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Open mike 10/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 10th, 2013 - 104 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…

104 comments on “Open mike 10/01/2013”

  1. Kiki 1

    Morrissey: “I Shall Return”

    [deleted]

    As the French would say, quelle hypocrisie. Certainly, I am not without fault, but surely we should all be worried that someone as crude and vicious as QOT is able to set herself up as some kind of moral arbiter.

    This message has been solicited and published by me as an act of support for my colleague and friend Morrissey.

    [lprent: Oh piss off. The policy is clear on self-martyrdom offences

    Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

    Morrissey was acting like a complete arsehole. But he isn’t the only one who can do that.

    Oh and see that other nice self-martyrdom offence….

    Generally wasting a moderators time is just not a good idea. We’re there to deal with isolated problems. People persistently sucking up our voluntary time won’t like the results.

    Since you’re such a friend then please explain to him that you just got a two month ban and collected him another another month. I’m uninterested in people acting like complete fuckwits and wasting my time.

    Besides, after he e-mailed with some pathetic idea about what constitutes “defamation”, I had another look at the first comment he left for QoT on her post. Seeing it again just got me even more irritated with the pretentious dildo. ]

  2. Jenny 2

    The climate change refugees. Are on their way.

    Ask yourself.

    40 degree heat what’s that like?

    50 degree heat what’s that like?

    Uncomfortable?

    Unbearable?

    What’s it like for parents with small children?

    What’s it like for the elderly, the infirm, for those too poor to afford air conditioning?

    What’s it like for those who have to work in it?

    Sickening, dangerous, life threatening?

    Though we only produce 0.2% of the world’s CO2 emissions, New Zealand has a chance to make a major contribution to stopping global climate change.

    Sir Peter Gluckman the science adviser to the Prime Minister’s office has said that New Zealand’s greatest contribution to stopping climate change would be to set an example for the rest of the world to follow.

    Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of coal, and as such is one of the biggest contributors to global warming.

    It is very clear what example New Zealand should set.

    I call on the Green Party to immediately, and without delay, put a private member’s bill in the ballot, calling for a total ban on all coal exports.

    Will they do it? Will they heck! They might embarrass their Labour Party colleagues.

    But that is the point.

    If enough Labour MPs are sickened by what’s happening in Australia, and also sickened with voting alongside ACT and National to keep up this dirty and dangerous trade. Then they may be vulnerable to being lobbied to defy their party whips to vote for such a bill.

    Would this be significant?

    Yes. Because if they vote for it in opposition, they are then honour bound to vote for it in government.

    Famously. It was this sort of private members bill, put up by the opposition Labour Party that helped make New Zealand Nuclear Free.

    • Fortran 2.1

      If India and China cannot buy coal from Australia they will simply go elsewhere. They may have to pay a slightly higher price for coal but will get their own pricing structure in time.
      And the Australian dream will falter faster than it is now.

  3. Jenny 3

    If New Zealand, in a world first, banned all export (and import) trade in coal what global political effect would this have?

    Colonial Viper has asked me how could this make Australia give up coal exports as well.

    I have thought long and hard on this. Personally I agree with Professor Gluckman in thinking a positive example should be enough. But if it is not, then the carrot should also be accompanied with the stick.

    I would call on the Green Party to put up another private members bill. One that will start a firestorm of public debate, here and across the Tasman. Giving the issue of climate change the publicity and attention it needs.

    This bill will be the threat and the stick to accompany the carrot.

    No climate refugees will be accepted from Australia until they also give up coal exports.

    I call on the Green Party to immediately, and without delay, put a further private members bill in the ballot. This bill calling for parliament to rescind Australian citizens free right of entry into New Zealand.

    Too harsh?

    What do you think

    • I’ll jump in jenny firstly by saying that you are doing well highlighting the disaster here with the effects of climate change being felt now.

      This country since it was colonised has always accepted others from other countries for all sorts of reasons – some goodreasons, most bad and a few ugly. I’d probably put denying climate refugees entry here into the bad reason area simply because it is so unfair on those trying to protect their families and themselves. Maybe if individuals from companies, corporations and government both local and national that contributed to, or activelly worked against mitigating the disaster, were identifed and denied entry I’d be happier. Oh dear can’t see many getting through that net. might have to chuck a few back from here too :)

      the climate refugee area must be debated and IMO huddling down with outwardly pointing pointed sticks is not the answer

      • Jenny 3.1.1

        the climate refugee area must be debated and IMO huddling down with outwardly pointing pointed sticks is not the answer

        marty mars

        I take your point marty, And I am quite happy to welcome climate change refugees from anywhere in the world. But why should the citizens of one of the countries most responsible for climate change have preferential treatment over all other immigrants? Free to come and go as they please, to work, or as visit as long as they like?

