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Open mike 02/06/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 2nd, 2010 - 38 comments
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38 comments on “Open mike 02/06/2010”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I am a bit late to the debate on the Key share ownership issue due to being red-carded for awhile.
    However, I have been studying the issue and find it hard to see where any conflict of interest issue arises.

    I can see how it is possible to have a vague idea of the movement in the shares from Keys original investments can be traced depending on how much faith one puts in the company office records given this disclaimer they put with share transactions:

    Every company must maintain its’ own share register recording details of shares issued and shareholders. The Companies Register is not the share register for the company. If you have any queries concerning the company’s share details recorded below, you need to contact the company.

    .

    and in how regularly the company record is updated.’.

    But surely this will be the case regardless of what structure the shares were transferred to. There will still be a record on the records of the original companies showing where the shares had moved from and who to. So, I don’t really see an issue here regardless of the blind trust structure.

    But the share transactions from the original companies to Whitechapel don’t show up on the Whitechapel side, if you check on the company office records. This is obviously because changes in share allocations within the original companies reflect changes in ownership of those companies, which the companies office is interested in. However, shares transferred to Whitechapel are effectively assets of that company, rather than part of the ownership structure of Whitechapel. Hence, the companies office is no more interested in shares that Whitechapel owns than it is interested in how much stock my company has on the shelf.

    Therefore it is impossible to tell from Whitechapel’s records anything about movement of shares that Whitechapel owns. I agree it is possible to know something about movement of the shares originally transferred by going back to the records of those original companies. But what if Whitechapel sells those original shares and buys shares in other companies? What is the mechanism for how those transactions can be traced given there is know way of knowing from Whitechapels company office records which shares were purchased to replace the original shares that might have been sold?

    Perhaps I am missing something. If so, I am open to being shown wrong. However, I suspect this is where Labour’s argument may break down.

    • lprent 1.1

      I didn’t know that Labour was taking all of this seriously. They seem to have been curiously quiet on the issue apart from a few quips and maybe a few muted press releases (although I haven’t seen those – people haven’t been linking to them).

      I was under the impression that questions on the shareholding was largely being driven by the media and the people on the blogs?

      What is interesting is the potential for undeclared conflicts of interest in making policy. That is why we require parliamentarians to declare their interests. John Key appears to avoided that declaration by putting his interests into a ‘blind’ trust. However he also appears to know what is in that trust. It means that he is effectively avoiding the oversight of the public looking for conflicts of interest.

      But go ahead – fill us with your conspiracy theories…

      • tsmithfield 1.1.1

        I don’t know about any conspiracy theories.

        However, the allegation that Labour has been making is that Whitechapel mirrors what is going on with Keys investments.

        What I have shown is that there is no way Whitechapel can mirror anything. Keys lawyers have stated in their letter that they aren’t telling him anything about what is going on. If we take that at face value, then Key has no real way to track his investments.

        Of course he can do what the Justice department suggests and go back to the original companies to view their share record. However, it seems to me this will just tell him what he could know regardless what entity the shares had been transferred to and nothing more. After all, he obviously knew he had disposed of his interest in the shares, so he would expect the records of the original companies to show that. So the records of those companies would merely confirm what he had known to have happened.

        So far as Whitechapel is concerned, it seems to me it is as blind as it possibly can be.

        You don’t seem to greatly disagree with me on this. So I wonder why there has been so much fuss about it on this site.

        • Marty G 1.1.1.1

          “What I have shown is that there is no way Whitechapel can mirror anything.”

          you’ve shown no such thing.

          All Whitechapel’s transactions can be found on the companies website. And we know that Whitechapel was set up when Aldgate was and has only ever owned the shares that Key sold into it.

      • pollywog 1.1.2

        My conspiracy theory is…Bronagh Key is a trustee and knows exactly what the score is, where the money is, and that it would be ludicrous to assume she doesnt tell her husband exactly what the deal is on what they own.

        Its the lying that trips Key up. He’s just so crap at it and the more cries of ‘i know nothing’ the worse he looks.

        So yeah whats the Dairy investment stuff he’s into ? Where does that money trail lead is what we’d all like to know.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.2.1

          He said he “couldn’t” know what was in his blind trust. Not that he “didn’t”, but that he “could not”, as in, was unable to.

