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Op Ed: Press want to control political blogs?

Written By: - Date published: 3:02 pm, March 26th, 2014 - 41 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, democratic participation, news, newspapers - Tags:

Blogs are about to be offered the possibility of being covered by Press Council rules and regulations.  I think it is totally wrongheaded.  Either the Press Council does not understand blogs, or they want to try to control them – at least to some extent.

media and democracy

John Drinnan on the move:

Blogs like WhaleOil and Kiwiblog may soon be subject to the same rules as newspapers under expansion at The Press Council.

The move is planned for May 1, but already the Council has set back the start date to late May, while it talks through changes with potential new blogger members.

[…]The good news is consumers will have a venue to complain about bloggers who join the Press Council – without resorting the costly process of legal action.

More at the link.

As someone who has severe misgivings about the state of our current mainstream media, I have no desire to be subjected to, or subjugated by, a council dominated by the mainstream media (MSM).

The positives for blogs, as stated by Drinnan:

*blogs would achieve legitimacy they currently lack (with whom?).  Drinnan seems to suggest blogs will then need to be explicit about whether they are being fed information by politicians;

*it may make it easier for blogs to make money out of the efforts of the bloggers.

The question of “balance” is raised in Drinnan’s article.  The problem is, while “balance” is expected of news reports, it isn’t expected of op eds.  And most political blog posts are more like op eds. Furthermore, balance is a contestable notion.  Generally it means deciding on a “centre” and providing at least 2 viewpoints on either side of the centre.    The problems with this can be seen on issues like climate change, where equal weight is given to climate skeptics and well researched evidence on climate change.  “Balance” should not trump accuracy and reliability of reports.  And the “centre” is a social construct that shifts over time.

The messages in the MSM can be skewed in may ways, especially these days when infotainment is rampant.  The headlines can be skewed towards one viewpoint, with the opposing viewpoint buried at the bottom of the page. Too often left wing views are buried on the back pages.  And entertainment and celebrity news gets way more attention than it deserves.

For me, a blog like The Standard has an important role in critiquing the MSM, and in providing viewpoints that rarely get much of a hearing.

Why would any of us want to be subjected to/subjugated by a body that represents a very imperfect system, dominated by media corporations, and commercial values?

A further concern, is to do with this point mentioned in Drinnan’s article.

Where an author’s link to a subject is deemed to be justified, the relationship of author to subject should be declared, “The Press Council declarations state.

This could work to undermine pseudonyms: a very important thing to protect in these days of invasive state surveillance.

Blogs are already subjected to laws like those of defamation and copyright.  I don’t see what the Press Council can offer left wing blogs.

The only bloggers that Drinnan mentions are WhaleOil, Kiwiblog and Peter Aranyi.

Drinnan says:

Kiwiblog and Whale Oil have indicated interest but the Press Council wants a sizeable number so that its newspaper members are not subsidising costs.

Press Council executive director Mary Major said the shape of the expanded body should be defined by the end of May after discussion with bloggers.

The Press Council already allowed robust opinion under its freedom of speech, but blogs created special issues. she said,

“How do expect whale Oil to meet requirements for balance?” Major asked .

Discussion has been held several months and moves follow a review of the Press Council by its main funder, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association.

Who has been involved in these discussions apart from the afore mentioned bloggers? I’ve not heard anything about it on most left wing blogs.

An alternative possibility is suggested in Drinnan’s piece:

Even among bloggers like Peter Aranyi there are concerns,

Some bloggers seeking legitimisation as ‘news media’through membership of the Press Council – should more properly be applying for membership of the Public Relations Institute, said Aranyi who has written a lot about a culture of attacks in some blogs.

Peter Aranyi has a post about the issue today, on The Paepae.  He says that in the Public Relations Institute,

members are required to be honest, ‘accurate and truthful’ in their endeavors on behalf of their clients [… “and in communicating with the public”].

To me, The standard is a well managed blog (h/t Lynn).  I don’t see how the Press Council would help to improve it.  This blog also works well, enabling a lot of discussion. Something the MSM generally doesn’t do as well, in my view.  In such a blog, commenters are quick to point out inaccuracies in posts.

Accuracy and good quality  evidence are important to me, but I don’t see the Press Council being the right body to administer standards in this area.

41 comments on “Op Ed: Press want to control political blogs?”

