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Open mike 07/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 7th, 2012 - 143 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

143 comments on “Open mike 07/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1


    Election Polls open across America. Voting starts

    What will the new president do about Climate Change?

    For good or ill, America has a tradition of global leadership. When it comes to climate change America needs to lead more actively in the world – not from behind, but from the front.

    It’s all about leadership

    Ultimately, at some time, whoever becomes US president he or she will have to take on the historic task to build the necessary public support for the fight to save our world. As the commander in chief of the most developed and richest and powerful nation on earth, the President of the United States has a historical obligation to lead public opinion against Climate Change– and that starts with explaining to the American people that the US and the world needs to take drastic action to avert further catastrophe, and that America needs to be in the lead in taking that action.

    Will Obama be that president?

    Will Romney?

    Or will we have to wait another four more terrible years of rudderless inaction and silence from the President of the United States in the face of this impending global holocaust?

  2. millsy 2

    Suprised that Obama has lasted this long.

    I would have thought that some Alabama redneck was going to assassinate him, or the GOP would find some excuse to push him out of office, via impeachment, etc.

    Obama has proved to be dissapointing, in that he caved into the Tea Party on issues such as healthcare, but Mitt Romney is probably the most right wing GOP candidate ever, with Ryan even more right wing than he is.

    Anyway, by the end of the day, we will know if the US people are going to stick with him….

    Ive taken a day of A/L just to watch the election coverage ;-)

    • karol 2.1

      I’m not disappointed in Obama – I never had high hopes for him.  I won’t be watching the coverage.  The amount of coverage given to the US presidential race outside the US is just another part of the Americanisation of the world – a mix of cultural and political colonisation.
       
      Al Jazeera has been giving it too much coverage this morning too. Of course the outcome will have some impact on the world.  But the election campaigns of tweedledum or tweedledee are just a political circus; a diversion from the important political issues, IMO.

      • AwakeWhileSleeping 2.1.1

        Yep, I think we should be much more concerned with Asia. We need less America influences in our media, not better coverage of muppet vs muppet.

    • muzza 2.2

      Millsy, how do you suppose that some redneck would manage that?

      Hopefully you were joking about the day off to watch it, as it actually make no difference at all, if not suggestion would be that you stop watching reading MSM so much, and understand that what you see in the USA, like NZ, is really just theatre, which is covering for horrific crimes, domestically and internationally.

      Poor Jenny above is waiting, hoping that the POTUS will stop the climate “holocaust” (I really wish people would stop using that as a comparison), and that is simply not going to happen, the reasons have become obvious, but many still believe in the fantasy of democracy and freedom, despite the world we have in front of us!

      GITMO, WARS, NDAA, Dones, polygamy, theocracy, prophecies, oaths etc….America fcuk yeah!

      • millsy 2.2.1

        Yeah, actually I was joking about taking the day off. I actually took the week off for unrelated reasons. That the election fell on during that week was a co-incidence.

        Still going to watch the coverage — nothing better to do…

        • AwakeWhileSleeping 2.2.1.1

          That’s awful. Poor you. Try tv-links.eu

          I enjoy Person of Interest, Burn Notice, Perception, Elementary….or for something British and comedy search the site for A Touch of Cloth : )

        • muzza 2.2.2.1

          Polygyny…

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.1

            I don’t see a problem with it. If multiple people choose to be in a relationship that’s their choice.

            Now, if it was a forced relationship then I would have issues with it but that doesn’t have anything to do with polygamy.

            • muzza 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Reading too much into stuff B.

              Point was, you get a warmonger, who likes to pass exec orders which allow people to be killed, detained or disposed of without charges etc, and who lies about it, and who is a puppet

              or

              You get a warmonger, who lies and covers up what his religious beliefs represents, who lies about tax returns and so on, and is a puppet.

              Both represent the same gang!

    • I am disappointed with Obama for not striking out further to left however he did have a obstinate Republican opposition with Mitch McConnell even saying that the number one goal was was denying Obama reelection. Not helping the country, not moving forward, but making sure nothing is done. Which is pretty fucking backward.

      I have also taken the day off to play election day drinking games with my friends at The Egonomist.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        There were a few good things done.

        Massive broadening of warrantless wiretaps and communications interception, increase in the foreign drone assassination programme, passing laws to detain indefinitely/execute US citizens without charge or due process, bailing the banks out to the tune of a trillion dollars or more while letting millions of US homes get foreclosed on, increasing the number of people on food stamps to 46M etc.

  3. Under the cover provided by the release of the Pike River report and the US elections the Government is advancing the gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

    The Sustainability Council is claiming that the Government is trying to play down a big deficit in the carbon accounts by removing the cost of credits given to polluters from the Government Accounts.  There will still be a cost.  The Government wants to hide this cost.

    “Climate Change Minister Tim Groser declined to comment because he has not been fully briefed on the documents.”

    So a Minister can decline to answer questions by keeping his eyes firmly closed? 

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      Well, John Key did encourage a trend for his cabinet colleagues with his higher standards of “can’t recall”, “didn’t read”, “dunno” and such like.

      So we are now hearing Tim Groser overtaking John Key’s standards with “not been fully briefed”.

      • mike e 3.1.1

        Now I get the picture Grosser has been sharing some of his wacky backy with the PM short term memory loss!

    • KhandallaMan 3.2

      Tim Groser is above accountability to ordinary people and parliament.  He is an extraordinary giant of the world scene, who we should be honoured to have on our payroll.  He has never and will never be elected to anything: why should he answer piffling questions? 

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Following John Key’s example of not reading reports that tell him stuff he doesn’t want to know.