          I would suggest that having his wife as a trustee of the trust would be so mind-numbingly stupid that even sideshow wouldn’t do that.

          • pollywog 1.1.2.1.1

            Didn’t English have his wife as trustee in a family trust he ‘supposedly’ had no pecuniary interest in while he rorted the MP accom benefit ?

            so is Key’s trust also a family one ?

            and in terms of mindnumbingness, i’d draw for a par between Key and English.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I should clarify what I mean by my last comment.

    I am not holding you responsible for the views of others on this site. However, it seems to me that you are an intelligent person and you were able to grasp very quickly what I was pointing out in a matter that is quite simple when it is analysed.. So I am wondering why others posting articles haven’t done a bit of simple analysis before firing off with what appears to be half-baked theories (as the Labour party also appears to have done).

    • Marty G 2.1

      “But the share transactions from the original companies to Whitechapel don’t show up on the Whitechapel side, if you check on the company office records.”

      yes they do. search by sheareholder and enter Whitechapel.

      “Therefore it is impossible to tell from Whitechapel’s records anything about movement of shares that Whitechapel owns. ”

      Nope. you just search by shareholder and you can check the records of the companies it owns shares in to see when it bought those shares or sold them

      “what if Whitechapel sells those original shares and buys shares in other companies? What is the mechanism for how those transactions can be traced given there is know way of knowing from Whitechapels company office records which shares were purchased to replace the original shares that might have been sold?”

      by searching the transaction records of the individual companies that Whitechapel owns. Each share transaction is recorded.

      You need to actually take a look at the companies register website before thinking you’ve got it right and everyone else has it wrong.

      • tknorriss 2.1.1

        I did say I was open to being proved wrong :smile:

        However, not completely wrong. There is still my point about the companies office disclaiming that it is the same as the shareholder record of the company (which is what Labour has been effectively claiming).

        Also, there is the other point I made that companies are only required to update their records annually (probably the reason for the companies office disclaimer). So, someone like Key would be making a huge leap of faith in basing decisions on records he could see on the companies office site as things could have changed considerably since the last update.

        As the companies office statement points out, the only reliable way to know these sorts of details is to go back to the company itself and ask. However, according to the lawyers letter that Key provided, they wouldn’t tell him anything.

        So, I still think that Labour has got problems on this one.

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Wrong name, troll.

          • tknorriss 2.1.1.1.1

            Hi there Felix,

            I’m quite happy to use my real identity now as I don’t intend to say anything I can be sued for. Care to follow suit?

            [lprent: Generally I'd prefer if people don't use their real identities. In my opinion, pseudonyms allow for a freer debate. The moderators and I are perfectly happy to ensure that whatever you say is moderated where required. We do this to ensure that the debate keeps flowing, to keep within the standard of behaviour required on this site, and to protect ourselves from being associated with repugnant behaviours.

            There are two cases when identity is important.

            The first is where you are asserting something that requires your IRL skills for support. That usually happens because you can't link to information relating to that point - which is suspicious for anyone that does know their field.

            The second is where you're running a site like this which is standalone and requires a domain name. Then there must be at least one point of contact.

            As far as I'm concerned all people here (apart from myself and Mike Smith - the trustees) are using pseudonyms. We've had many cases of people using their 'real names', which were in fact pseudonyms. Since we aren't going to disclose the information (e-mail/IP) that would prove or disprove that or even (usually) offer an opinion if it is true - then I'd suggest everyone else does the same. ]

            • felix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Follow suit and use your real identity? I don’t think you’d like that.

              • tknorriss

                Just a word of friendly advice, felix.

                You don’t need to ACT retarded. Being normal is close enough

                • felix

                  *crickets

                  Let’s have a big hand for Tarquin, the little guy with the big brain and all the names, he’ll be here all week, don’t forget to tip your waitress and drive home safely.

              • Lanthanide

                Now I’m curious.

            • pollywog 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Totally opposite to Russell Browns blog.

              He prefers banning people under their real names and giving others a free pass under pseudonyms. The worst being that toxic old fruitbat [deleted] posting as Islander.

              [lprent: I also take a very very dim view of people trying to 'out' pseudonyms here, even if the people/psuedonyms are on other blogs. ]

            • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1.3

              I’d throw in a 3rd: where well-known people throw in their two cents on a comment thread. Eg David Farrar, David Cunliffe or Trevor Mallard.

