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Open mike 04/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, January 4th, 2014 - 115 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

115 comments on “Open mike 04/01/2014”

  1. gig-alert for auckland-readers..

    if you remember the great local bands of the late 70’s..at all..you probably remember the band ‘rough justice’…

    ..they are doing a gig 2nite..at the kings’ arms..

    (their first since then..and part of a tour winding its’ way down the country..)

    ..the original members are back together..

    ..(rick bryant/tony backhouse et. al..)

    ..and it promises to go off..

    ..eh..?

    phillip ure..

    • greywarbler 1.1

      phillip ure
      I saw your piece mentioning Rick Bryant and he is in a replay of an interview with Kim Hill on radionz this a.m. What a guy. He is interesting and admirable, lots of interests and wise.

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        indeed greywarbler..indeed…

        ..he has a big brain…that rick bryant..

        ..and has problems ‘suffering fools’..(heh..!..)

        (and as an aside..is quite withering about ‘vegans’..and their ilk..but nobodys’ perfect..eh..?..)

        ..i heard that replay too..cool..eh..?

        ..(it is available online @ rnz..)

        ..i must link to it later..

        phillip ure

  2. the daily blog has the december blog-rankings posted..

    ..and what a pile of steaming horse-shit they are..

    ..@whoar a website audit by the internet company zeald told me i have 22,000+ subscribers..in 96 different countries..

    ..taking everything i do/post..

    ..and i post 40-50 stories a day..every day..

    ..(how many ‘page-views’ is that..?..eh..?..)

    ..yet whoar is nowhere on this list..

    ..nowhere to be seen..

    ‘shine on..you crazy blog-rankings..!’..eh..?

    ..heh..!

    ..phillip ure..

    • karol 2.1

      “never mind the width, feel the quality.”

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        i have both..

        ..eh..?

        phillip ure..

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Myself, I’m more interested in the quaity and content of blogs. The whole rankings thing just buys into the whole competitive, dick waving culture of our capitalist system.

          Too much of it is built into online social media – communities are about engagement and exchanges of ideas, not competitions that mirror commerical markets.

      • phillip ure 2.1.2

        with whoar you can admire both the quality of the width..

        ..and the width of the quality..

        ..eh..?

        phillip ure..

        • karol 2.1.2.1

          Well, it’s useful to have a pretty wide following, in order to make some impact, and connections. But, I think people can get overly obssessed with being numero 1…. or 2….or 20.

    • lprent 2.2

      You have to have told Ken at open parachute your public sitemeter / stat counter /whatever URL.

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        @lprent..

        chrs 4 that..

        i know it is one of those things you have to sign up to/for..install site-meters..boil water..

        ..which just really emphasises how sketchy/incomplete a picture it actually is..

        ..i’ll just plug on..it seems to be working..

        ..and i don’t like signing up for things..

        ..phillip ure..

        • Grumpy 2.2.1.1

          Phil, I used to find your blog incomprehensible. Perhaps I’ve just become accustomed to your sense of humour or your meds are working but I find myself visiting from time to time as it becomes more readable to me.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1

            @ grumpy..

            ..heh..!..the only ‘meds’ i use/am ever ‘on’..is pot..

            ..legalisation now..!

            ..eh..?

            ..and as it happened..on new years eve i walked..with three other ‘sober’-friends.. into the post-midnite detritus of a mutual-friends’ (old-persons’) alcohol party in whangamata..(it’s a long story..)

            ..and whoar..!

            ..it’s been a long time since that appealed to me..

            ..and that peek just confirmed that stance..

            ..what do people see in it..?

            ..and glad that you are enjoying whoar..

            ..don’t forget to tell yr friends about it..eh..?

            ..i haven’t been able to monetise it yet..

            ..so i can’t afford to advertise..

            ..and i have been facebook-averse ever since finding out the cia gave zuckerberg the money to start the bloody thing..

            ..so..

            ..phillip ure..

  3. greywarbler 3

    News I noticed on Radionz

    Pope Francis has told Catholic priests to leave their comfort zone and get out among people on the margins of society or else risk becoming “abstract ideologists”.
    Isn’t it the case that priests and nuns who abstain from sexual intercourse with the other sex, (but who advise their community to not withhold from intercourse, not to restrain from having children) are truly abstract ideologists?
    And also that applies to all single sex participants, who cannot regard themselves as knowing about the human ability of creating life and living through their own personal experience, unless they engage in sexual intercourse with the other sex. (Turkey basters are only part of the process.)

    Country Calendar repeat today on John and Bunny Mortimer, tree huggers of the most practical, experienced, informative and likable kind was so interesting. They are examples of great NZs, now in their 90’s. They are interested in trees from all views also bio-mass.
    http://www.taituabooks.co.nz/webapps/site/76334/136645/shopping/shopping-plus.html

    Also Ken Vincent poultry breeder still at 78, who used to have 32 breeds now only 16. He says that his duck and hen breeds are becoming rare, and not much is being done in NZ to conserve them. You can see him if you click on show notes from the schedule listing of CC.
    White leghorn hens are big layers – may lay 300 eggs a year. And this in a happy hen house, no battery stuff here. Ducks are particularly nice to have, the males never become aggressive as the roosters do. Possibly not as noisy also. He sends eggs for hatching, sells birds to start own henhouse. Worth considering. The major hen type used is called Shavers I think, the other breeds much less.

    • Ennui 3.1

      Two comments Grey….

      Pope Francis follows the principles of St Francis (poverty, charity and service might be a good description). I am not religious but came to Franciscan thought in my 40s, after having been imbued at Uni with rationalism, in particular Marxism. My take is that rationalism is Johnny Come Lately that has very conveniently pretended that two thousand years of faith and tradition can be quickly laid aside. Godless Marxism is (as are alternate market based faiths), which in turn means it lacks the spiritual dimension needed to make it truly “human”. Dont expect the RC church to use rationalist constructs, they have done well enough without them. With regard to chaste abstract ideologists you might want to consider that medieval orders usually took in people who had “completed” their lives in the community. They had intimate knowledge of the ways of the flesh. Is that so different today? I dont know. Not going to judge.

      Tree huggers and poultry….this year I my form of civic responsibility and unblessed (by authorities) behavior will be to plant more things where they should be (guerrilla plantings, the revolution will come quietly and greenly). My chickens will likely approve, as only rare breeds can.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    I got interviewed by Roy Morgan Research yesterday, for the first time ever.