      • Jim Nald 3.3.1

        There are also more ‘good’ lines coming out of this lot in government.

        A chocolate fish for guessing who said this just yesterday (and mangled up the year anyway):

        “I got my warrant in December 2008. I cannot recall anything of December 2008″

        • Jim Nald 3.3.1.1

          And this one today:

          “I do not have all of that detail to hand”

          (but that was not a real response to what the question was asking)

  4. LynW 4

    A refreshing opinion on Stuff.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/opinion/7914631/John-Key-scores-two-own-goals-for-stupidity

    ‘The word “thick” is a vile term used to belittle children, many of who find their only outlet in sport.

    All Black Victor Vito is supportive of children with learning difficulties and he wants to write a book to improve their grasp of language.

    Some of these kids will make something of their lives, just as Beckham did coming out of the east end of London, and perhaps some will become All Blacks. Will it still be all right to snigger at them then for being thick? ‘

    Perhaps someone will open an apology to Beckham Facebook page so those of us embarrassed by Key’s gaffe can apologise for him!

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      Yup. I will sign up.
      There should be an option as well on that Facebook page that announces NZ disowning John Key.

    • vto 4.2

      Yes Lynw, that is a well written piece that succinctly places John Key in his correct position – that of an ignorant pig (apologies to pigs).

      Two other things. First, whenever you deal with someone, especially in money stuff like business or politics etc, and that someone has one eye more open than the other then watch out. Key has this.

      Second, how is Key saying “Beckham is smart, he has made more money than me”…. ffs, talk about being in a hole and continuing to dig.

    • weka 4.3

      That is such an excellent opinion piece.
       
      One of the things that concerned me was how Key’s comments reinforce the entrenched cultural belief that only one kind of intelligence* is valuable (or it’s the most valuable). Putting some worth on emotional and social intelligence wouldn’t go too far astray at this point. Not to mention the intelligences that go into making one a world class sportsperson.
       
      *Of course Key is trying to overturn that and make out that financial trading intelligence is the pinnacle of human worth.

  5. vto 5

    Here is a sobering current happening…….

    Neoliberal failures at Pike River, leaky homes and finance companies. All are results of the small government, less regulation, more asset sales, free market for everything, private is best approach to the world. This approach has now been evidenced to have failed with the loss of 29 lives, countless life savings, and dank damp housing. Especially recall Brownlee’s approach to mine safety review i.e. dismissing it as unnecessary, with an arrogant snigger.

    Now, take Brownlee and his approach and the entire neoliberal approach to everything and dump that on the city of Christchurch…… my god, the mind boggles at what the resultant mess will be. We can already see one of the effects of Brownlee and the neoliberal approach in the wanton destruction of heritage buildings. Smsahed down without due process. Demolished prior to consent and consultation……….

    Sound familiar? Pike River / finance companies / leaky homes on a city-wide scale? You betcha.

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Yes it is time to own up to neoliberal regulatory failures – of small government, of free (fall) market, government’s hands-off regulation, privatising profits and socialising losses, ……

      Don’t forget Rena and CTV.
      Someone should maintain a web/facebook page to keep a roll call of disgrace and shame.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      And still, Christchurch voted Brownlee back in with a majority of 13,000. So the elite of that city don’t give a fuck.

      • vto 5.2.1

        Brownlee rode the wave of disaster politics – nothing more. In the same way Chch re-elected Bob Parker when he was about to be completely flushed down the dunny, so too did the people vote for the incumbent in government.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          That makes me completely despair about democracy in this country.

          • Jim Nald 5.2.1.1.1

            Keep your hope up.
            There is an alternative.
            Greens have been working on it and Labour … um aahh err … soon, soon.

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Hi Jim, my despair is about the stupidity of voters. Vto’s comment made it obvious in a way I haven’t seen for a while. Not sure that the Greens can do much about that, but yes I do have some hope of attempts to head in the right direction.

      • David H 5.2.2

        I reckon he will get a real nasty shock next time.

    • BM 5.3

      You may want big government, I certainly don’t.
      Less government the better.

      • mike e 5.3.1

        Well your getting it Blind Monetarist look at the number of Con-sultants the government is hiring
        Hundreds of millions the govt is spending on high price public troughing consultants!

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.2

        Less government the better for private corporate and capitalist interests.

        FIFY

      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.3

        The Rena, CTV, and now Pike river all show the effects of less government. Basically, it’s less government comes with an increase in death and destruction.

        You, and every other RWNJ, may want that but the rest of us don’t.

      • Uturn 5.3.4

        I’d like less government too, but somehow I think you mean a smaller centralised government doing as they please, clumsily effecting everyone; whereas I mean many smaller independant governments relating directly to their States, Communities or whatever useful arrangement occurs.

        • Bill 5.3.4.1

          Is that like zero central or remote governmence and much more in the way of immediate and empowerng governance?

          • Uturn 5.3.4.1.1

            If you like to call it that. Not the silver bullet, but at least not as damaging as urban dwellers defining a rural reality or one culture dictating another. Separate, but together. Does it not seem strange that a man from the North could come down South and say, “We’re taking your forestry and giving you an unsafe mine to work” or “You can’t fish here, we want something nice to visit later” or “No you can’t teach your kids as you like, your school must start at 9am with English first language – and by the way, we’re closing your school” or “Send us your young men to die for our interests overseas”.

            Transfer the consequences for unsafe and unsustainable practices directly to the people doing those things, instead of bailing them out from a distance, with money and rules. No more passing of the NIMBY buck. Encourage people to talk to one another, across States, to get things done diplomatically, instead of assuming power to do as one small group interests are concerned. A Confederation of States. In reality, people will still seek to make money and, with some notable exceptions, share similar values. However, power will be redistributed so people must be more diplomatic and communities can choose with whom they do business.