        No other immigrant group has these rights!

        I have suggested this course of action to goad Australian citizens to take action against climate change, (specifically against coal exports).

        I am of the opinion that being aware that their escape hatch is being closed off and that they might have to endure the same sort of humiliation and detention that they mete out so readily to refugees themselves, might sharpen their minds to the problem.

      • weka 3.1.2

        How are CC refugees defined? I have no problem taking in Pacific Islanders who’s land has been swamped. Well off Australians shifting here once they’ve bled their own land dry while living off the carbon gravy train, not so much. We already have wealthy immigrants and people buying land from overseas because they see the future and figure NZ is one of the better places to be in when the shit hits the fan. How many are we going to take in though?

        Most of us are culpable for CC.

        I agree Marty, the debate needs to happen.

        • Jenny 3.1.2.1

          Weka, only by us taking action will that debate happen. It is called leadership. We don’t need to define climate refugees. We just need to take away Australian’s special privileges to come here and to say why.

          • rosy 3.1.2.1.1

            “We just need to take away Australian’s special privileges to come here and to say why.”

            And why would that be, Jenny? Especially since Australia allows freedom of movement for New Zealanders and that suits us just fine at the moment. There is a time for returning the favour. Especially since many thousands of of climate change refugees are going to have rights of citizenship in New Zealand.

            • Jenny 3.1.2.1.1.1

              And why would that be, Jenny? Especially since Australia allows freedom of movement for New Zealanders and that suits us just fine at the moment. There is a time for returning the favour.

              rosy

              There also is a time for returning the favour for recklessly destroying the biosphere for short term profits.

              Australians may be less willing to continue down this path knowing they may have to live and die with the results of their actions, with no chance of an easy escape to a cooler country.

              The sooner Australians stop the dirty coal export trade, the sooner their special immigration privileges may be returned.

              • rosy

                “Australians may be less willing to continue down this path”

                More like more willing to start a war (at least at the diplomatic level, at first).

                If New Zealand opted out of buying all those Chinese goods made with energy from Australia’s coal, you might have a point about isolating ourselves. But we buy those goods and sell China product from our flatulent cows. We totally buy into the system that produces them so as a fully incorporated, paid up member of the climate change club we have no right to dictate terms over the fall-out, only to negotiate them.

                I don’t see how New Zealand has a moral right to close of the legal right Australians have to live here, assuming the Aussie’s would want to. A little bit of arrogance creeping into your argument with the assumption that they would. Canada probably looks quite inviting from where they stand.

                And all that is aside from the ethical and moral duty to help your neighbour when in need.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I don’t see how New Zealand has a moral right to close of the legal right Australians have to live here,

                  NZ might need to be gutsy and say, you can’t come over unless you have a confirmed job, or you have family here, or meet various strategic criteria.

                  We do what works for the people already here, which includes helping others, but we make sure that any sacrifices and compromises are very well signalled.

                  • rosy

                    Yes, we do need to be gutsy.

                    Sacrifices, compromise and sharing are the only way through this. Not some power-crazed fantasy of punishing people by leaving them to figuratively stew. I’m not sure there are any political or historical precedents that prove such punishment is a long-term solution to resource allocation (in this instance water and climate), especially when the people you’re punishing are socially and culturally so close but much more powerful.

                    So if not because it’s the right thing to do, negotiate, compromise and share to avoid being taken over by the bigger, more powerful neighbour because it’s in our self(ish)-interests.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’ve got it. We last through this by tapping into those things which have worked for millenia.

                    • rosy

                      :-) Exactly

                    • Jenny

                      Using an advertising spoof unrelated to climate change to evoke the fantasy of a brutal military takeover and invasion of this country through use of overwhelming powerful Australian military might in response to New Zealand legislators tinkering with our immigration laws, weird.

                      rosie, don’t you think tapping into fear of the sort of last measure, desperate responses that climate change will engender in governments and states as a counter to my suggestion a little bit over the top?