    The most interesting thing is that they called me on my cell phone. I asked them how they got the number and they said they do random dialing, and that’s why they asked me my postcode at the start of the interview, for screening purposes to ensure they got good coverage across the country.

    Anyway, they asked a big range of questions, including the standard political polling. Here are some of the questions and my answers:
    1. Electorate / party vote if election held today: Labour / Labour
    2. Who do I want to win the next election: Labour
    3. Is the country heading in the right direction or wrong direction: I said wrong. Only because I know this is (ridiculously) used as a ‘government confidence rating’ proxy.
    4. Biggest problem facing the world at the moment: climate change. Why: because government’s aren’t doing anything about it.
    5. Biggest problem facing NZ at the moment: child poverty. Why: because the government isn’t doing anything about it.
    6. Should smoking marijuana be legal or illegal: legal.
    7. Should religion be taught at least once a week in state schools: no.

    There were also questions about the economy, eg expected inflation over the next two years, expected housing price increases over the next two years, whether my family is in a better financial situation than 1 year ago and whether we expect to be in better condition next year, those sorts of things.

    • it’ll be an interesting barometer-reading/snapshot to see the results from the pot-question..

      phillip ure..

    • lprent 4.2

      Interesting..

    • Grumpy 4.3

      Just wondering about your answers to the latter questions……?

      • Lanthanide 4.3.1

        2.5% inflation per year, 8% house price rises per year, better than last year, expect to be better next year.

        There was also another one about how I expected the economy to go over the next 5 years, initially I was presented with “continually improving” and “continually worsening”, but when I said I couldn’t choose either of those he read out the full scale, whereupon I picked “some good, some bad”.

    • just saying 4.4

      Are they still asking about tobacco-smoking Lanth?
      Last time they caught me was just after the first big cost increase. I think they might have wondered whether there were any votes lost or gained.

      • Lanthanide 4.4.1

        Yes. They asked whether I smoked cigarettes, roll-your-owns, cigars and something else in the last month, which I don’t.

        • phillip ure 4.4.1.1

          @ lanth..but do you support legalisation/regulation/taxation of cannabis..?

          phillip ure

          • Lanthanide 4.4.1.1.1

            I answered “legal” to whether it should be legal or illegal.

            I’d prefer to see it decriminalised rather than completely legalised: allow cultivation for personal use, don’t bother cracking down on local/small-scale distribution, just go after the kingpins.

            Ideally I think it should be regulated and sold like alcohol is, but that’s too big a jump for NZ I think.

            • phillip ure 4.4.1.1.1.1

              @ lanth..why do you think it is ‘too big a jump’..?

              ..especially with the now working-model..in colorado..(and many more soon to come..)

              ..to be able to point at..?

              ..plus there is the serious amount of revenue to be garnered from legalisation/regulation/taxation..

              ..plus there is the serious savings from stopping playing cops ‘n robbers with it..

              ..plus..the pot would be tested to ensure there are no contaminants ..from pest-sprays/w.h.y..

              ..which a blackmarket makes impossible..

              ..the reasons to take that ‘big-jump’ are multiple..eh..?

              ..and i can’t see any reasons not to..(can you..?..aside from the public-disquiet you herald..?)

              ..why make do with the halfway-house/way-station of partial decriminalisation..?

              ..with the revenue-losses/cost-implications/safety-issues that come with it..?

              ..a uneasy ‘solution’ that would suit nobody..

              ..but the gangs currently running the biz..

              ..and those cops who love flying around in helicopters/and crashing thru the bush in 4wd’s..

              ..eh..?

              phillip ure..

            • felix 4.4.1.1.1.2

              “don’t bother cracking down on local/small-scale distribution, just go after the kingpins.”

              I don’t understand. Why go after “kingpins”?

              • Lanthanide

                Under my decriminalization policy, you can grow your own small supply at home or get it from friends, but it’s still not legal (ie, not sold in shops) because I don’t think the NZ public is really ready for that yet. So you go after the kingpins, eg gangs, to stop them from profiting.

                Once it’s fully legalised and regulated, the bottom would drop out of the private market anyway, at which point there’d be no need to go after anyone. In the meantime though, police would still go after the gangs.

                • @ lanth..

                  you didn’t answer the question from felix:..’why..?’..

                  and actually..quite an enlightening exercise is to try to compile a list of reasons why pot should languish in prohibition..

                  ..and then a list of the positive outcomes from legalising/regulating/taxing..

                  ..i invite those favouring prohibition..to do/try this..

                  ..you may find you will struggle to find even one reason..

                  ..(save for fun for those helicoptering/4wd-ing pot-chasing cops..)

                  ..strip out those (now disproved) traditional lies..

                  ..and there is nothing left standing..

                  ..phillip ure..

                  • Lanthanide

                    Actually, I did. Right here:

                    “So you go after the kingpins, eg gangs, to stop them from profiting.

                    • @ lanth..ok..

                      ..but legalising/regulating/taxing will put them out of business..

                      ..so will achieve that (desired) result..without having to fund ‘chasing’ them..

                      ..(‘chasing’ being a tactic which has worked really well up until now..eh..?..)

                      ..see what i mean..?

                      ..so is that..and yr warning of public disquiet..

                      ..is that the extent of yr ‘reasons to retain’ prohibition’-list..?

                      ..how about the other list..?

                      ..you could put ‘putting ‘drug-kingpins’ out of business..overnight..

                      ..at the top of that list..eh..?

                      ..see what i mean..?

                      ..phillip ure..

                    • Lanthanide

                      My reason for going with decriminalization, rather than full legalisation, is that I don’t think the NZ public is ready for full legalisation, and as such decriminalisation is a sensible stepping stone that is achievable by any government that is to be elected within the next 10 years.

                      Pining for the fjords doesn’t seem like a realistic policy to me.

  5. mickysavage 5

    If you really want to read something that will start a conversation Rebecca Camm’s latest article in the Herald takes some beating. The trouble is I do not know if she is being satirical or not …

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11180931

    • Zorr 5.1

      Most definitely being satirical but it’s like she just grabbed a handful of random crap and fired it from a shotgun. Some of it hits the mark but so much of it is poorly held together drivel.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      Kamm, MS.