            • Bill 5.3.4.1.1.1

              No disageement with the first paragraph. Not convinced by the second, although I agree with the sentiments.

              • Uturn

                Yep, it’s just my impossible dream that will not please anyone entirely and upset people I haven’t set out to upset. So, in the abscence of The Great Revolution, what I intend to do is support anything on offer that goes in that general direction. The main point being that although I generally support left-leaners, my comprehension of what NZders would go for doesn’t match big parental style government or small centralised.

                • weka

                  Interesting ideas Uturn. Would you also devolve things like welfare or human rights? How about conservation where there are issues of national significance?

                  • Bill

                    Not being entirely flippant. But abolish the market and the need for welfare to ameliorate the effects of a rapacious ‘dog eat dog’ market diminish….maybe even vanish. Abolish the market in conjunction with developing meaningful democratic institutions and human rights take a massive stride forwards.

                    And conservation alongside other ‘big’ issues are accommodated, not just by market abolition meanig that decsions aren’t determined by the single measure of potential profit, but by democratic systems that work on the principle whereby measures of input to decisions are roughly in balance with the effects decisions would likely have.

                  • Uturn

                    Weka and vto:

                    Yeah it is complex, that’s why I call it the impossible dream and use it as a guide to what I would support, or do not.

                    Auckland once organised themselves into Boroughs, or perhaps, evolved into Boroughs from smaller units. Where I live I can walk across three of the old lines in an hour or so. Pretty small areas, smaller than I propose above. More recently, everything became a Supercity, smaller and more centralised, with less local distribution of power. This is clearly too big for the amount of people involved.

                    Is the idea a direct reversal of a natural evolutionary process or a realisation that people want to be, at some level, seperate to their neighbours across the harbor or in another Island? How separate can they responsibly be?

                    I would not like to tell Coasters what was good for them or Southerners how to organise themselves. Even less so in areas that have strong maori influence. Do they not know what’s good for them and their environment? If an area pollutes their water supply, they can deal with it, drink it themselves, clean up the mess or find new ways to get what they want. The kind of people who would front these States and community organisation wouldn’t be too sympathetic with reckless exploitation. That’s the whole point.

                    It is communism? Possibly, because communities have direct decision making independence and the concept of property would change, but also not, because there is no larger state coming to bail you out of your self interested greedy messes. Is it Socialism? Not really, because there is no end game other than cause and effect, acts and consequence, but also yes it is because it is constant transition toward community and relationship. Is it Anarchy? Possibly, because Auckland has little interest, or say, in the squablings of Canterbury or Kaitaia, but also not, because we’ll do business with you or support your interests if they happen to be mutual undertakings – within the laws of our new Confederation.

                    Unless there was a way to retain Commonwealth status, Treaty of Waitangi and a Confederation Document, the first two would have to go in favour of the last. Confederation Document would not seek to rob Maori of what is theirs, and would reaffirm their special status, but also it would acknowledge that pakeha cannot disappear and are now inextricably linked. Overall, the idea acknowledges Maori have less power than pakeha now and will have more as a result of a new agreement. It’s going to piss off those who don’t want anything to do with Europeans at all, I don’t know how to get round that. To make this document work, it would have to be developed in good faith by people intent on principles, not specific culture. It would deal with how States may interact, not individuals.

                    Is it Capitalism? Since we live in a modern global world, money and profit will be around for a while, but there is no encouragement to go Neo-Liberal. Is it Fascism? Well that’s up to each community to decide how far they enforce their own values. Is it chaos? No, because we all have to get along and certain infrastructure may well be in all our best interests. Some areas will have resources other people want to buy, bringing a certain kind of order. The taste for war and disruption will soon lose it’s attraction. Not many people want to voluntarily starve or die.

                    Is it destructive or constructive? Neither, intentionally. People can look out for each other in any way they please through mutual good faith agreement. It encourages people to consider how they relate to and use the resources they have, instead of stockpiling property and saying no one may work because I want to be top of the heap. Will the weak be trampled by the powerful? That’s the way it’s always been, but imagine trying to sell the idea to a community at a local hall, openly, not by sneaky cowardly cuts to benefits and hiding in ivory towers saying you can’t be held responsible. If your leaders want to kill you, go hang them behind the town hall and elect new ones, for all I care. It’s up to the laws and culture of your State. Nothing can make nice for humans that which the universe has ordered will always be nasty.

                    Does it defuse the celebrity trend in Politics? To some degree. Politics gets up close and personal, not just candidates on TV all highly polished, but people you’re likely to meet at the supermarket any day. You’ll know why things are the way things are, instead of having a newspaper tell you and if you get a bad feeling about someone you meet in person, listen to it. The effect of hero worship will dealt with at the correct distance, instead of with the help of Theatre.

                    These are some of the things I’ve heard people complaining about or opposing and the above is my interpretation of the structure I think would begin to form if we all got more say. It’s anathema to the power hungry, which is the biggest complaint we all seem to have.

                • Bill

                  Yep, it’s just my impossible dream…

                  meh. So was walking on the moon until it became a demand.

            • vto 5.3.4.1.1.2

              uturn, your base premise is stated approximately thus …. ” Does it not seem strange that a man from the North could come down South and say, “We’re taking your forestry and giving you an unsafe mine to work” ”

              How would you go about drawing that, in this instance, geographical line? Using this west coast example – should Aucklanders have less say, and what about people from Canterbury, and what about people from Haast having a say in Greymouth?