                      Can’t you think up something better than this to justify your arguement for doing nothing?

                      Though I admit that the crisis is upon us now. I think we still have a long way to go, before Australian military strikes will greet any symbolic New Zealand legislation against climate refugees.

                      If and when, Australia becomes largely uninhabitable due to climate change, no amount of legislation will stop the wave of desperate refugees heading for these shores.

                      I am only suggesting this move as a wake up call to start the necessary (figurative) firestorm of nationwide and trans-Tasman debate that will create the political environment which will allow the implemenatation of the solutions needed, that (hopefully) will avert the need for militaristic solutions.

                      All I can say about your contribution to this debate, rosie, is at least you think that climate change is such a serious problem that at some time in the future it will engender brutal military conflicts. You may have grounds for thinking this. But I don’t think we are there yet. I want us to make sure that we never get there. I would hope rosy that you would join me and others in this effort.

                    • rosy

                      Jenny, I was simply taking your notion of using our legislative power to exclude to the next logical step for powerful refugees banging at New Zealand’s door. I’m sorry that you didn’t find a little humour illustrated this point. My mistake.

                      I thoroughly dislike your notion of denying Australian’s entry to NZ given our close ties and our own complicity in climate change and I see it as completely unfeasible because it’s a). morally wrong and b). they’re bigger than us ;-) (not just militarily, but also financially and diplomatically).

                      I’m sorry, but I have no wish to join any ‘solution’ that advocates people be excluded because of where they come from. We have truckloads of reasons to deny entry already without adding another completely discriminatory one to the list.

                    • Jenny

                      rosy, maybe you are right, compunction may not be the way to go. It was not my first choice anyway.

                      I was responding to critics and naysayers like Colonial Viper and weka who pooh, pooh any suggestion that New Zealand should set an example, or that it we did, it wouldn’t have any effect.

                      These two are both long standing apologists for BAU and I have butted heads with them many times over many threads.

                      I disagree strongly with their expressed opinions that we should do nothing, (or that nothing can be done).
                      In my considered opinion, if New Zealand did give a positive example of what could be done. Other countries, Australia in particular, would be put under considerable popular pressure to follow suit. (If Australia did this, then other countries would be under pressure to follow as well.)

                      There is some evidence coming out of Australia that may make this viewpoint more plausible to my critics.

                      “An uncomfortable time for Australians, especially climate-change sceptics”

                      Some climate experts are convinced the 2013 heatwave will prove a turning-point in how Australians respond to warnings about human-induced climate change. In a country that relies on fossil fuels for much of its well-being (coal is the second-biggest export and produces about four-fifths of electricity), climate-change sceptics have often swayed political debate.

                      When she visited areas devastated by fire in Tasmania, the prime minister, Julia Gillard, avoided blaming global warming directly. But she added that climate change would, over time, bring “more extreme weather events”. Aaron Coutts-Smith, of the Australian meteorology bureau, is less equivocal about the prospects. He says all six of the nation’s states over the past decade have had a “predominance” of new record temperatures.

                      The Economist “The Australian Heatwave”

                      I might mention here that the weakening of the monsoon, one of the factors that caused the build up of heat in central Australia, which created the heatwave, is one of the weather effects predicted by computer modeling of climate change. Climate change modeling predicts that if CO2 forcing continues, at some point the seasonal monsoon will in future years occasionally not make an appearance at all. This would be devastating for Australia, allowing tropical heatwaves to build up to unprecedented levels before sweeping south. This is what has happened in this case, with only just a “weakening of the monsoon“.
                      Apart from Australia, a complete failure of the monsoon would be devastating for the many south east Asian countries in the tropical regions which depend on the monsoon to sustain their agriculture. Resulting in drought and famine. If this failure was repeated over more than one growing season, we could be witness to one of the biggest famine disasters in human history. And which could see Australia becoming mostly uninhabitable.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m not an advocate of BAU, Jenny. I’m just noting that a righteous dictatorial approach will not work in our democracy.

                      Also, you fail to appreciate that politicians can only do what the electorate will allow them to do.

                      Jenny, you have a shocking tendency to talk down to people who challenge your positions and the realism of your strategies, instead of answering the serious concerns raised.