      It’s rubbish, btw. I imagine it’s intended to be satire, but, sheesh, what a waste of space.

    • Jan 5.3

      It’s actually very funny but maybe you have to be a feminist woman to understand it :)

      • karol 5.3.1

        It didn’t work for me – not very clever really. I was kind of into it to start with, but then it just laboured a not very subtle point, and I was wondering whether she was attacking feminsm or sending up anti-feminism.

  6. Bill 6

    For anyone who might be interested and who hasn’t come across this yet, PJ Harvey was guest editor on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme – equivalent of ‘Morning Report’ (Could be a nice ‘touchstone’ for the next time anyone bangs on about supposed ‘left wing bias’ in the msm?)

    Anyway, it’s three hours worth and I’ve only just begun to listen so can’t offer any opinion… (first 10 min is UK news and weather) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03mhyzh

    • karol 7.1

      And this, from Channel 4.

      This doesn’t surprise me. It’s what we thought was happening at the time. Too many people blame Scargill for the miners’ defeat – but Thatcher was dead set of destroying them and the UK left along with it:

      If you think destroying some of Britain’s most cohesive communities was a great achievement, then these jottings are a token of genius. They reveal Mrs Thatcher engaged in battle micro-management worthy of a Monty or Wellington.

      The documents show the Conservative government was, in the middle of the miners’ strike, facing defeat.

      […]
      The miners strike is today depicted as one of those “inevitable” events that history is littered with: a doomed workforce staging a last ditch battle in the face of progress.

      If you were there – I was – it was more complicated.
      […]
      The miners at the time claimed the policing was politicised. The records show it was.

      Arthur Scargill, the miners’ leader, was criticised afterwards for beginning a conflict he could never win. So the revelation that he was on the point of winning – or at least achieving a messy compromise – in July 1984 is an important addition to the record.
      [….]
      The use of troops to move essential goods was seriously considered, as was the declaration of a state of emergency – and changing the law to enable this. That would have seriously escalated the conflict.
      […]
      Paul Symonds, a miner at Frickley Colliery during the strike, says:

      “One lesson is this: they were much better organised than we were. Don’t trust them is the lesson. Don’t trust anything that they say.”

      It’s an attitude towards government that is common now, but was not common then.

      This is why I now say that we should never underestimate the ruthless determination of the corprorate elites to smash any successes of the left.

      And why I say the left needs a multi-pronged strategy – grass roots collective energy from below + strategies for resisting, and challenging the power of the elites – and every kind of initiative in between.

    • karol 7.2

      The other lesson is, that the left clearly came close to resisting Thatcher. And that included mobilising all the networks within the left in support – fund raising, donations of food etc. Feminist, gay, anti-racist networks all joining in. Not an easy rleationship to start with – but lessons were being learned along the way.

      And that’s why we need to network across diverse groups, even though we differ on priorities, and on how we approach some problems.

    • Zorr 8.1

      So where is the peer-reviewed paper detailing their findings?

      Or, can I assume, this is just more of the same… more climate science denialism with no basis in demonstrable fact

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Grumpy.

      Let’s take the first sentence of that link at face value:

      that “two naturally occurring climate cycles will combine to lower global temperatures during the next century.”

      Assume this prediction is indeed true. In the meantime let’s also assume we keep adding CO2, ‘business as usual’ to the atmosphere and that by the time this naturally occurring cycle ends levels have doubled again – to say 800ppm.

      So when this ‘cooling period’ ends – what do you imagine will happen?

    • aerobubble 8.3

      A warm sea may mean a colder atmosphere, as cooling processes kit up a notch and expel more heat into space. The problem surely is that this will happen over the Northern Hemisphere continents, aka glaciers down to the med. How else did this happen in the past but for more energy being available to transport more moisture from a warmer sea to a colder continent.

      Its been pointed out that when the seas are warmer and interior of the continents colder, humans migrated along the coast lines from Asia into the Americas.

  7. Saarbo 9

    What is the chance of a housing bubble pop in New Zealand. This interactive graph would suggest that the possibility is quite high, at some stage in the next 2 to 5 years (if you cant get NZ to show up on the interactive, our line is just below Britain)

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/11/global-house-prices?fsrc=scn/tw/te/dc/locationlocationlocation

    Of course Treasury have identified this risk and implemented the LVR policy, which had the impact of reducing supply of newly built homes = bad. The right policy to implement is a CGT, but there is no way in hell that National will implement this because a huge % of their supporters have gained their wealth from capital gains (mainly investment houses and farms).

    The scary thing for Labour is as house price inflation continues to build into an even bigger bubble then the chances that the CGT will create a POP of the bubble are getting higher, this could actually be catastrophic for our economy for a period. I don’t know what the answer is but I do know that the sooner a CGT (and perhaps other initiatives/policies to reduce the demand from investment housing) is implemented then the better our economy will be long term. Farrar et al can complain all they want about the legitimacy of the “living wage” but one thing is for sure, rising house prices only makes our poverty situation worse, it is the number one driver of poverty and inequality.

    • Foreign Waka 9.1

      Capitals gain tax, exception own living space or residential address – only one allowed. Declaration of overseas trust funds keeping moneys earned in NZ and properties by residents and citizens. Cash business to be closer monitored and audited as these are the ones not paying tax at all. This is known in the community up and down the country. I think this would go a long way.

    • Herodotus 9.2

      How and when do you believe a CGT will solve this issue?
      You have made a comment that this (cgt) is the right policy yet no reason given. Everyone appears to be an expert in the property market, most are have minimal understanding of how it works let alone how to effect charge.
      Get off the ban wagon and promote real solutions, not being a part of the scratch record of commenting re a CGT so often that it will become accepted as fact then in 5 years time wondering why there is no radical change in the property market that was promised, and that property ownership within Auckland is as unachievable as when the nats were previously in govt :-(
      When it will not become the main tool – it will in about 10 years time become one part of the tool box, and the tax will not change behaviour. I am sure property investors will still gladly accept tax advantages and on realising a gain on disposal accept paying a mere 15% tax.