              That is a very difficult line to draw, however it is noted that this line has been arbitrarily drawn in two completely different ways by the last two governments. Helen Clark’s lot came down from the North and did actually take that forestry of course. But then this current lot separate the people of east Canterbury (Christchurch) from those of west Canterbury (farmers) and are actually taking the water and environment.

              So one lot drew that line around NZ’s coastline while the other has drawn a line right through a single province.

              ’tis a complex matter the one you raise and personally I don’t see that too many such lines could or should be drawn in a populace and set of islands as small as ours.

              • weka

                Good questions. I think going with the landbase makes sense – you look at the watershed and resources and how they flow or are contained (take our cues from nature). The West Coast is fairly obvious – there is a big range of mountains in between it and everything else. If you want to go smaller, take the Waitaki Valley or the Clutha Valley and their watersheds/origins.

              • Bill

                Why have set geographic areas? The effects of any particular decision will vary enormously. And as said above, a democratic body can be determined through a rough guage of input being in line with potential consequences or impact.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And its important to remember that NZ came from a sytem of Provincial Government. My feeling is that a lot of authority (and capital) needs to be devolved to a local and community level, but that we are a small country and a unified central government will remain important for issues of national importance, going forwards.

    • muzza 5.4

      VTO – I think a question to ask is, how important is NZ to those who want their dirty hands all over the Antartic regions resources, and using NZ as a bigger base than is currently. Oh and those resources known to be around/off the bottom of NZ, and you can include all the farm land also, and water….really just all of it, its not ours, NZ will not be allowed to benefit from any of it!

      The ChCh situation , is again the result of background corruption, and Gerry simply the idiot “messenger”.

    • lulu 5.5

      Shame on you vto. Pike River is a tragedy not an event to list in a sound bite. It wasn’t so much a neoliberal failure as a victory for DOC and the Greens: “DOC discharged its statutory function to protect the conservation value of the land”. Besides former Ministers Wilkinson, Mallard, Dyson and Carter all had a hand in the events that culminated in the loss of lives.

      • McFlock 5.5.1

        It is evident from the Commission report that the Pike River tragedy was the result of 20 years of neglect by successive governments. 
           
        The report said training of contractors was insufficient – almost half the people in the mine were contractors. This goes to relaxed employment law.
           
        The report said regulators failed to do their job. This goes to lax regulation and public service cuts.
                 
        The report said a number of design features made the mine unsafe (e.g. the ventilation fan at the bottom of the shaft). That this was permitted goes to lax regulation.
           
        But you want to blame DoC, about the only organisation involved that vaguely did their job to spec.
                 
         
         

      • weka 5.5.2

        “a victory for DOC and the Greens:”
         
        How? Because DOC put conditions on land use that it oversees? And that made it harder to build a safe mine, so the company went ahead and built an unsafe one? And that is DOC’s fault?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.5.3

        Gordon Campbell’s On the Pike River Report http://is.gd/esPCQu “…will take [time] to repair the damage done by our neo-liberal experiment in workplace safety”

        The Pike River tragedy is the culmination of small government, lax regulation and the pursuit of profit at all costs.

  6. Zorr 6

    For those watching the US elections today, *this* is how you win an election (edited to clarify this is a video proving electronic voting fraud)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpGd74DrBM

  7. karol 8

    Damn!  So much happening today – hard to keep track of them all.  Darien Fenton’s Free Public Libraries Bill is due to its first reading, and Metiria Turei’s Income Tax (Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit) Amendment Bill, needs one more vote today -Peter Dunne? Turei says the Bill:

    would transform the In-work Tax Credit into a child payment for all children who need it, the Green Party said today.”
     
    My Bill would help to ensure that all children in New Zealand get what they need to have a good life and a fair future,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
     
    “Peter Dunne’s single vote could send my Bill to the Select Committee where a real discussion on how to end child poverty could be held.

     

  8. The growing attacks on the Green Party is just part of the journey towards Government and is actually a sign of success.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/national-greens-and-gandhi.html

  9. Jackal 11

    Passing the buck over Pike River

    It’s little wonder that the Commission of Inquiry found both a lack of governmental oversight and the company is to blame for the Pike River disaster. How exactly the government deals with this will be an interesting development, because I think most agree that Kate Wilkinson’s largely meaningless resignation as Minister of Labour isn’t enough…

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      Wilkinson’s resignation is convenient, calculated and cynical.

      • karol 11.1.1

        Kevin Hague agrees and says it was only a symbolic resignation.
         
         

        • Jim Nald 11.1.1.1

          Thanks for the link.

          Parker said and did the honourable thing as referred to in the Kevin Hague’s piece (“So following the Westminster tradition that I believe in, I resigned my other portfolios this morning”).

          As compared with that, maybe Wilkinson can say something like:

          “So following my Prime Mincer’s tradition of obfuscation, distraction, troughing and theatrics that I believe in, I kept my other portfolios this morning” :-)

  10. muzza 12

    Oh look, yet more falling tax take

    Finance Minister Bill English says there will need to be restraint “for some years to come” to meet the Government’s aims, after Treasury released figures today showing the Budget deficit is running $449m worse than forecast.

    Too much to pick apart in this article, so will leave it at that!

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      Well done, Bill English. Strategic deficit going according to plan.

      • muzza 12.1.1

        Yup, and as I have illustrated previously in comments, NZ can’t even export our way out of it!

        Meanwhile the majority have NFI what is actually going on around them, and therefore, to them!