  3. MikeG 3

    How is it possible to deport someone from a country when they entered that country while in custody, and they never intended to enter that country in the first place? It may just be the words that are being used by reporters, but it seems a bit odd.

    • uke 3.1

      Yes, the subtle misuse of words happens all the time in the MSM.

      On RNZ this morning we were told that Australia was taking Japan to the world court over its whale cull in the southern ocean. Here, the word “cull” quietly infers there is an over-population of whales and that killing them is a resource management issue. A more objective word would have been “catch” (although the Japanese whalers might object ).

  4. ianmac 4

    If you want to sign an online petition calling for a full investigation into the Israeli boarding, Avaaz is available:
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_flotilla_5/?cl=592335143&v=6409

  5. The Chairman 5

    “Getting government off our back is groaning beneath the even greater weight of unaccountable private tyranny. So-called libertarians don’t seem to see that that’s what they’re calling for.’
    – Noam Chomsky

    Noam Chomsky at the Left Forum
    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/31/noam_chomsky_the_center_cannot_hold

    • Quoth the Raven 5.1

      Chomsky is the one who brought me to anarchism, but sadly Chomsky is one of the weakest anarchists out there. Time and again the argument has been put to Chomsky, often citing his own work which has ample evidence, that these private tyrannies are only sustainable with the power of the state backing them and Chomsky has never responded coherently to these charges. See for an example Chomsky’s Augustinian Anarchism.

      • Puddleglum 5.1.1

        This is where we disagree. I’m with Chomsky on this (and with DavidE – comment No. 7 on your link).

        This is how I see it (I can’t speak directly for Chomsky). States were created BY ‘private tyrranies’, not the other way around. Similarly, actually existing markets have been and are being created by ‘private tyrranies’. So, private tyrranies are the fundamental problem (not the state). Private tyrranies are not ‘sustained by the state’ because they pre-existed it. Private tyrranies will sustain themselves by whatever means it takes to sustain them at a particular point in time – and there’s been plenty throughout history. Abstractly, private tyrranies gain their advantage and power by co-opting, by some means, a disproportionate share of collectively produced wealth. That, then, allows them to opt out of collective social processes (ultimately to the point where whole swathes of the membership of the collective come to be seen as inferior beings, perhaps not even human).

        When did private tyrranies begin? Probably around the same time as the advent of agrarianism. In ancient Sumer, for example, we see the development of the first ‘modern’ hierarchical society. A priestly class forms and can be sustained by co-opting – via religious discourse in this case – part of the collective wealth as surplus grain that could be traded to support this unproductive yet high-status class. In fact, a good case could be made that storable and defendable surpluses are probably the beginnings of – or at least are fertile ground for – the development of private tyrranies.

        The only non-tyrranous societies that reliably reproduced (and in a few cases still reproduce) themselves were hunter-gatherer societies (as I keep pointing out). It’s no coincidence that hunter-gathering, by definition, does not rely on extensive food production and storage. Instead it relies upon individuals pooling their collective efforts and wisdom and, in turn, a collective that values what each member can bring to that effort. You therefore end up with a flat society with virtually no inequality. I’m willing to bet that the kind of freedom that ‘works’ for people – practically, emotionally, individually and socially – is the kind that this form of life brings with it. And … not a market to be seen.

        I imagine that Chomsky, like me, does not think that the way to dismantle the state and, more importantly, reduce oppression in society, is to expand market relations. Rather it is to expand and deepen social relations. That is, non-market relations need to be expanded in order to undermine the monopoly on coercion possessed by the state. In that way, too, we have our best chance of enjoying the real, human freedom our long-distant ancestors simply presumed as part of their existence.

        • Quoth the Raven 5.1.1.1

          By private tyrannies I take Chomsky to mean big corporations as that’s how he always refers to them. My argument maybe narrower than you were thinking.

          When did private tyrranies begin? Probably around the same time as the advent of agrarianism. In ancient Sumer, for example, we see the development of the first ‘modern’ hierarchical society. A priestly class forms and can be sustained by co-opting via religious discourse in this case part of the collective wealth as surplus grain that could be traded to support this unproductive yet high-status class. In fact, a good case could be made that storable and defendable surpluses are probably the beginnings of or at least are fertile ground for the development of private tyrranies.