      • Foreign Waka 9.2.1

        Hi Herodotus
        I do belief hat a CGT will curb the amount of properties being sold to investors. The increase in “market worth” also impacts on people who actually use a house as a home. The council rates are measured by this perceived value and a lot of people start to struggle to pay these taxes. And yet, the investment property is being traded as a non taxed commodity. This encourages overseas buying and because of the raising value an increase in apartment buildings as these are less costly. So those who make a business out of a vital necessity (roof over the head) it’s a win win situation all the way to the bank. I really don’t care whether some ideology is being trampled on with this issue, what i do see is that more and more young people have no hope to get into a home and build a family. Its a loss for NZ, certainly not for overseas investors.

        • Saarbo 9.2.1.1

          +1000…exactly FW.

        • Lanthanide 9.2.1.2

          Councils need rates anyway. They keep raising rates to pay for the massive debt they have – all of the councils in the country are effectively bankrupt on paper, it’s just a ponzi debt game that makes them look solvent.

          So even if you had a CGT to reduce property prices, the council still need to get their rates money, so it ultimately won’t change that aspect – except to possibly become more regressive as the general house prices will flatten out, so rates will have to rise across the board, penalising those with low incomes / house values more-so than they otherwise would.

          • Foreign Waka 9.2.1.2.1

            I doubt that this will happen as the council is also aware that you cannot get blood out of a stone. I do realize that authorities have the tendency to create new “needs” in order to disguise the “deeds” that have gone beforehand. But a remedy has to be started somewhere. This is a good a place as any. Poor families will not be able to afford increasing rates either way as the amount in untenable. What is and will increasingly happen in the current scenario is that people who have worked all their lives are now unable to stay in their home. Where are they suppose to be housed? There are not many council houses available, retirement homes will soon be out of space and it is not always the best way to put more people into overcrowded housing with relatives. There are consequences to everything.

      • Saarbo 9.2.2

        @Herodotus

        I think it is the right policy because at the moment investment in housing/property provides a huge tax advantage over other forms of investments (equities etc). Personally I don’t think it is the only solution, I believe that polices need to put in place to disincentive investment housing, I would support limiting the use of Loss Attributing Qualifying Companies, and also a more aggressive CGT than the Aussie model (something that I heard Steve Keen mention on Radio NZ support, http://www.radionz.co.nz/radionz/programmes/featured-audio/audio/2520012/steve-keen-economic-crisis.) I agree with you that on its own it wont change behaviour but it will be one of the main tools to correct Kiwi’s obsession in property.

        • Herodotus 9.2.2.1

          I will address a few issues
          Council rates
          When a property value increases we do not collect more rates overall. Each year, the council determines, through the annual plan process, how much money needs to be collected through rates to fund its activities and services for the year. This rates requirement is then divided between all the properties in the region based on council’s rating policies.
          http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/ratesvaluations/aboutrates/Pages/faqs.aspx
          There is an issue of increasing debt so as to keep increases to a minimum. No this just delays to the next council a major “unpalatable” increase. Really making in aucklands case “most liveable” pity most will not be able to afford to reside here.
          So are all here saying that if a cgt was put into operation that property prices would decrease., as stated before when coy tax rate is 28% the top personnel tax rate is 30% that a 15% tax will change behaviour ? Haha
          Investing in property should have no advantages over other investments and I would promote that this form of investment should have disincentives above and beyond other forms attached to it. Eg interest costs are non deductible. Why should a commercial activity incur mortgages at the same rate as a family home and with the same debt profile. Enter any other business and try to obtain debt funding beyond 50% and still be charged at the same rate as a mortgage ? Even those in property development have their values of land developed heavily discounted for bank valuation purposes and then be charged 3%+ above current mortgage rates, that is if you can find a current bank open to fund.
          Limit debt funding by placing greater controls on bank loaning ratios.
          As we will have a cgt, all property has its use recorded e.g. Residential owner/beneficiary of trust residing, holiday home, rented property etc.
          non nz residents incur not a cgt but pay corporate tax rate and can only purchase a newly built property.
          There are others but at least these points are wider reaching at solving this IMO important issues

          • Herodotus 9.2.2.1.1

            And neglected to include, a cgt is on all property, but for those that the owner resides in at a minimal rate of say 5% so all property transactions are recorded within Linz and the ird and that all sales can be traced. To sell such a policy, labour will need to sell/inform us as where this added tax revenue will be allocated to, in 2011 at least we the voter knew that this added revenue from a cgt was to fund the $5k tax free zone policy and gst off F&V
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5284832/Labour-confirms-capital-gains-tax-new-rate
            Now it appears any revenue will just be absorbed into paying for the auctioning/ buying for our votes.

            • Foreign Waka 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Hi Herodotus
              I am sorry to say, I don’t belief that many of the city Councillors have the rate payer in mind when they come up with their plans. If I remember correctly not so long ago the city council from Mangawhai was taken to court because they unilaterally decided to take on more debt and have the residents pay for it. The Auckland City council has approved a living wage that is now being paid for by exactly the low wage earning people you have mentioned. May I remind on Hamiltons V8?
              As all property is listed with Linz (NZ wide) it would be possible to have residential households and their owners registered. I belief this to be not a big issue as the voting papers seem to find the owners. Any additional registration against the same owner will attract the tax. The owner of a property has to be of an age that allows Tax to be collected (excluding i.e. 2 days old sons or daughters to enter the market). Just an idea, but I belief that if the council can come up with pet projects they are able to come up with a solution.

  8. tricledrown 10

    Grumpy.
    Principia scientific.
    An political organization spreading spuriest made up science.
    Crap dressed up for socold intelligent well educated Right Wing Deniers
    That’s my peer review of you Gumpy.
    Show me some peer reviews of this fantasy gumpy.
    It just proves how gullible the right are.

  9. tricledrown 11

    Gumpy
    They haven’t even got the cycles of the earths eliptical orbit and oscillations around the sun.
    Just more evidence on how the Creed of short term greed is willing to sacrifice humanity
    So the rich can have a few or a lot more baubles than everyone else.
    Gump

  10. Foreign Waka 12

    I read this morning an article about the Cambodian textile workers protesting and being shot at. The government has sent the troops as they are firmly in the camp of the main shareholders of these factories that facilitate the export that is quite a high % of Cambodia’s income. Naturally this goes hand in hand with the political power. I got curious asking myself – who are the actual owners of these factories and one would think denier of higher wages? NZ’s news do no reveal anything, further research says that the nationality of the main shareholders are Taiwan, China, USA – no names. As any “open” information is just not obtainable in the Anglo Saxen world I went out into the Euro zone – Eureka, a local Newspaper (mentioned as right/liberal !) gave me quite decisive and frank information. See below.