    • Rogue Trooper 12.2

      just had a quick overview of the “world economy” debacle as the NActs continue to lie about it to Parliament;
      -Merkel-European financial crisis at least another Five years to go
      -Europe desperately courting Asian economies to open up and import more
      -NZ government revenues down first quarter, subdued economy
      -still have this US “fiscal cliff” to come, despite the short-term efficacy of QE
      -Been following the political, philosophical background to the upcoming leadership change in PRC
      particularly the United Empire / Regional Division tension and the ever present legacy of Mao (despite the tragic losses of life during The Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward)
      Mao is often compared favourably, even superlatively, with the original uniting Emperor.

      Hearing first person recent experiences of Ireland and Greece economies from fellow parishoners ( much work to be done on equity in the AC), the lived realities for many of the working, and former middle classes in these countries are not pleasant; redundant new businesses and homes to match the growing employment redundancies.

      • karol 12.2.1

        Good on Parker for getting English to admit the reality behind the apparent increase in the proportion of people in work.  English admitted in Qu time that full time jobs are down, parrt time ones are up.  English rates that as a success for Bennett’s welfare changes, scaring people back into (no doubt low-paying) part time work.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          English admitted in Qu time that full time jobs are down, parrt time ones are up.

          Same pattern as USA. And the way they measure their unemployment stats is a real scam – if you have had one hour of paid OR unpaid work in the last week, you are considered to be employed.

          Shadowstats suggests that the true unemployment rate in the USA is over 20%.

  11. karol 13

    I love Turei’s prounciation in the House today to the Minister of Revenue. She keeps referring to the Key-Dung Government.

  12. In the House Peters asks Key if he used the term ‘batshit’ key’s reply said he did not.
    brain fade again, or what?

    • karol 14.1

      Key is now saying that “categorically” that he did not use the words “David Beckham is as thick as bats**t“.  It sounds like he said something like that, but not with those words.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        He’s weaselling.

        He’s denying using any term with the word “bat….”. in it, while at the same time he’s refusing to confirm what he did say. As few people have already stated, it’s a lot more plausible he used the kiwi idiom “thick as pigshit”.

        This sort of behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated in a four-year old.

      • blue leopard 14.1.2

        My guess is that he has read all the twitter comments (“its ‘pig-shit’, numpty”) and wants to make out it was “pig-shit” he said.

  13. English’s fearce defence of Shearer in the house is telling, at least for those of us
    that consider shearer has a more right leaning belief than what labour voters are
    comfortable with, most of us that question shearer’s direction are on the right track.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Sheeezus :(

    • karol 15.2

      English didn’t really defend Shearer in the genreal debate today.  He laid into Shearer, saying he’s about to be rolled.  He claims that David Parker, Robertson, Cunliffe were not in the House yesterday, because they were meeting to decide who to replace Shearer: ditto the unions in the Koru lounge.
       
      Though he’s laying into Cunliffe more.

      • gobsmacked 15.2.1

        There’s a set pattern now at Question Time.

        Shearer asks his questions, nothing happens, then the fireworks start, with Peters, Turei and Norman getting stuck in.

        Peters got Key to deny, on the record, that he said “batshit” etc. But then he had no more questions available. It happens every week – the effective opposition are hampered by Parliament’s rules, while the “official’ opposition have far more chances, for less result.

        An innovative move would be for Shearer to ask one question, then sit down, and let others do a lot of supplementaries. But we have to pretend he’s in charge, so the charade continues.

    • re Starlight’s comment
      I felt heartened by English’s speech, it gave me the message that Nats are more worried than I had thought. It is one thing for an Opposition party to launch into the Government; another for the Government to launch into the Opposition. They sounded threatened and quite pathetic. Good!

  14. Morrissey 16

    Impressions of Gaza
    by NOAM CHOMSKY
    chomsky.info, November 4, 2012

    Even a single night in jail is enough to give a taste of what it means to be under the total control of some external force. And it hardly takes more than a day in Gaza to begin to appreciate what it must be like to try to survive in the world’s largest open-air prison, where a million and a half people, in the most densely populated area of the world, are constantly subject to random and often savage terror and arbitrary punishment, with no purpose other than to humiliate and degrade, and with the further goal of ensuring that Palestinian hopes for a decent future will be crushed and that the overwhelming global support for a diplomatic settlement that will grant these rights will be nullified.

    The intensity of this commitment on the part of the Israeli political leadership has been dramatically illustrated just in the past few days, as they warn that they will “go crazy” if Palestinian rights are given limited recognition at the UN. That is not a new departure. The threat to “go crazy” (“nishtagea”) is deeply rooted, back to the Labor governments of the 1950s, along with the related “Samson Complex”: we will bring down the Temple walls if crossed. It was an idle threat then; not today.

    The purposeful humiliation is also not new, though it constantly takes new forms. Thirty years ago political leaders, including some of the most noted hawks, submitted to Prime Minister Begin a shocking and detailed account of how settlers regularly abuse Palestinians in the most depraved manner and with total impunity. The prominent military-political analyst Yoram Peri wrote with disgust that the army’s task is not to defend the state, but “to demolish the rights of innocent people just because they are Araboushim (“niggers,” “kikes”) living in territories that God promised to us.”

    Gazans have been selected for particularly cruel punishment. It is almost miraculous that people can sustain such an existence. How they do so was described thirty years ago in an eloquent memoir….

    Read more….
    http://chomsky.info/articles/20121104.htm

  15. weka 17

    How long can Dunnokeyo’s nose grow before he trips over it?

    • Morrissey 17.1

      How long can Dunnokeyo’s nose grow before he trips over it?

      He’s tripped over it repeatedly for more than year.. The problem is that Labour has a “leader” who is utterly incapable of taking advantage of this.

    • “How long can Dunnokeyo’s nose grow before he trips over it?”

      Has ipredict got bets on that one I wonder?