                      While you might get some window dressing, no government in the world is going to force upon their people steep cuts in energy use and consumer society activities until they are absolutely forced to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Using an advertising spoof unrelated to climate change to evoke the fantasy of a brutal military takeover and invasion of this country through use of overwhelming powerful Australian military might in response to New Zealand legislators tinkering with our immigration laws, weird.

                      Jenny, it could happen quite quickly and smoothly eg. with political co-operation on both sides of the Tasman.

                      You need to look over what has happened previously during major famines and disasters in history. Resource wars, mass migrations and political/societal instability. Blurring of sovereignty.

                      One of my concerns with your approach Jenny is that you do not seem to have learnt any lessons from history (both contemporary and ancient).

                    • Jenny

                      It is in the above grim scenario, that your so called “joke” about a military takeover becomes something more, something much more serious.

                      Watch your clip again, rosy. Especially the second part. And think about the huge military investment and financial and sheer human cost involved in maintaining these forces over many years. And know in your vitals that these resources will not be sitting idle under such conditions.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RenRILqwhJs

                      Still laughing?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I thought you said a military takeover was a “fantasy” Jenny. Seems like you changed your tune fast. Good to see you getting a dose of realism.

                    • rosy

                      The best humour (and advertising) always contains an essential truth, Jenny and what you were advocating when I posted that comment would lead to the use of state power, from a much more powerful state, against us.

                      CV @9:54 + 10:04 that’s about the sum of it. Thanks.

          • weka 3.1.2.1.2

            “We don’t need to define climate refugees.”

            So Jenny, you think that rich people who want to live here because it’s getting too hot at home should be called refugees and treated as refugees alongside poor people who’ve lost their homes to rising sealevels created by the developed world? Where are we going to fit them all? And do you think by chance that the rich people will get preference over the poor people?

            • Jenny 3.1.2.1.2.1

              What on earth are you talking about weka?

              I thought I made myself pretty clear.

              New Zealand is responsible for only 0.2% of green house gasses. Even if New Zealand magically cut our emissions to zero it would have negligible quantitive effect.

              Our greatest contribution in the fight against climate change will be symbolic.

              This is the considered opinion of New Zealand’s top science advisor to the government.

              The single most contributing factor to climate change identified by James Hansen is coal. According to Hansen, if we cannot stop coal then we are doomed to a global temperature increase in excess of 6 degrees .

              I would go even further and suggest that if we cannot even contemplate stopping this one easily stopped causative factor of climate change, then there is no chance of moving past this to other lesser causative factors.

              Banning all coal exports and imports is the one concrete and achievable symbolic action that New Zealand can do, that would threaten an axe to one of the root causes of climate change.

              If New Zealand put a ban on all coal exports and imports this would be a clarion call to all other countries, especially our greatest friend and nearest neighbor, Australia, to do the same.

              If the contemplation of this positive example is not thought to be enough, then I suggested this should be followed up by a private members bill calling for the removal of all special immigration status this country gives to Australian citizens.

              Especially since many thousands of of climate change refugees are going to have rights of citizenship in New Zealand.

              As for all expat Kiwis fleeing the heat. Australian citizens seeing their expat kiwi friends neighbors and workmates taking this option and knowing that this escape is denied to them because of their country’s leading role in causing climate change. May find that this concentrates the mind no end. Giving them even further incentive to question whether their country can continue digging up all the coal it possibly can.

              Of course this is all academic as not one of New Zealand’s three main political parties are contemplating taking any action at all against coal mining or use.

              The fact that you a Green Party supporter are aghast at me daring to raise the idea as a possible course of action speaks volumes. You are angry that I am puncturing the narrative that there is nothing that could be done about climate change. Which is basically a defeatist argument and an excuse for doing nothing.

    • jaymam 3.2

      Here’s a new tactic by coalming protesters in Australia, and endorsed by several Green MPs.
      Do you think this is a good idea for NZ as well?

      “On Monday, anti-coal activist Jonathan Moylan issued a media release purportedly from the ANZ Bank withdrawing a $1.2 billion loan to Whitehaven Coal, which is developing a project in Maules Creek in the Gunnedah Basin.

      The hoax wiped $314 million from the value of Whitehaven Coal before the company and ANZ confirmed the hoax, although the share prices recovered after the ruse was revealed.”

      http://www.leadingcompany.com.au/strategy/anz-hoax-marks-new-age-of-climate-tactics/201301093398

      • Jenny 3.2.1

        Thanks for this jayman.