    Excerpt from the Newspaper article.
    “400.000 Arbeiter nähen für internationale Modehäuser wie GAP, Nike und H&M.” Number of workers and named Distributes, not mentioned – Walmart.
    This link gives you the breakdown of the price of a T-Shirt,in graphics.

    http://images02.kurier.at/46-59345073.jpg/43.974.977

    Why is it that all those self professed reporters, commentators etc cannot provide information that is so freely shared overseas by the right/liberal press? Are they scared they will be sacked and if so are there any true reporters (not story tellers) out there?

  11. tricledrown 13

    Ennui guerilla plantings I have been doing it since I was a kid.
    If everyone did it wouldn’t take long to get a real change.
    Living legends was a very good initiative getting famous rugby players to help plant native trees.

  12. Morrissey 14

    “Stripped naked, fed to 120 dogs as officials watched”
    Another factoid for Te Reo and QoT to repeat ad nauseam

    It’s as rigorous and has as much credibility as the fantastical case cooked up by the Swedish Director of Public Prosecution Marianne Ny, AKA the “Totalitarian Tolkien”…..

    Kim Jong-un’s executed uncle Jang Song Thaek ‘stripped naked, fed to 120 dogs as officials watched’

    Wasn’t that Django Unchained?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/kim-jonguns-executed-uncle-jang-song-thaek-stripped-naked-fed-to-120-dogs-as-officials-watched-9037109.html

    Phoney baloney:

    ‘First and foremost, let’s consider the source. The story originated in a Hong Kong newspaper called Wen Wei Po, which oddly makes the claim without citing a source. With a couple of high-quality exceptions, Hong Kong media have a reputation for sensationalist and tabloidy stories that do not always turn out to be true. But, even by Hong Kong standards, Wen Wei Po is considered an unusually unreliable outlet.’

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/01/03/no-kim-jong-un-probably-didnt-feed-his-uncle-to-120-hungry-dogs/

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1388773533.html

  13. Plan B 15

    I would be interested in peoples thoughts about the idea of

    Not talking about Climate Change

    Why?
    I have a feeling that we all have an inbuilt mechanism that wants us to win the argument and loose the war.

    In other words is the goal is to change behaviour or change belief?

    I think we should focus on behaviour change not belief change. Behaviours are so much easier to change than beliefs

    So focus on the desired outcome, and on the behaviours we need to change to get to that outcome rather than on the binary ‘do you believe’ stuff we have now that seems to serve little or no purpose and does not bring people along.

    • aerobubble 15.1

      Why haven’t we met aliens?

      There are billions of habitual worlds in our galaxy, say some.

      Well simple, its because the behaviors that break convention, that break ecological niches that hold a species in place, also break the worlds that species would need to get into space and come and meet us. The history of the rise of the west is the history of exploitation, disregard and disunity.

      Behaviors resulting from pantheist and non-theist religions of the east were much more balance, better fitted, yet weren’t better fitted when it comes to Earth eating.

      So the behaviors that balance with nature, turn off turn out of consumerism and individualism pushed by media in their great socialization efforts, are clearly the way forward.

      How do we switch people onto them?

      Well explain to them the hurt they are leaving their grand kids.

      Do you love your grand kids?

    • “..I think we should focus on behaviour change..”

      yeah..!..go vegan/plant-based..

      ..that’s a large part of our problem solved..

      ..and just buying a couple of solar-panels..

      ..and driving a prius..

      ..really does diddly-squat..

      ..eh..?

      ..so..really..anyone claiming to be ‘green’/’caring for the planet’/’caring for their childrens’ future’.. who is still eating animal-flesh/bye-products..

      ..is just engaging in auto-eroticism..

      ..eh..?

      (greenpeace/green party-bbq..?..anyone..?..)

      phillip ure..

  14. JO 16

    These thoughts from Alan Bennett’s diary for 2013 say it all for me.
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/alan-bennett/diary

    ‘8 April. The morning spent paying bills: British Gas (and electricity), Thames Water, Yorkshire Water, Camden Council, Craven District Council and Mr Redhead the coal merchant in Ingleton. Many of the bills are overdue, about which I am unrepentant. The only one I pay promptly and with no feeling of resentment is Mr Redhead’s.

    It wasn’t always so. Before the public utilities were privatised one paid bills more readily, not just because they were considerably cheaper, which of course they were, but because one had little sense of being exploited. Now as I pay my water bills for instance, I think of their overpaid executives and the shareholders to whom the profits go and I know, despite the assurances of all such companies, that they are charging what they know they can get away with. Competition has not meant better service nor has it brought down prices, with some corporate behaviour close to sharp practice. British Gas, for instance, regularly omits to send me a first bill but only a reminder, which has no details about consumption. When challenged they say this may be because bills have been sent online. But how can this be when we have no computer? If one telephones and manages eventually to get through one is dealt with by someone always charming and even-tempered (and often Scots) who promises to look into it. But when in due course the bill comes again it is still with no details and coupled with threats of court action. So whereas once upon a time I paid my bills as Auden said a gentleman should, as soon as they were submitted, these days I put them off, paying sometimes only at the third or fourth time of asking or when I am assured (rhetorically, I know) that the bailiffs are about to call. I am no crusader but I wish there was a consumers’ organisation which could co-ordinate individual resistance to these companies, setting up non or late payment on such a scale that it would put a dent in the dividends of the shareholders and the salaries of the executives concerned.

    This was written a few hours before I learned of Lady Thatcher’s death and it’s an appropriate epitaph.’

    • joe90 16.1

      heh

      Mrs Thatcher was a mirthless bully and should have been buried, as once upon a time monarchs used to be, in the depths of the night.

  15. aerobubble 17

    So now we are overwhelmingly, okay, a majority non-religious society, do we get to hang heretics too?

  16. aerobubble 18

    Its the economy stupid.

    Christchurch Earthquake will add 1% to GDP. Key did not cause the Earthquakes.

    Child demand for Milk. Key did not create Fonterra.

    China-NZ trade growth, due to Labour freetrade agreement is attracting Australian companies to NZ.

    Caveats.

    Globally milk producers increasing their supply to China.