  16. Vicky32 18

    A server error prevented me putting this on the relevant thread, so here it is:

    BBC news running a very good live stream with updates

    My son was watching that, while talking on the phone to me, and I was keeping an ear on BBC WS radio at the same time!
    18.20, and it looks good, though not as good as it did, according to L., he says that Ohio now looks shaky…
    I have been afraid for a while that Romney would be ‘selected’.. I hope not but we’ll see.

  17. karol 19

    Very good speech from Metiria Turei on child poverty, concluding the first reading of her tax amendment Bill.  Something certainly needs to be don to fix the unfair Working for Families tax credit that excludes children of pow income unemployed parents.
     
    The Bill failed at its first reading by one vote – Banks and Dunne voted against it – shame on them!

  18. karol 20

    Nick Smith and other Nats say they won’t be supporting Darien Fenton’s bill to entrench free public library services because:

    – Libraries are SO 1930s, and National  be providing a better service through Ultra Fast Broadband

    – and anyway, Nats don’t agree with government telling local government what to do

    – and it’s just spending other people’s money

    – and now Maggie Barry is going on about Nanny state: and Maggie, how can you say the Bill is ridiculous, when you clearly have no idea how libraries operate these days.
     

    • millsy 20.1

      Anyone who opposes libraries in this country should be [no calls for violence please. r0b]

      • karol 20.1.1

        Well, it didn’t pass – 60-61.  Banks and Dunne against.  Phil Twyford was laughing with utter disbelief that Nick Smith, after what he did with ECAN, was saying the government shouldn’t tell local governments what to do.
         
        Fenton said Nicki Kaye will not be able to show her face anywhere near any of the Libraries around Auckland, and just lost a load of votes.  Ardern gave a very good speech in answer to Nick Smith.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      Maggie Barry is a self serving over privileged little wench. Perfect Tory, the next Social Welfare Minister no doubt.

      • Jackal 20.2.1

        Yeah! Nationals performance in the debate on the Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill (PDF) was pretty diabolical! National clearly showed that they want a user pays system for our public libraries, presumably because they think only rich people should be allowed access to books, digital information and the Internet.

        Nikkie Kaye started harping on about not needing free access to libraries because National had already started something called the Manaiakalani project. What she failed to say was that Manaiakalani requires a wireless-enabled net device and the ability to access internet services from home, which isn’t much help for students who cannot afford a portable computer and a home internet connection.

        Then Maggie Barry let rip with a rhetoric laden speech full of invective critisizm for the previous Labour government. Apparently it was really really bad that they wanted people to use power saving lightbulbs and water saving shower heads. Nanny state she decried while National want to regulate people’s lives like never before.

        At one stage Barry even said Labour wanted “compulsion in the shower,” which was amusing. She then said she doesn’t support funding free and equal access to information in public libraries because she doesn’t know who pays for public services? I mean how fucking dumb can you get.

        Basically National don’t like the amendments because knowledge is power, and the power to effect change is something they most definitely want to remove from the poor. God forbid poor people educating themselves for free at a public library. Oh the humanity!

    • Colonial Viper 20.3

      - and it’s just spending other people’s money

      Tell the fucking Tory MPs to hand back their Parliamentary salaries then as they don’t seem to have any problems when its them doing the spending.

    • prism 20.4

      How sickening if Maggie Barry is yodelling about Nanny State. She worked for Radionz for years and presumably liked her pay and position, but must have been in a turmoil all the time poor thing, meeting the people’s wish for a good intellectual and cultural source. Which is what the libraries are also.

      In early colonial days Lady Barker was delivering books to her isolated shepherds and people really knew the benefit and need for supply of the written word.

      Now the over-reliance and obssession with technology and cheaper government the NACTs have is an indication of their shallow understanding of society, the elements of a modern country, and a willingness to dumb-down society at a crucial time when we need to be absorbing and critically appraising reliable information .

  19. millsy 21

    Darien’s almost in tears delivering her speech…

  20. millsy 22

    Fuck you Peter Dunne. Voting it down.

  21. prism 23

    Didn’t Peter Dunne play his well-modulated voice-of-reason superbly when he explained his pathetic reasons for not voting to extend the Working for families Bill. It didn’t make logical sense but it sounded good to those who hate being part of a society that includes and helps all.

  22. xtasy 24

    I know, I am hammering my head against a brick wall again, as nobody seems to be interested in welfare, sick, disabled and so forth, it just is not “exciting stuff”, aye?!

    But I got more PROOF of what I have hammered home before, namely that MSD (Ministry of Social (Under) Development) have been using health advisors for internal assessments and recommentations, which are done by insufficiently qualified, non expert and questionable staff of their own.

    They have since 2007 created and staffed Principal Health Advisor, Principal Disability Advisor, Regional Health Advisor, Regional Disability Advisor and Health and Disability Co-Ordiantor positions.

    Dr David Bratt, a GP from Wellington, who has a stubbornly unscientific, unreasonable, unproved and indeed BIASED view, that sick and disabled need “work” for medical care, that this will solve all their problems, and that otherwise “benefit dependency” is the same as “drug dependency”, has released a range of bizarre PDF and PowerPoint presentations that are available on the net and via this website.

    It has just come to my attention, that the College of Nursing (of Aotearoa) did two or so years back publish an article by him. It is about the plans they had at MSD to get the staff they needed, and it goes a bit into details.