        In answer to your question: Do I think this is a good idea for NZ as well? In my opinion, actions like this though amusing, not really that useful.

        Personally I don’t think much of this sort of individualist guerilla action. Coal will only be stopped by a mass democratic movement that shifts the whole political spectrum to the left. Similar to that that stopped nuclear ships or racist sports teams visiting New Zealand.

        • jaymam 3.2.1.1

          Of course you are aware that my job entails burning coal, so if there’s no coal I lose my job!

          • Jenny 3.2.1.1.1

            I have just the job for you. That will make full use of your special talents.

            This goes for all other coal miners.

            PS. How do you get your rebreather over that beard?

      • millsy 3.2.2

        Green parties seem to have a habit of letting some idiot in a few minutes undo years of work by GP staffers..

      • weka 3.2.3

        Jonathon Moylan is a brave person.

        “Although highly creative, the Whitehaven deception is not the first such action. In 2008, US environmental activist Tim DeChristopher attended an auction of oil and gas mining leases in Utah and outbid everyone else. When he could not pay the $1.8 million he was arrested and charged with defrauding the federal government. In July 2011 he was sentenced to two years in jail.

        The Utah land auction was eventually abandoned by the Interior Department and a federal judge ruled that the administration of the sale was improper. DeChristopher’s action had the desired effect.”

        “Recognising this new reality, perhaps Jonathan Moylan and Tim DeChristopher are pioneering a new phase of climate campaigning aimed at making it more difficult for coal and oil companies to do business. What might be dubbed “virtuous malfeasance” — hostile actions motivated by the public good aimed at damaging a company’s interests — may be a new form of civil disobedience practiced by a market-savvy generation of young activists.

        Often those who engage in civil disobedience are otherwise the most law-abiding citizens. They are those who have most regard for the social interest and the keenest understanding of the democratic process, including its failures.”

        Makes sense to me. While I agree that we also need mass action within the general population, it’s hard to argue against individuals willing to put their freedom on the line for such an urgent problem. Puts the rest of us to shame really, including you Jenny, who is unwilling to give up your western comfy lifestyle to mitigate CC, but who castigates the GP for making pragmatic choices that have real effect in the world.

        • Jenny 3.2.3.1

          Dodgy individualist actions are no alternative to building an open mass democratic political movement against climate change. Such individualist actions are easily countered, and are easily shrugged off by the fossil fuel industry backed by the state. The only final result from these individual actions will be more and harsher counter measures. The sort of measures we saw Solid Energy deploy against Happy Valley protestors.

          There are no short cuts. But it requires leadership. Unfortunately it is this necessary political leadership that is missing.

          Because of this missing leadership, no doubt we will get to see more of these brave individual type stunts which are often carried out at great personal cost, but which will all prove to be ultimately futile.

          Also handing the struggle against climate change over to a few “brave individuals” lets the Green Party and other political parties and movements off the hook.

          It is just another tired excuse by them for doing nothing themselves.

  4. GeoffC 4

    Nice idea Jenny, can you balance the books.
    Value of coal to nZ, effects of the ban, employment replacement?
    Provide a neutral solution and you might get traction.
    From one climate change acceptor to another.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I think that Jenny’s suggestions are totally and completely unworkable, from a political and democratic perspective. In a previous comment she’s already said that thousands of coal mining related jobs need to be destroyed by lunch time. If the Greens do as she dictates, it’ll simply make martyrs of the Green Party at the polls.

      Once they have exited Parliament, where too next?

      Basically a 3-4 deg C temperature rise is already baked into the cake as far as I can see.

      To get any real traction, you’d have to get a mass semi-spiritual style movement of people committing to living simpler less energy intensive lives, and opting out of the mainstream economy. Up to quarter of a million NZers to have any real impact.

      Who here thinks that is going to happen any time soon? Jenny?

      • Jenny 4.1.1

        CV I can rely on you to continually come up with new excuses to do nothing about climate change.

        What mineral being mined in Australia pays the workers to mine it, more than mining gold or opals or iron ore?

        What is black, is more poisonous than yellow cake, and more dangerous than asbestos?

        What gives off deadly suffocating and explosive fumes that when ignited collapse mines, and globally kills mine workers by the thousands?