    Slowdown in China.

    Collapse in house prices.

    Key did little to help and a lot of harm to the NZ economy.

  17. multicultural nz (formerly the federation of ethnic councils) have put out this list of draft election policies: https://www.facebook.com/notes/multicultural-new-zealand-federation-of-multicultural-councils/multicultural-new-zealand-draft-election-policies-on-ethnic-affairs/665181876865340

    is there really anything of that list that a left-wing party shouldn’t be doing? yes, it would be good if they talked about a living wage, given they recognise that ethnic minority communities are over-represented in terms of low wage jobs. but does that negate any of the other issues they have raised? should they stop advocating for these things and should we just ignore them because they are focusing on what we have in common?

    i personally think it would be foolish for any political party to ignore this list of policies. it should be part of the range of things that need to be implemented to improve nz society.

    • RedBaronCV 19.1

      You are not wrong and I was particularly pleased to see the recognition of the need for domestic assaults assistance. And I’ve have to say good luck with getting diversity througth the workforce and I hope the default position is “for both sexes”. FFS we have had many years of women born within the country and educated alongside males and we still don’t have even workplace gender diversity based on these groups.

    • karol 19.2

      Thatnks, stargazer. Yes they indicate a pay gap. Also under-representation of various ethnic groups in poltics and the public services.

      It would also be good if the living wage, and/or poverty could be discussed more in connection with other aspects of diversity – gender, sexuality etc.

      Government needs more representation of people from, and committed to others on low income background from diverse groups.

      More multi-lingual focus – yes.

  18. Morrissey 20

    LEST WE FORGET:
    Why they want to destroy Julian Assange

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

    “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”—George Orwell

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    IMF paper warns of ‘savings tax’ and mass write-offs as West’s debt hits 200-year high

    While use of debt pooling in the eurozone can reduce the need for restructuring or defaults, it comes at the cost of higher burdens for northern taxpayers. This could drag the EMU core states into a recession and aggravate their own debt and ageing crises. The clear implication of the IMF paper is that Germany and the creditor core would do better to bite the bullet on big write-offs immediately rather than buying time with creeping debt mutualisation.

    TLDR: Austerity ain’t working.

    Colour me surprised.

  20. Tracey 22

    JO

    plus 100

    I listened to some people talking about media overkill when mandela died. I was in europe when thatcher died. For 48 hoyes sky cnn and bbc beatified her. I began to wonder if different thatcher died.

    perhaps mandela pricked their consciousness while thatcher pricked wallets

  21. joe90 23

    Ralph Nader: ‘The Country You Destroyed': A Letter to George W. Bush

    Today, Iraq remains a country (roughly the size and population of Texas) you destroyed, a country where over a million Iraqis, including many children and infants (remember Fallujah?) lost their lives, millions more were sickened or injured, and millions more were forced to become refugees, including most of the Iraqi Christians. Iraq is a country rife with sectarian strife that your prolonged invasion provoked into what is now open warfare. Iraq is a country where al-Qaeda is spreading with explosions taking 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 lives per day. Just this week, it was reported that the U.S. has sent Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq’s air force to be used against encampments of “the country’s branch of al-Qaeda.” There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq before your invasion. Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein were mortal enemies.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/01/03

  22. Tracey 24

    For thse who smugly tell themselves that those on benefits are lazy and that todays youth are lazy and just dont want to work, please reconcile that view with this

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/02/one-in-10-jobless-yougov-poll

    • cricklewood 24.1

      I think its far more complicated than that, In my previous position I used to hire through the local winz as the company liked to try and employ from within the local community wherever possible. All we hired were keen and enjoyed to varying degrees the job which although relatively physical was outdoors and paid better than minimum by @$2 ph.
      The startling thing was the peer pressure that went on these guys from there so called mates once they had a job to provide booze etc. I had one damn near assaulted in the street because he wasn’t replying to his mates txt msgs which went something along the lines of “you think you’re to good to talk to me now you’ve got a job c**t” the fact he was working made no difference…not long after his so called mates robbed his house while he was at work. Fortunately he stuck it out but there were others prior who didn’t due to this kind of crap. Generally it was mates getting upset if they didnt head out to party on a work night or as we worked in the public space they would spend the day driving by giving them shit.
      Really hard for a 18-22 yr old to cope with and frankly I’m at a loss as how to solve what is effectively bullying. Certainly those that caved to a degree and partied during the week struggled big time on the job despite there best intentions…

      • greywarbler 24.1.1

        That is interesting. I have looked at those late booze hours and wondered who was drinking, who was partying, and whether they could do a job the next day, and if not working where the money was coming from.

        It is my opinion that the leaders and lawmakers have by allowing even encouraging long alcohol serving hours, that they have been deliberately trying to get money from these young people and not caring that it is leading them into unsupportable addiction and have degraded their lives. Temptation to keep drinking is not easily resisted when you are already half-way drunk and ‘relaxed’. Then while unemployed the bad habits have developed of using drink to fill in the day – because this shameless government has not organised work for the dole to keep the young ones out of the pubs.

        • cricklewood 24.1.1.1

          Tbh most drink at home or at a house party before heading into a pub around 1 am for an hour or so…. its just two pricey otherwise. The opening hours wouldn’t really change much.
          That said I would often wander down to my local 4 square early on a Sunday morning to find a queue waiting for alcohol to continue on from the sat. Im generalizing but as it was Taita/Pomare most could i’ll afford it.
          I honestly believe these small neighbour shops are a big problem as like you say once tipsy its hard to stop. At least the supermarkets are further away and in my experience far more stringent. Certainly it’s a bigger step to drive 10 min to town than wander down the local booze store at 6 30 am….

          • greywarbler 24.1.1.1.1

            cricklewood
            Your points insightful I think. I have noticed that it seems immigrants, such as Indian, are running small suburban booze shops in suburban areas and it is not a healthy look to be trying to make profit from this alcohol drug. The small shop I went into was stacked to the ceiling with booze of all sorts.

            This would be in a small shopping centre where in my day you might go down to have a milk shake at the milk bar. Alcohol was still there but was saved for parties, and organisation was needed to buy a dozen beer or so for teenagers. Now as I say it is waved in the face of people of all ages, and it seems like lemonade with some alcohol, but just the other way round. It’s spirits being drunk from vodka, bourbon bottles, very high alcohol count. If it is allowed it must be okay is the thought.