    Short story is: They mostly empoy unregistered NURSES to decide about WINZ client’s disabilities and health conditions, and whether they may impact on their ability to do some forms of work. So that is it. It is decisions by supposed “medical” or “health experts”, that never are sufficiently experieinced to diagnose, assess and judge upon most health conditions, as their qualifications are not at all sufficient to do so.

    http://dc168.4shared.com/doc/k88tZRE2/preview.html

    Maybe draw your own conclusions, or do more research, but if you ever face a medical examination by a WINZ doctor and further recommendation by an RHA or RDA, think again, are you being treated “fairly”. You will NOT be, as they are all “trained” by Dr Bratt to decide what MSD and WINZ want them to decide. Remember ACC, for that sake, what MSD does is quite similar!

    • Mary 24.1

      You’re dead right, but MSD has been doing this for while now. The biggest problem is the “advisers” contacting medical professionals who have initially assessed the person as entitled to the medical related benefit (whether it’s sickness, invalid’s, child disability allowance or whatever) to convince them to change their “opinion” saying the person is not sick “according to the new rules”. Of course the rules have not been changed but doctors and others aren’t to know that so they give MSD the “opinion” they want and the benefit’s refused or stopped – easy. And the only reason they’re getting away with it is because nobody cares about the poor, the sick and the disabled, who just don’t count anymore. Labour hates the poor as they’ve shown over the previous decade, and even the unions don’t care because they’re only interested in people who’ve got jobs which is kind of surprising because workers need the poorest of the poor to be looked after so as to keep wages and conditions from dropping – but try telling that to a unionist in 2012 – the filthy tory scum have done a real job on them, and the result is that those who cannot participate in the fictitious wage labour economy don’t count anymore. We cannot rely on Labour or the unions to “look after those who can’t quite cut it”. Oh how times have changed.

      • xtasy 24.1.1

        Mary: Thank you so much!

        The reason they get away with it is: Nobody challenges them under the law – i.e. provisions under the Act (agreement to be sought before MSD or CE can “determine” a designated or chosen doctor of their type), or under natural justice, which requires fairness, to be heard, to be allowed to have ALL records of your own doctors and specialists presented, read, heard and given credit to. This is NOT what they do! They tell people to take a “pick” of a list of doctors that they see as “independent” (which they are NOT), or even tell you, see “doctor so and so”, as it happened to a mate of mine.

        They are breaking the law all the time. YOU have a right to suggest an “independent” doctor, and only if “agreement” fails (which can be questioned re “why”, if all reasonable steps to negotiate that were taken were ignored), then can they “determine” a doctor of their kind.

        But believe you me: I have ALL the evidence that they have been training and influencing the doctors they select and use!

        There will be some submissions heard re the new reform bill, and some of this will be raised! MSD are lying, dishonest and covering up, that they went further than ACC, and even “trained” the supposedly “independent” doctors they used to make “recommendations” on health and disability issues affecting sick and invalids, needing welfare support from MSD.

        Take a resolute stand, and do an Official Information Act request to get the bloody truth ouf of a commonly lying minister and her staff!!!

        • Mary 24.1.1.1

          I agree that few are challenging MSD on the law, but sometimes the law itself is bad or unfair. I agree that more challenging needs to happen, but we also need to inject compassion back into the law. How we do this I don’t know, but it’s about getting the wider public to re-adopt a caring attitude towards the vulnerable – the same attitude that all governments since the late 1980s (and particularly during the 1990s) have worked very hard and have succeeded at destroying. About using the OIA (and all other appropriate means, of course) to help expose all of this, aren’t there advocacy groups out there doing this already? I can understand why very few social security cases are challenged in the courts which I’d imagine would largely be because beneficiaries cannot afford lawyers, but surely there must be others around working on the wider issues?

    • prism 24.2

      I have been involved with ME unwellness problems the treatment of which has been influenced by British medical luminaries who pass judgments and prescriptions on sufferers and their rehabilitation that have no validity because it is a syndrome of ailments and nobody knows what causes it. The answer to that is a group of medicals who deny there is a real condition, and often classify sufferers as mentally unwell, malingerers, etc.

      There are good paying positions for ‘specialists’ who take this view and they make life more difficult and miserable for people whose real problems are not taken seriously. This sounds like the pattern that MSD has been following and also ACC. There only has to be one proved malingerer and that becomes the default position for for all with a prejudice to each from the first interaction between medicals and the unwell person.

  23. xtasy 25

    I feel I am wasting my time again on this website. It is regrettable, but the focus is not where it should be, maybe that is why the “left” in NZ is where it is, it is failing an falling apart, I am sorry. Good night!

    • weka 25.1

      I appreciate the information you share xtasy. I’m not sure what you are wanting from people at the Standard.

      • xtasy 25.1.1

        An associate sent heaps of emails and info to the address of the STandard, NOTHING has been followed up. So either some “research” is going on behind the scenes, or the email address is obsolete, or nobody seems to bother, perhaps to cover also failings of the last Labour led government. But it is all very, very disappointing!

        • lprent 25.1.1.1

          The way it operates is that there are a number of editors who have access to the email thestandardnz@gmail.com. We each eye up whatever arrives there and each do with it what they will.

          Personally, I usually just look for reports of problems and occasionally I will put up a guest post. Mostly people send problems to my email. I forward guest posts to the Standard’s email.

          Others will follow up on information provided if they find it interesting and feel like they are not wasting their time. If you are lucky they might forward it to a author who may be interested.

          We put up something like three quarters of guest posts – so that is always the best route. Most background information will get read but typically not used, mostly because to confirm it enough to write an opinion on it would require more time and effort than our people have available.

          This is a coop, we are volunteers, and most of us have our time sucked up by jobs, friends, family and other conditions. We aren’t the archetypal single blogger hiding in their families back room desperately seeking attention and notoriety as an recent episode of The Good Wife put it. We are either busy or occupied with activities outside the blog. It means that there are no researchers unless one of us is interested and feels like pulling our personal time from somewhere else.