        What mineral gives off thick dust that when inhaled on a regular basis leads to silicosis of the lungs and emphysema, and is commonly known as miners lung?

        What industry founded in 17th century should have been left in the 19th?

        What fuel burned in London for heating houses first gave rise to the term smog?

        What fuel when burned releases sulfur into the atmosphere that combines with water to become acid rain that sterilises mountain lakes and kills forests hundreds of miles away.

        What singular mineral that if continued to be mined at the current rate will almost certainly guarantee runaway global climate change?

        CV you may picture yourself as some kind of an advocate of the mine workers. In fact you are nothing but a dirty tool of the venal profit driven fossil fuel bosses. If you really had the interest of the workers at heart you would be fighting to get our coal miners the best possible exit packages and training to enable them to leave this sunset industry as soon as possible. Instead through your cowardice and apologist treachery you are ensuring, that when this industry finally collapses, which it will. Those workers it leaves behind, like the rest of us, will be suffering with a degraded environment that will be a living hell.

        Workers have names for people like you.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        Nothings going to happen to change course politically until the world is actually being crippled by full blown climate crisis. Am I happy about this? No. But the Titanic has too much damn mass, and it’s going too damn fast, and the iceberg is far too close.

        Workers have names for people like you

        *Shrug* I’m not here because I want to be liked.

        • Jenny 4.1.2.1

          CV your analogy using the Titanic already on an unavoidable collision course with the iceberg, may be quite accurate as a description or the dilemma our world is in.

          This still doesn’t excuse doing nothing.

          Unlike the passengers on the Titanic we know what is happening to us.

          To use another Titanic analogy your continual excuses for BAU is as irresponsible as organising for a game of soccer on the foredeck with the blocks of fallen ice.

          To use another more famous and time worn Titanic analogy, The Green Party prioritising of social change over climate change will in the long run amount to no more than rearranging the deck chairs.

          The Green Party need to heed the prophetic words of Naomi Kleine;

          ….Climate change has the ability to undo your historic victories and crush your present struggles. So it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

          Naomi Kleine “I’d Rather Fight Like Hell”

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1

            But its not going to happen that way Jenny. People do not generally band together and fight hard for immediate reductions in their lifestyles, convenience and consumption.

            Do you see how unrealistic your approach is?

            • Jenny 4.1.2.1.1.1

              People do not generally band together and fight hard for immediate reductions in their lifestyles, convenience and consumption.

              Colonial Viper

              You obviously haven’t got a clue about history CV.

              This is exactly what people had to do to win the war against fascism.

              Do you see how ignorant your approach is?

      • Jenny 4.1.3

        To get any real traction, you’d have to get a mass semi-spiritual style movement of people committing to living simpler less energy intensive lives, and opting out of the mainstream economy. Up to quarter of a million NZers to have any real impact.

        Who here thinks that is going to happen any time soon? Jenny?

        Colonial Viper

        It will never happen without leadership.

        And not a mass semi-spiritual style movement you imagine.

        Not only are you abrogating the lack of political leadership on climate change, now you are trying to palm it off to some sort of mystical religious leadership?

        Are you crazy?

        CV, I think you have lost the plot.

        To expect millions of people to ignore business and government leadership, to go in the opposite direction, spontaneously responding to some mystical spiritual movement (coming from nowhere) to move to a less energy intensive lifestyle, in opposition to the government policy direction is wacky even for you.

        Social change requires leadership. By attempting to blame everyone else, for not spontaneously making these changes, you are hoping that people will not notice the criminal lack of leadership coming from the government, and in particular, the Labour Party in the face of this existential crisis.

        Most working people caught in the 9 to 5 struggle to keep their jobs and pay the rent cannot afford the options available to middle class people to drop out and get back to nature. We don’t have the leisure time or the resources. We can’t use bicycles or walk to work because we would never be able to get to work that way. We can’t use public transport because it doesn’t exist or is painfully unreliable. We are stuck in dormitory suburbs with no other means of getting across the city than using private cars that we can barely afford to run.

        We don’t have any resources or even the leisure to grow our own food because of the long hours we have to work, and so are reliant on super markets, even takeaways.

        These so called “lifestyle choices” are all the result of policy direction by local and central government and business.

