest mr key thinks its a rockstar, more like a one hit wonder. half of kiwis get less than 21 dollars an hour. mr key is insulting the foundation of nz.

    • Naki Man 19.1

      “half of kiwis get less than 21 dollars an hour.”
      You are talking about people who work now so don’t just make shit up. The average hourly rate for people who work is $27.55 not less than $21

      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/09/beware_the_average_income_stat.html

      • mickysavage 19.1.1

        Hey naki. You should read up on the difference between an average and a median. Go on, knock yourself out …

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.2

        Yes, Nakiman, but since underemployment is at an all-time high, fewer than ever earning $27.50 ph make $55k pa.

        Beware Farrar’s analysis too. The real figure is somewhere in between.

      • Skinny 19.1.3

        And while you were on here Naki Man your farm hand will be hard out hosing cow shit into the local waterway. I bet once you break down the hands earnings he would be like many others, lucky to get $10 per hour!

        • Naki Man 19.1.3.1

          The days of cow shed shit going in the waterway are long gone. You really know f#@k all about farming.

          • Skinny 19.1.3.1.1

            Ok a little harsh about the shed to the waterway, however I see cows grazing and crapping in and on the banks of waterways (unfenced) most weeks. Is there an 0800 COWDUMPINRIVER number Fonterra have?

            • Naki Man 19.1.3.1.1.1

              I don’t know if there is a number for that, I think all farmers waterways should be fenced. Ring Fonterra and tell them. I am not a Farmer.

      • framu 19.1.4

        “average” and “half” arent the same things wonder boy

        look up the word “median”

        from the same fricken KB post – “The average or mean is different from the median,”

        next

      • freedom 19.1.5

        The number that many politicians and most big businesses really fear being understood by the public is the mode average of the hourly rate of income in New Zealand.

        It will be a lot lower then $27.55 /hr

        The mean is the usual average:
        (13 + 18 + 13 + 14 + 13 + 16 + 14 + 21 + 13) ÷ 9 = 15
        (this means someone earning 5 million a year is put into the range on an equal footing with someone on 12k a year, which is patently ridiculous)

        The median is the middle value:
        13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14, 16, 18, 21
        There are nine numbers in the list, so the middle one will be the (9 + 1) ÷ 2 = 10 ÷ 2 = 5th number: So the median is 14.
        (slightly better for finding reality in wage figures, as it at least allows the number of people under the median to be identified, and it will be a much bigger number than those above the median)

        The mode is the number that is repeated more often than any other,
        13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14, 16, 18, 21
        so 13 is the mode.

        imho. All three should be reported when there is discussion on an average wage.

        The mode is far and away the only fair and honest number to use when representing what is inferred by reporting an “average” hourly rate for a nation, ie the rate paid to the most people.

        • Tracey 19.1.5.1

          exactly, which is why I believe when it comes to wages the opposition needs to be talking about median so they can start phrases with half of kiwis…

      • Tracey 19.1.6

        LOL @ dont make shit up while linking to kiwiblog…

  20. Editor .Would you please note my change of email address.
    from [deleted] to [deleted]

    [lprent: No problem. ]

  21. Danske 21

    Polls are important as measure of (any) trend. NZ Labour should strengthten its position and put some distance from the Greens.

    We should act as its big uncle, not his equal cousin. It cannot react to some of Norman/Turei’s harebrained ideas.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Yeah, it’s happened already. I already pointed that out to you. Zombie arguments are such a tiresome waste of bandwidth.

  22. Tracey 22

    “we”??????

    some of us are voting green. you rdepth of analysis is mind boggling.

  23. Tanz 23

    why does the MSM think Key is so golden and perfect? They don’t ciritique him on anything.
    This is not good in an open democracy, forest for the trees. I don’t get why Key is so popular, I find him very transparent…

    do Labour need more foot soldiers.

  24. freedom 24

    BTW, The Standard is included in the new Horizon Poll questions, but oddly enough the sewer, recent winner of NZ’s Best blog award, is notably absent. Bit of ninth floor pressure there maybe?
    http://imgur.com/TYbdXsP

  25. swordfish 25

    For what it’s worth, here are the Party-Vote averages for polls taken during February in previous Election Years (with Election Result comparisons):

    2011

    Nat (Feb average) 53% / Election 47% (minus 6 points)
    Lab (Feb average) 33% / Election 27% (minus 6 points)
    Green (Feb average) 8% / Election 11% (plus 3 points)
    NZF (Feb average) 3% / Election 7% (plus 4 points)

    2008

    Nat (Feb average) 53% / Election 45% (minus 8 points)
    Lab (Feb average) 34% / Election 34% (Equal)
    Green (Feb average) 6% / Election 7% (plus 1 point)
    NZF (Feb average) 3% / Election 4% (plus 1 point)

    2005

    Nat (Feb average) 37% / Election 39% (plus 2 points)
    Lab (Feb average) 45% / Election 41% (minus 4 points)
    Green (Feb average) 5% / Election 5% (Equal)
    NZF (Feb average) 5% / Election 6% (plus 1 point)

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    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    12 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    12 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    12 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    13 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    19 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    22 hours ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    1 day ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    1 day ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    1 day ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    1 day ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #21
    SkS Highlights... El Niño to La Niña... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of… ...
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    3 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    8 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    10 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    10 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    10 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    11 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    4 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    4 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    4 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    5 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    6 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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