            Some neighbourhoods have followed through with the thinking and come to the idea that it is wrong and that there is a powerful group that acts against their young people, willing to encourage them so they spend the money which as you say they can ill afford. And probably start a lifetime weakness. It is said that the government is the first party to be addicted though, to the excise taxes.

            I have just found Dr David Nutt who is a psychiatrist, was a UK head in the control of drugs official organisation, before he was sacked because he started doing some whistleblowing. Sacked summarily actually. And I don’t think he got any golden parachutes.

            (He just said ‘the thing about alcohol is it changes your judgment’. My point about the way Stat – falling off horses with brain damage for the rider has ratio 1:350 and similar damage for ecstasy ratio 1:10,000 (think) – interesting comparison.)

            Link for Dr Nutt – this is 11.28m version.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cVEAxaLq-M
            and
            this is 58 m version downloaded by Uni of Otago NZ
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkcO_wJ9yKo
            and
            http://addiction-dirkh.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/dr-david-nutt-on-alcohol.html
            and
            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/david-nutt-alcohol-more-dangerous-than-crack/

        • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1.2

          and if not working wondering? where the money was coming from.

          Well, if some of the things I’ve heard are anything to go by – their parents.

          It is my opinion that the leaders and lawmakers have by allowing even encouraging long alcohol serving hours, that they have been deliberately trying to get money from these young people and not caring that it is leading them into unsupportable addiction and have degraded their lives.

          That’s exactly what’s been happening. It was the, IMO, main reason why the drinking age was lowered. Our whole social system is all about producing profits for the rich and the only way to do that is to have as many people as possible purchasing the product/service.

          because this shameless government has not organised work for the dole to keep the young ones out of the pubs.

          Work for the dole isn’t the answer and never has been. Get these people out doing something challenging and of value to society, i.e, running out telecommunications, upgrading power grids, building wind generators, electrifying the entire rail network.

          There is no reason for there to be any unemployment except ideology: National’s, Labour’s and the business sectors desire to keep wages down.

  23. Draco T Bastard 25

    The Biodiversity Bubble: How What We Don’t Know Could Get Us Killed

    Right now, we are in the midst of what’s been dubbed the “Sixth Great Extinction.” The fifth extinction was the one that killed off the dinosaurs and things are moving much, much faster now.

    Depending on whose calculations you trust, we’re losing somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000 species a year. And we—meaning us humans—will not survive this loss.

    So, still think we should cut back on the environmental protections in the RMA, drill up more oil and coal and build more roads?

  24. Draco T Bastard 26

    National’s re-writing of history continues with the YoungNats claiming the success of the marriage equality bill as their own.

  25. ecossemaid 27

    As a recent arrival in N.Z, I am still trying to get my head around various aspects of NZ politics……I spent the best part of a decade in UK as an activist to the lbgt council. However that is low priority in these desperate times and we need to unite, as far as possible, to the concerns of the many,compared to the hobby horses of a few.
    In the U.K one of the hot topics being discussed is the idea of a,living wage.There is a minimum wage set which as absolutely useless in the U.K.
    What will Labour do towards providing a living wage?What is the minimum wage here and how much does it need to be to benefit people in this country?

    • McFlock 27.1

      as I recall the minimum wage is about $5ph under what would be a living wage. Some local bodies and companies have chosen to adopt it already, not sure of individual party policies but I’d expect it to be an issue in the election from ladgrnmana, if policies have not already been announced.

    • JK 27.2

      To ecossemaid – the current NZ minimum wage is $13.50 an hour and the “living wage” has been suggested as at least $18 an hour. Labour has said it would extend the living wage to all Parliamentary workers as a starting point. Wellington City has said something similar. Auckland City Mayor had it as a campaign policy but he hasn’t managed to get it passed in the council yet. Not sure about other local govtsin NZ.

  26. greywarbler 28

    Something new – an email inviting me to subscribe to The Standard to get email of coments on Jose Pagani thread to which I have posted. Normally I would just tick the box on the page. Is this a new feature lprent?

    Actually I can’t cope with getting every email on a busy post. I find it better to make a personal check of what has gone down, or search my archive and work my way down the headings and click on each one to see if someone has commented to me.

    • karol 28.1

      gw, that feature has been around for a while. Sometimes it seems to come and go. I also tend to try to switch it off when I can.

  27. ecossemaid 29

    Well glad there are some out there working towards it.Thanks for you replies

  28. swordfish 30

    In the immediate wake of Mandela’s death, I commented here on the way he, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other leaders of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa have argued that Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian territory represents the New Apartheid.

    Despite a good deal of upset and gnashing of teeth from the Israel Lobby and its supporters, there’s really nothing controversial about the claim anymore. Hell, even a number of leading mainstream Israelis seem to accept it as apt.

    Here’s an in-depth comparative analysis of South African and Israeli Apartheid from The Guardian’s Middle East (and former South African) correspondent, Chris McGreal.

    Part One – here…… http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/06/southafrica.israel
    and Part Two – here…… http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/07/southafrica.israel

    Meanwhile, leading South African International Law Expert, long-time anti-apartheid activist and UN Special Rapporteur for the Middle East, Professor John Dugard. also sees striking similarities

    Here ……http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/feb/23/israelandthepalestinians.unitednations , here…….. http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/the-law-and-practice-of-apartheid-in-south-africa-and-palestine.html and here……. http://epalestine.blogspot.co.nz/2009/08/epalestine-john-dugard-two-states-or.html

  29. KJT 31

    I’ve just taken some time out.
    Because I am really pissed off and finding it hard to remain objective., Also to decide if what I thought happened really did happen, to listen and think about what everyone said.

    I was going to reply to Weka as promised, who seemed to be, finally, starting to do what she was asking me to do, Listen! I havn’t cooled down enough yet, however.

    We all bring baggage, including different life experiences and points of view to the discussion.

    At primary school I was a small geeky, bookworm who suffered a lot from the attentions of the school bullies.
    The experience left me with a strongly developed sense of fairness, an instinct to fight for the underdog and and a contempt for those who hide behind their “Authority” abuse their power or position and “the rules”, (often of their own making).

    I’ve found that the only way to deal with these people is to stand up to them. And , if you are different, be yourself. Most people will respect you for it.