  1. bad12 1

    Kaorl, although unintended as humor, i was highly amused when having a read of the Herald,(National Party disinformation service),piece on this subject earlier on today,

    Apparently the Press Council rules also require ‘Balance’ in what is printed, of course the irony of reading that in the Herald of all places was palpable,

    If the Press Council consider what Armstrong, Trevett, and O’Sullivan to name just three of the offenders who regularly produce copy for the Herald that might just have easily been carbon copies of Emails sent to them from the Beehive’s 9th floor,is ‘Balanced’ in any way then i would suggest that the Press Council is of as much use as a spoon when all you need is a knife, or breasts appearing on a bull…

  2. Puckish Rogue 2

    Fact of life is that someone always wants to control someone else…especially those uppity bloggers

    • McFlock 2.1

      not everyone is as loathsome as you are.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1

        and its generally the left that want the control

        • Tracey 2.1.1.1

          which doesnt quite explain the queue of right wing golfers waiting to get in the ear of the pm

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          No, really it isn’t – it’s the right-wingers. Just look at how they’ve undermined democracy in this country since gaining the government benches in 2008.

        • lprent 2.1.1.3

          and its generally the left that want the control

          Or that the only two bloggers who appear to be interested in joining the press council are right wing bloggers. Indeed from the bloggers side they’re the only ones I know pushing for it.

          Perhaps you’re just too stupid to notice that it is usually the right who seem to want to control everything in reality?

    • fender 2.2

      It was easy for the rotten wood eating bug to get you wailing the same out of tune lines/lies. How does it feel to be controlled by that disaster……?

      Here’s a link

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Considering the fact that the Press Council fails to hold the MSM to any sort of standard worth mentioning I can’t see it doing anything for blogs.

    • lprent 3.1

      Exactly. It is also as slow as a wet year. About the only good thing you can say about the press council or BSA is that they are in fact slightly faster than the courts.

      The fastest way to get content changed around here is to simply email me or Mike giving me a good argument about why it is incorrect – with some backing evidence. I’d do some checking and see if it is an issue with facts. With the various ones that have come through, I’ve found that the few degrees of separation in NZ allow me to find out what is what.

      Or give me a guest post like Josie Pagani did (still don’t know why she didn’t just put it up on Pundit), and other others have done over the years. Of course I’ve had to turn down a few of those over the years or provide limits where it involves actions already in front of the courts.

  4. lprent 4

    As far as I can see this particular instance is largely being driven by Slaters desperate need to find a fig leaf to prevent himself being sued and dragged into court. It interferes with getting his lazy arse into gear and figuring out how to make money out of blogging. God knows that he doesn’t have any other useful skills to make a living from.

    I’ve been watching this “progress” over several areas over the last few years towards a attempted governance of the blogs for a number of years now. Seems to have been driven only by the MSM, Farrar, and Cameron Slater as far as I can tell. In other words National’s media outlets.

    Never had anyone contacting me. Mike hasn’t told me about anyone contacting him. Haven’t heard of any of the other blogs on the left being contacted. It is a bit like who amongst the blogs gets sued or even threatened to be sued. So far the only ones I have seen have been “legal” threats made by morons who haven’t bothered to understand the actual law. Bit of a pain in the arse. I’ve been wanting to play with the leverage of discovery motions since I read up on them 6 years ago.

    The reality is that we regulate ourselves already well within the NZ legal bounds on a purely voluntary basis – because those rules are looser than any competent site owner would allow anyway. I can’t see the point of this bullshit either

    It is rather boring. I’ve seen this happen in different forms many times over the last 3 decades with everything from BBS’es, usenet, through to facebook and twitter. Basically it is only the incompetent providers of forums who need to do this. Anyone competent has both their systems, posts and their comments effectively managed so there are no particular advantages if you don’t want to try to make a living out of blogging.

    Similarly the media are going to have to learn to live with the diminishing costs of publishing that the net and better base education levels provide, and the lowered costs of advertising that searchable and directed adverts provide. Quite simply they aren’t protected by the capital requirements of providing a news service any more.

    My only interest in it has been the traditional sysop role of simply figuring out how to make it impossible to regulate what we’re doing with server and legal locations etc. Basically the site runs with cold and warm backups on on several jurisdictions. The worst that could currently be done inside NZ is to replace the .org.nz off the domain name.

    • Anne 4.1

      Never had anyone contacting me. Mike hasn’t told me about anyone contacting him. Haven’t heard of any of the other blogs on the left being contacted.

      My first reaction. I bet no left of centre blogsites have been contacted. It’s a put up job between Slime Oil plus Kiwi Penguin and the right wing MSM who also feel a bit threatened by the left blogsites? Who does the MSM always go to when looking for a ‘balanced’ opinion from the blogosphere? Slime Oil and Kiwi Penguin. That says it all!