          We like to write opinions about current affairs as a small part of our busy daily lives. We have banded together because an existing editor or author thought that someone else was good, no one objected, and they got given a login. We are steadily accreting authors. That spreads the load.

          The only formal structure is the trust we set up to handle the server cost and any other issues. Everything else is done by whoever can spare the time and feels the urge to do something.

          • xtasy 25.1.1.1.1

            Lprent AND Prism below: This is all appreciated, but I have more or less given up. If what someone did, whom I also assisted, puts hours of work into something, sends it out to advocates AND the Standard by 5 emails, and nobody bothers to read and study it, plus absolutely convincing, sensitive attached documents of total authenticity, then this is a total waste of time in my view, to get anything across in this country.

            Ignorance is the choice of most, complacency the next best choice, do not bother me, get off my back, I have my agenda is exactly, what I get everyday. No wonder the media in this country is so full of crap and incompetence! IT IS THE PUPULACE that are the problem, lazy, complacent, brain-washed, self serving and not interested in REAL stuff. As long as the lifestyle is somehow manegeable, why bother risking anything. That is what is happening, so maybe you all just need to be thrown off the cliff, to wake up, I am sorry, but that is how I feel the state of affairs in NZ are.

            NZ will never become an advanced, developed and progressive country like this, it is a daydream of unrealistic romanticists, that is what I see, no substance, no decisiveness, no real goals, just talk, talk, talk and more cheap talk. A WASTE!

        • prism 25.1.1.2

          xstasy 25.1.1
          Did this associate write a guest post? You are given that option to offer one for publication and if you feel there is a tale to be told why don’t you do this using all the information you have and co-ordinating with like-minded people?

          Open Mike gives people a chance to discuss positive things or problems and bad behaviour by authority. This makes others aware, but a knight on a white charger is unlikely to appear to start a crusade. The Standard is valuable in keeping people informed about the state of our state and its functions and how it’s treating its citizens. This is a central place where thoughtful people can converse with each other.

          Someone could initiate a campaign to improve government services if people could be found who have time to get behind it. Also there are groups who do watchdog work and interact with or confront the government to get things changed. Sue Bradford did this for years and is no doubt continuing. It is hard when people are unwell to find people who have strength and fortitude to champion a cause. It is demanding and doesn’t pay much. But there are some out there who will.

    • Mary 25.2

      Just keep saying it, Xtasy. Don’t ever stop. That’s all you can do. Just keep going.
      keeping going is good.

      • xtasy 25.2.1

        Mary – I just picked up (again) what you wrote above. Yes, and if that is the case, that they ring doctors, to get them to change their assessments, that is A SOLID CASE FOR BREACH OF PRIVACY AND NATURAL JUSTICE!

        I have two cases before the Health and Disability Commissioner now, I have had another case before DAPAANZ, a totally useless, biased and incompetent ‘Professional Standards Committee” decision there, while the boss up top is the same boss also of the agency employing staff that was complained about.

        Naturally, the committee tried to white wash and off-load. That is now also before the H+D Commissioner. There is a separate case about a “designated doctor” of highest popularity and prominence with MSD in the Auckland region before the H+D Commissioner, also is another case before the Ombudsman, dealing with breaches of certain kinds, as well as a partly related, but yet also independent complaints before the Privacy Commissioner now.

        You must think I am MAD. I am NOT mad, I have come across totally disgusting, despiccable and worse cases of breaches of patient’s rights in this country, you would only get this otherwise in 3rd world countries.

        Remember the justice department staff from Holland that left their jobs years ago, believing in corruption by fellow corrections staff, have you heard about other health staff, even the prospective new hot shot welfare CEO Grossman, all leaving the shores of this country?

        It is because this is run like a CORRUPT, OLD BOY’S NETWORK society and sytem here. NZ IS CORRUPT to the core. The problem is professionals and politicians and business people covering each other’s back-sides!

        I am just waiting to sort all those legal cases out, and I may also leave this DAMNED PLACE for good. It is ROTTEN to the core, what goes on here, believe you me.

        I am sorry to offend, I am telling the bloody truth. I had people in danger of suicide I tried to help, but neve rely on mental health in this damned country, it is SHITE! NZ is a LOST COUNTRY, and I totally understand every person who chose to leave the shores of this place.

        What a waste this country is – so much natural potential wasted by bad leadership!

        • Mary 25.2.1.1

          I know what goes on, Xtasy, and you’re not mad. It’s just that nobody cares about the poorest of the poor anymore – it’s that simple. All we can do is keep going, how ever doing that might unfold.

          • xtasy 25.2.1.1.1

            Thank youMary –

            Your comment means so much to me, I cannot express it, but I see my need for refuges too, so I am off to YouTube now, to seek a bit if musical relief.

            Take care, all the best, I will contribute, where I can.

  24. xtasy 26

    What is the actual “value” of this “media”? How many clicks a day or an hours does this generate? I know there are some figures, and fair enough. I am not so much interested in the “commercial interest” of it, it is about integrity, validation and so on.

    We have so much crap media in NZ, it is disgusting. I would love to prove there is some record that shows you guys do so much better. Once they see your potential, you will be up for sale, I am sure.

    Sadly MY experience with AnY NZ media is totally BAD and DISASTROUS, so I TRUST NO ONE ANYMORE!

    Hence at least I dare to speak “some” of my mind here.

    It would be a pity if this is also becoming a zombie no brain strom trooper zone.

    Rgds

    Xtasy

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    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
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  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
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  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
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  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
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  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
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  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
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  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
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  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
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  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
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  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
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  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
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  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
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  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
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  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
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  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
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  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
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  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
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  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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