          This is simply not true. See this video for an example The Unnecessary State (Rise of Civilization) Neither are all hunter-gatherer societies non-hierarchical and equalitarian. I’m sorry but all this to me smacks of primitivist anti-civ nonsense.

          I imagine that Chomsky, like me, does not think that the way to dismantle the state and, more importantly, reduce oppression in society, is to expand market relations. Rather it is to expand and deepen social relations. That is, non-market relations need to be expanded in order to undermine the monopoly on coercion possessed by the state. In that way, too, we have our best chance of enjoying the real, human freedom our long-distant ancestors simply presumed as part of their existence.

          It’s not about expanding market relations it is about freeing the market. Removing the regulations, subsidies and legal privileges that have created the oligopolistic market-place that we have.

          I agree about expanding and deepening social relations, but what has that to do with expanding that state as a bulwark against private tyrannies? The state is violent, coercive and hierarchical it is anti-social. This is about a critique of Chomsky’s strategy. Not a theoretical dispute about anarchist preferences or misplaced antediluvian nostalgia.

          • The Chairman 5.1.1.1.1

            I’m more in agreement with Puddlegum.

            Reducing regulation and the state’s effectiveness it not the answer.

            The state needs to be utilised to better serve its constituents, hence is required to partake in commerce.

            The key is to reform political structures to diminish the influence of the elite while improving overall accountability, performance, and transparency.

            Under the current system, major political decisions are made on our behalf. Too much political power is concentrated into the hands of the few, favouring dominance and the potential for abuse.

            This imbalance of power needs correcting if the people are to be better served.

            The current system is a poor representation of the public mandate being severed.

            The move to MMP shouldn’t be seen as the end of political reform.

            It increased political diversity and the public’s voice, but not in the most effective way. We can and must do better.

            Keeping the public at arms length from the major decisions that affects them will continually fail to see the decisions being made best serve them.

            Most would agree there are certain issues/policies within the party they last voted for that they don’t fully support. And I think most voters would appreciate an improved political structure where the people had far more say in the issues that affect them.

            New Zealand First wants to form a practical partnership with the New Zealand people by the judicious use of direct public referenda (note: see more at NZ First website under policies). We need more parties to adopt a similar policy.

            By and large, politicians are no smarter than your average person.

            And by and large, politicians are not experts in the field they govern over. The people should be allowed more say in the issues that affect them. A form of direct democracy should be considered.

            I believe this is an issue of interest that will benefit all voters regardless of their political affiliations.

            Moreover, improving political structures is a healthy way for the nation to grow and develop as we move forward.

            Is Labour up for the challenge?

          • Puddleglum 5.1.1.1.2

            Sorry for the delay in responding.

            Chomsky does refer to corporations as ‘private tyrranies’, you’re right. I assumed you were referring to corporations. My point, and the reason I used scare quotes around that term, was to point out that clearly Chomsky believes that corporations are just the latest manifestation of the broader tyrrany of private power and wealth. Perhaps oddly to your eyes, I see the state (certainly in its emergence) as simply a manifestation of the ongoing expression of private tyrrany. Chomsky’s book ‘year 501′ deliberately goes back to well before the invention of corporations to show the constant machinations of power. Similarly, you must be aware of Chomsky’s continual quoting of Adam Smith’s comments about the corrupt ‘rulers of the world’ (or words to that effect). Adam Smith’s comments, again, come well before the invention of corporations.

            I honestly can’t understand why you believe my comments on hunter gatherer societies represent ‘misplaced antediluvian nostalgia’. If they are then almost all of the anthropological, political, evolutionary psychological and evolutionary biological primary literature that deals with these matters must also be characterised in that way. (I’ve read quite a bit of it).

            I’m not familiar enough with the internet to be able to point to blogs or other websites that might act as an accurate echo chamber for the main thrust of such literature but a quick search for ‘hunter gatherer democracy’, or similar, in google scholar will quickly verify that researchers in these fields almost universally accept that hunter gatherer societies (especially the less complex forms assumed to epitomise the social form in human evolutionary history) were extraordinarily (by today’s standards) egalitarian (i.e., a flat social structure and very minimal differences in ‘wealth’ between members).