    • karol 4.2

      So, basically, WO wants to be able to claim journalistic privilege to protect his sources.

      Having been publicly outed as a branch of the Nat Party, with the ear of John Key, he wants to be able to continue to use his “sources” to launch his smear campaigns against those he sees as his political opponents.

      Just like the MSM journos do – eg the white anting of David Cunliffe,among other things.

      And it’s all basically dishonest and manipulative.

    • john Drinnan 4.3

      Some journalists also have deep reservations about any attempt to merge journalism with blogs. Surprising that you have not been approached.

      • lprent 4.3.1

        I view actual journalism as being something completely different to blogging which is something I do for pleasure. The same way that I have been involved in various online forums since the early 80’s.

        Sure there will be people who make the transition from one to the other in both directions. But they are two quite different modes. I despise the type of talkback style “jonolism” that we see out of the TV3 news room which has nothing to do with any thought but is purely done for ratings.

        Personally I have no wish to be regarded as being a journalist because I want to write about my understanding of issues. I have no wish to be constrained by the responsibilities that come with being a journalist. I’m a computer programmer and really don’t have time to cross-check everything in the way that I would if I was writing code. Blogging for me is a hobby, not a profession.

        But I don’t need the limited legal protections given to journalists because I usually stay well within the legal bounds anyway. The times where I do not are quite deliberate and are pretty much designed to give the target an opportunity to give me access to discovery motions. Sadly no-one seems to want to give me access to them.

        Cameron Slater takes no responsibility and doesn’t constrain himself. But he would like to have the legal cover because he is a stupid dickhead who can’t restrain himself. I doubt that the press council can constrain him either – I’d suggest that they don’t bother trying.

  5. Tracey 5

    Peter Aranyi has a post about the issue today, on The Paepae.  He says that in the Public Relations Institute,

    members are required to be honest, ‘accurate and truthful’ in their endeavors on behalf of their clients [… “and in communicating with the public”].

    oh how I laughed and laughed and laughed.

    • Peter A 5.1

      @Tracey “oh how I laughed and laughed and laughed.”

      Haha, yeah, I know, right? :-) Possibly observed more in the breach by some practitioners!

      As I explained (in the post Karol kindly linked to above) the Public Relations Institute would perhaps be a more honest umbrella for some PR bloggers to picnic under, rather than the Press Council …
      But even there, members are required to be honest, ‘accurate and truthful’ in their endeavours on behalf of their clients.
      Sooo … some higher profile political bloggers — with a penchant for bending reality — may be seen as disqualified there too?

      • Peter

      PS If you found the PRINZ Code of Ethics funny, you’ll love the ‘Rules of conduct and client care for lawyers':
      12. A lawyer must, when acting in a professional capacity, conduct dealings with others, including self-represented persons, with integrity, respect, and courtesy.

      And of course they do …

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Ah yes, the code of conduct for lawyers and former lawyers. I know it well these days, as a former lawyer.

        It does seem to me that Slater is trying to use such registration to get him viewed as legitimately a journalist to assist his legal case.

        I am sure there are PR people with integrity, unfortunately they dont have the prominence of those with questionable integrity.

    • rhinocrates 5.2

      I bet that Hoots laughs and laughs and laughs too – though for different reasons.

      The sure sign of a liar? Trying to assure you that they’re telling the truth.

      • Tracey 5.2.1

        I don’t think you realise HootOn doesn’t lie, he makes jokes. See the difference?

  6. During WWII being caught with what the Germans called illegal and terrorist information leaflets was a sure death often not only for yourself but also of people around you. Those leaflets where a lifeline for many of the resistance and often the only “real” news people could get their hands on. Those people would turn in their graves if they saw the propaganda we are being fed by the 5 New corporations which have control over the “news”. They died so that people could get some real information and the resistance could fight the Germans.

    Now we might not be under military control of an invading force but any force which wants control over the free exchange of information should be considered suspect. Is whaleoil a nice guy? No he is a piece of shit masquerading as a fat hysterical Robin Hood. He has a vile mind and an even viler body but I think that he has the right to say what he does and what’s more if he wants to be used by even viler characters such as Crusher Collins and our bankster scumbag Prime Minister so be it.

    I prefer it above the NZH shite pieces we are fed everyday. At least you know where it comes from.

    By the way in the US they just shut down a youtube website about “the illuminati” with 5 million views because the information czar of Obama because he is trying to sell the idea that “conspiracy theories” are a contagious disease so shutting them up as a disease prevention measure is fully justified. Needless to say that the site is back open again because unlike docile NZ at least there people actually really do fight for the right to speak their mind!