    Most of my life I have been getting into strife, standing up to authoritarian bullying types. (Most of them have been white males, by the way). Usually to help someone who hasn’t the power to stand up for themselves.

    If you have been listening to me, you would know I am pretty pissed with the mess the current people in power (Also I agree, mostly white males, but not all), have been making.

    I don’t think simply replacing authoritarian bullying white males with authoritarian bullying women, or authoritarian bullying RWNJ’s with authoritarian bullying lefties. is the answer however.

    I, mostly stayed away from the conversation about rape.
    That subject was hurtful enough. It was just a year since my daughters school friend had been murdered by her ex partner.
    I didn’t need a discussion where I knew, unless I kept to every dotted I and crossed T of the QOT approved script I would be in the firing line.

    This time I thought, “what gives QOT the right to dictate the terms of the conversation, and then bully people into submission with powerful accusations, which were neither fair, nor justified.. Moving into the house and walking around with hobnailed boots covered in dogshit from other conversations and then complaining that the males leave the toilet seat up.

    I get it that some who are involved with the Labour party are angry with being marginalised and told to STFU. By “white dudes”. (Also I seem to remember by at least one brown dude and some white women). Taking it out on people here that are on your side though, is both unnecessarily divisive and counterproductive.

    Respectful disagreement is healthy. I don;’t want to silence QOT or anyone else.

    The point is we seem to be concentrating on one issue at a time, letting the right frame the debate and only getting the odd hard fought win.

    I look around me and despair that, despite some wins, life for most of the people around me is getting shittier and shittier.
    I see people in miserably paid dead end precarious jobs, if they have one. Women trying to bring up kids, in horrific circumstances, being pissed about by the gestapo at WINZ, and vilified by unthinking and judgmental people who have no clue about what they have to face. I talk kids out of committing suicide after yet another round between dodgy employers and WINZ. I saw the light go out in a gay kids eyes when he was bullied, and it came back at a gay wedding when he realised that he was not alone.

    Like fuck, I don’t care about women’s rights, LBGT rights, the rights of people with disabilities. I have a mentally disabled son FFS. We are still hurting from fighting the system of mainstreaming, cost cutting and peoples attitude to the mentally ill.

    When I suggest solutions like a UBI, Empowering those people is high in my thoughts.

    The we have all the other important a necessary issues such as AGW and resource depletion. Making sure our kids still have a world to live in.

    How do we use our energies on all the things that need doing?

    The crazy thing here, is, that if QOT was really being told to STFU, on here, I would have backed her, for the same reasons I backed CV.

    • Tracey 31.1

      I would be surprised if CV regarded himself as a victim. He holds no punches when he disagrees with anyone and can be very forthright which, as a new poster some time ago, can be quite offputting. However, that’s the nature of a forum.

      For what it is worth I dont want authoritarian women to replace authoritarian men. I am not sure I have read QOT s saying she would like that either.

  30. North 32

    Thanks KJT. I’m feeling much better. Not saying anything about anyone or anything. Just that I’m feeling much better. Haven’t particularly followed the CV and QOT thing anyway. Engagement seemed way too much like jumping into a serious blue between people both of whom touch me positively.

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    . . 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
  • 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...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 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. Staff and South Auckland community members had been campaigning to turn around the polytechnic’s proposal for mass redundancies since they were announced last...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Proud’s Britain
    Alex Proud has a very good long piece in the Telegraph that is as disturbing as it is accurate. The subject? Baby-boomers, and the way they have blindly robbed the generations that came after them. He is writing about Britain,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2
    Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in...
    Hot Topic | 19-11
  • Public Service Announcement: Advice to Andrew Little
    Over the last 48 hours absolutely everyone and his/her dog/cat has been publicly advising Andrew Little what he should with his front bench and much else decides. Good for them. Free speech is super. I won't be joining the chorus,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • Jordan uses Islam to battle ISIS
    My former UCLA colleague Larry Rubin, and my former Michigan colleague Michael Robbins, have a fascinating piece at the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog overnight, all about how Jordan is setting Islam against ISIS: Many people in the Hashemite Kingdom...
    Polity | 19-11
  • a respnse to robyn malcolm
    yesterday i had a brief exchange on twitter with robyn malcolm regarding roger sutton, and you can see the whole exchange from this tweet:A CERA employee with some humanity https://t.co/VgjwPhpUVz http://t.co/2Q9s8efQBx— Robyn Malcolm (@robynmalcolm) November 19, 2014twitter is unfortunately not...
    The Hand Mirror | 19-11
  • Gordon Campbell on the SAS role against Islamic State, and Podemos
    Could this news report serve to explain – in a nutshell – why Prime Minister John Key has not ruled out the SAS forming part of New Zealand’s contribution to the fight against Islamic State? From the New York Times...
    Gordon Campbell | 19-11
  • Support Andrew Little
    We need to get in behind the new Labour leader. Let's focus on the need to defeat National in 2017, and not concern ourselves too much with the utter destruction of everything we had ever hoped to achieve for this...
    Imperator Fish | 19-11
  • 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
  • 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
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • REVIEW: The Blind Date Project
    The Blind Date Project Silo Theatre 4-29 November The Basement  Part of the excitement of a live performance, be it music or theatre or a circus with trapeze artists and lion tamers, is the risk that it could all go...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Good News For The Left!
    EVER SINCE the debacle of 20 September 2014, the New Zealand left has been hanging out for some good news. Today, thanks to Stephen Mills, the Executive Director of UMR Research, it has finally got some. UMR Research has for...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • The SIS won’t use 48 hour warrantless spying for ‘evidence’
    Let’s just slay one of the myths the Government are trying to use right now to justify the SIS 48 hour warrantless search fishing expeditions shall we? The Government has been telling all who listen over the weekend that the SIS...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • 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
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Judge joins calls for tourist driver tests
    A district court judge has joined the growing number of professionals calling for tourist driving tests....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU congratulates new Labour leader
    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union congratulates Andrew Little on his election as Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. “I have worked closely with Andrew and know he will be a strong and successful leader,” says Bill Newson,...
    Scoop politics | 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.”...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • WHO Highlights Devastating Global Impact of Drowning
    The global drowning report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 372,000 lives are lost each year to drowning. Safekids Aotearoa, as a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, has joined the worldwide effort to focus more attention...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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