            It is true that some more complex forms that have partly adopted semi-horticultural practices have the beginnings of social differentiation and stratification – but that is rather my point.Even those who are wary of ‘noble savage’ arguments fully accept this egalitarianist characterisation of hunter gatherer societies if only because they accept the fact that such societies simply don’t dominate enough resources to allow for social stratification to occur.

            I think our differences stem partly from the fact that I’ve approached the study of human behaviour initially from a natural science perspective (particularly biological development, evolutionary biology, human physiology) and then added a behavioural social science perspective. That means I find standard classical liberal accounts of the ‘self’ and ‘individuals’ as remarkably anemic, disembodied and anti-empirical – yet it is those accounts which dominate discussions in political ideology, economics and philosophy.

            As for ‘removing the regulations, subsidies and legal privileges’ in relation to the market, a rule of thumb would be, for each regulation, to see who squeals at the suggestion that it be removed.

        • pollywog 5.1.1.2

          I imagine that Chomsky, like me, does not think that the way to dismantle the state and, more importantly, reduce oppression in society, is to expand market relations. Rather it is to expand and deepen social relations. That is, non-market relations need to be expanded in order to undermine the monopoly on coercion possessed by the state. In that way, too, we have our best chance of enjoying the real, human freedom our long-distant ancestors simply presumed as part of their existence.

          sounds like some polynesian based anarcho-syndicalist system Pasifikans have been practising since day one or maybe what Whanau Ora aspires to.

          Give us another2 generations and we’ll show you how to run things properly. I would imagine the bulk of the populace will have been polynesianally culturally colonized by then… or polynized as i like to say :)

  6. yeshe 6

    Only Brownlee and pals would be so inept and stupid to grin with glee at the off shore oil explorations announced yesterday with Petrobras; and his comment advising us not to worry as the oil companies will have better safety systems available by September or so … see this informative Rachel Maddow clip .. nothing has improved since a Gulf spill June 13 1979 and the bad news is that wells re simply deeper than ever … how do we stop this insanity in our pristine waters ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHmhxpQEGPo&feature=player_embedded

  7. Good article on the contrast of oil disaster reactions comparing USA with the Niger Delta.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shell

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    How the taxman may keep many fishermen from getting compensation from BP: The fishermen and the tax man.

  9. burt 9

    lprent

    Underwater oil plumes;

    Look I’m a pretty simple sort of guy but I understand a bit about physics and I thinking – pull the other one. However it possible to imagine a mass of very cold dense oil stuck around a thermocline…

    What do you think; fact or junk science?

    • lprent 9.1

      Ummm I don’t know much about crude oil (and in particular the oil in the gulf of mexico).

      At a guess I’d say that it depends entirely on the composition of the oil. In particular the average molecular weight of the crude relative to that of the surrounding seawater and the relative freezing points. The latter is quite important as is shown with the very light methane freezing out in a complex mix with water ice that clogged up their first attempts at capping.

      But generally I’d suspect that thicker hydrocarbons don’t mix well with water. They are usually lighter in molecular weights than the surrounding water unless you’re heading up to the heavy oil / tar fractions. They are a mix of H (1) and C (12) atoms, compared to water H (1) and O (16). Seawater also has a high sodium and chlorine content in solution which would also push the seawater molecular weight up.

      But of course the effects of being at 150 atmospheres at a kilometre and a half down would make a hell of a difference. Not to mention that the oil is likely to be at a much higher ambient temperature as it comes out of from under the insulating rock (oil out of a field is usually warmer than seawater ambient at any significant depth). They are also gas propelled out of the wellhead.

      If this was Arabian gulf light crude, then it’d hitting the surface fast. If it was that sludge that they call heavy crude (from say Venezuela) , then I think that you could be right. I have no idea what grade they’re pumping in the gulf of Mexico.

      My brief number crunching gives a pretty wide range of molecular weights. I’ll have a look when I get a few spare minutes – someone has to have written something on it

    • r0b 9.2

      Burt – do some reading. A lot of the underwater plumes are thought to be the product of oil mixed with “dispersants”. Heaven knows what its chemical nature is like now. It’s not much use us amateurs speculating about it.

  10. Jan 10

    A protest against the attack on the Aid Flotilla to the Gaza strip has been organised at short notice for Saturday in Wellington.

    12.00 at the Bucket Fountain in Cuba Street, Further details are here.
    http://wellingtonpalestinegroup.blogspot.com/

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  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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