    • Populuxe1 6.1

      Wow, a Godwin, fat shaming AND an unironic reference to the Illuminati. Bravo.
      Now all you need is a to link John Key to the Seven Rich Jewish Bankers an the Builderberg
      and you’ll have the Quinella.

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        someone once said that sometimes it is legitimate to compare stuff to the nazis.

  7. A VOTER 7

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Fool. Banned for two weeks. Don’t advocate violence on our site and don’t try to start stupid flamewars. Read the policy. ]

  8. vto 8

    Go jump in the lake you silly Press Council.

    Sheesh.

  9. greywarbler 9

    This sounds as if someone thinks its a done deal. Surely you have to opt in if it is. Why would the newspapers etc through their Council want to have a say over the blogs? There are rules that provide a ceiling in general aren’t there – laws of defamation. And there are internal rules and safeguards to prevent anyone having legal recourse.

    No way should we be subjected to the trials that we have to put up with here going to the Head Prefect and saying we said nasty things about them. Called them ascargots even. Or something they don’t understand. And seeing there is so much they don’t understand they are likely to resort to lots of moaning unless they get the bum’s rush from the Council, as you would think would happen.

    The whole thing is ludicrous. If we can find out something that the public ought to know, good on us. We aren’t doing it for money that is one aspect and I don’t think there is any advantage to any of us if we hear some whispers, leaks, gossip. But for me, it would be less than the media content, they are the ones likely to blacken someone’s character over a misdemeanour, we are more likely to ridicule them and then scrutinise them to see if they are doing any good. And how can we find balance and where is that rare gem. Each person has a point of view. Are there to be holding pens, one for the ayes and one for the noes, and they to have the gates opened to be released one at a time from each pen. Baaah.

  10. tc 10

    Adding what little credibility being a member of this countrys MSM brings whilst hiding behind the old ‘source’ routine allows you to really go for the BS.

    This will make WO and KB even more useful tools now, just a few months for the sheeple may be enough.

    CT at work, bet they wish Oz was as easy.

  11. captain hook 11

    so if wail boil becomes a bonofeedy journalist then he can hide behind some sort of privilege when it comes to sources.
    so no.
    Wail boils rag is not news. Its just regurgitated pap and dried faesces.

  12. rhinocrates 12

    My God, if this was satire, I’d say “lame.”

    “‘Legitimacy’? We don’t need your stinking ‘legitimacy’!” (Substitution for ‘badges’/’badgers’)

    Thankfully, due to the nature of the Internet, it’s going to come to nothing.

    The pretentiousness is hilarious. Laugh at them, ignore them, refuse to take the bait and thereby expose it as the self-interested sham that it is.

    This phoney “legitimacy” is bait on a hook, and it isn’t attractive – it stinks.

  13. rhinocrates 13

    This could be a motto for The Standard: “NOT a branch of The Herald”.

  14. Tanz 14

    Free, unregulated speech on blogs forever. The MSM are incredibly biased, and /leftist. Utopia, Utopia…

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    Blogs must be hurting the MSM who only want to peddle their version of the truth. MSM must be looking at the truckload of negative comments that a lot of their articles attract and the negative comments deal with facts as much as anything.

    Still what happens if this is renamed “The standard knitting circle & romance novel discussion group” and we carry on as before with the odd Mills & Boon sideline thrown in.

    I hope this doesn’t get me banned

  16. Molly 16

    On reading the post re blogs and MSM and the quality thereof – been wondering how well a blog that simply allowed comments on Herald articles that are closed (or were never open) would do.

    Usually the most appallingly written articles seem to have no comments function. And some of my moderated (and moderate) comments never make it to print, eg. my response to Rodney Hide’s
    – A secret memo on secret trusts 9/3/2014

    “Memo to: Rodney Hide

    From: People who want to be (mildly) informed by opinion pieces

    As usual you say nothing, do nothing, think nothing. Well, not nothing literally, but very little unbiased consideration goes into your articles now does it?

    John Key? Fundraising dinners? Anonymous donations? Big business? US bagman?
    And you ignore them?

    How do you sleep straight in bed at night?

    No. Forget I even asked. I don’t want to know.

    Did you not notice passing laws stopping this carry-on? Can you not remember they were in part a result of the shenanigans undertaken by John Key and Don Brash detailed wonderfully in The Hollow Men?

    Of course you do. But you continue this one-sided feigned outrage regardless.

    You look sleazy. You look tricky. You look like a hypocrite.

    You should ask for names at those dinners. Or do your usual and speculate. Because John Key will never ‘fess up. He’s comfortable. He’s comfortable with incompetence, dodginess, lack of accountability. And when we call him a ‘man of the people’ – those at the dinner know that the unsaid addendum… “… the people who can pay”.

    You might think I’m harsh. This is nothing. Your obvious bias hurts you most.”

    Not one of my best but the only one saved on notepad because the comments section was playing up. And most of the personal comments on there are copied from the original article.

    At present Herald comments seem to be very negative towards the government. I know I would enjoy having an outlet for the frustration I feel when reading yet another badly written and biased article in the Herald – and then discovering that there is no comment section to counteract the spin. Am wondering if there is a large percentage of the Herald reading public that feels the same. I’m sure that there would be copyright infringement issues etc though and is unlikely to happen – but it is a thought that allows me to compose responses in my head regardless.

    (And no – not suggesting any of the Standardistas create one – just musing after reading this post)

  17. Tracey 17

    So why would th ePress Council want them? Is it because more and more journalists are running blogs themselves and want extra security, and their desire for protection will allow Slugslick to get in too?

  18. lefty 18

    Generally blogs do not report news, although occasionally they do break a new story or add some extra information to an existing one.

    Because they are not primarily news breakers bloggers are free to put a range of opinions about the news into the public arena.

    Bloggers are free to parade their bias and do not have to worry about protecting advertising revenue so are free to offend readers if they choose to.

    This is their strength.

    There is no role for any official body when it comes to regulating opinion or blogs.

    Having said that I get very annoyed the attitude of many who frequent blogs display towards mainstream reporting.

    Yes, much of the media is owned by capitalists who wish to promote capitalist values and ideas and are influenced by the power of big advertisers, but there is a greater plurality in this country than many of the left give them credit for.

    I have been a spokesperson, or the media worker, for a number of quite radical organisations and have found that any competent organisation or politician can have their voice heard, although sometimes not as widely as they would like.

    Too often left critics fail to understand that journalists are simply reflecting the attitudes and values of the society they live in and what is perceived as bias is quite simply accurate reporting in that context.

    Conservative publications like the NZ Herald have always been just that, and readers generally understand this. Such publications and broadcasters, and it includes most of the mainstream media, will always lag behind progressive opinion on an issue until it is widely accepted, then it will become the new norm that news on that issue is assessed against.

    There are many fine hardworking journalists doing a good job of trying to report what is going on in the world around us in the most accurate way they can. In recent weeks we have seen reports that show prominent politicians from most of the political parties in a bad light. Those politicians all respond to these reports with their particular brand of spin. The public choose to believe some and not others. That is not the fault of the reporter and people like Bomber get right up my nose when they put these journalist down.

    The Press Council provides a very useful watchdog for these journalist and they tend to take it very seriously.

    • karol 18.1

      lefty: I have been a spokesperson, or the media worker, for a number of quite radical organisations and have found that any competent organisation or politician can have their voice heard, although sometimes not as widely as they would like.

      Too often left critics fail to understand that journalists are simply reflecting the attitudes and values of the society they live in and what is perceived as bias is quite simply accurate reporting in that context.
      […]
      There are many fine hardworking journalists doing a good job of trying to report what is going on in the world around us in the most accurate way they can.

      My main complaint, as in the post above, is with the overall MO of the corporate media. It is very much ratings and/or advertising and sales diven – leads to sensationalism, drama, conflict, celebrity culture and personal politcs over in depth analysis of politcal issues.

      Thconservative political bias also has a lot to do with editorial policies and approaches eg my comments on headlines vs content and the positioning of less conservative views in articles or within publications.

      The journalists with more conservative leanings are more likely to get hired and promoted. Neverheless, I agree that, within this system, many journalists do their best to report accurately, while some others are just spin merchants, usually for the right wing paries..

  19. captain hook 19

    well the the best thing that the press council could do in respect of wailboil is to get him with a can of slug spray.

  20. Ecosse_Maidy 20

    If Whale Oil and Kiwi Blog fell under the expansion of the press council and came under the same rules..Do you not think that it would benefit The Standard to be included?I read that you perceive The Standard to already be fair and balanced however would it not give The Standard extra kudos?This showing it has no self interest to protect?

    [lprent: why would we need “kudos”? From whom would we get this ” kudos”. Why should we respect it?

    The Press Council is more notable for it’s failures to regulate the press than its lack of success at providing balance – read their pissant decisions. You pay them for absolution and partial immunity from legal responsibility. Which of course is why Cameron Slater and his minon like the idea.

    Read the about. ]

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  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-11
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog | 22-11
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left | 22-11
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road | 21-11
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address | 21-11
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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