        Serious action on climate change requires leadership, it requires state action, it requires political will and policy direction, it requires government resources put into it, and most of all it requires courageous leadership from those whose responsibility it is to deliver it.

        Instead we get spineless scapegoating of citizenry as excuses for the lack of leadership. And Labour Party supporter CV wishing for some spiritual movement to take the terrible responsibility of leadership off their shoulders.

        Instead of blaming everyone else, maybe CV could heed the political advice of Napoleon on leadership. He wrote:

        There is no such thing as bad soldiers. Only bad generals.

        Napoleon

    • Jenny 4.2

      I’m sorry Geoff but CCA stands for climate change apologist in my book.

      Climate change is an existential threat on par with and even greater unfortunately, than a fascist takeover of the world.

      Did people worry about the cost to jobs, when fascism threatened the world? Did they worry about the expense of waging world war, or balancing the books?

      Is the world a better place for nations and governments ignoring those lessor concerns?

  5. Jenny 5

    We are well past the time of niceties

    Links that haven’t made it to The Standard link roster yet, but that just might embarrass the Labour and Green MPs into taking immediate parliamentary action.*

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/get-used-to-recordbreaking-heat-bureau-20130108-2cet5.html

    ‘‘We are well past the time of niceties, of avoiding the dire nature of what is unfolding, and politely trying not to scare the public. The unparalleled setting of new heat extremes is forcing the continual upwards trending of warming predictions for the future, and the timescale is contracting.’’

    Liz Hanna convener of the human health division at the Australian National University’s Climate Change Adaptation Network.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/08

    “The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees,” David Jones, head of the bureau’s climate monitoring and prediction unit, toldreporters.

    Indicating that the worst may yet to come, Jones added that, “The air mass over the inland is still heating up – it hasn’t peaked.”

    Climate scientists in Australia—with Jones among them—say the fires and the heat are unprecedented in scale and intensity, but that Australians should understand the destructive temperatures and ensuing fires across Tasmania and southern sections of the country are the new normal of runaway climate change.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2013/jan/08/australia-bush-fires-heatwave-temperature-scale?CMP=twt_fd

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/08-7

    “Most striking was the number of locations across the country that broke their average annual temperature record,” a statement from NOAA reads. “More than a dozen of these locations also experienced their driest year on record.”

    “This disturbing news puts the heat on President Obama to take immediate action against carbon pollution,” said Dr. Shaye Wolf, climate science director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The blazing temperatures that scorched America in 2012 are a bitter taste of the climate chaos ahead. Science tells us that our rapidly warming planet will endure more heat waves, droughts and extreme weather. The president needs to start making full use of the Clean Air Act to fight greenhouse gas emissions, before it’s too late.”

    “The blazing temperatures that scorched America in 2012 are a bitter taste of the climate chaos ahead,”

    Dr. Shaye Wolfe of the Center for Biological Diversity.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/01/08-5

    Climate Change, Lack of Political Will Leading to ‘Global Perfect Storm': Report

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/katrina-vanden-heuvel-a-climate-change-apocalypse/2013/01/07/f440d704-58e4-11e2-9fa9-5fbdc9530eb9_story.html

    Certainly, it will take much more research to understand whether there’s a direct link between Sandy and climate change. But we do know that storm’s impact was made worse by rising sea levels, increasing ocean temperatures and unusual weather patterns, all of which are definitively connected to climate change.

    2012 was the hottest year on record. Arctic sea ice is melting. Sea levels are rising faster than projected. And extreme weather events — droughts, storms, heat waves — are increasing in number and intensity, disproportionately harming the world’s most vulnerable populations.

    * (But whose only affect so far, is to deprive me of sleep at night.)

    • Fortran 5.1

      The Australian bushfires current are of a disasterous proportion unprecented in “know” history – but that is only just over 200 years in a country which has lived by fire for hundreds of millions of years.
      Is man to blame or is it just Australia ?

      Similarly New Zealand is built on New Fold Volcanic structures which have produced volcanoes and with that earthquakes for hundreds of millions of years.

      ps – my sisters house got wiped of the earth yestrday in NSW.

      • Rogue Trooper 5.1.1

        very sorry to hear that; prayer regrettably, I read this morning, will only change the person engaging in it. We had a front-page photo locally of the family sheltering under a pier in the sea in Tasmania , in prayer, must have been terrifying for the children.(Over the forty years that I have experienced HB weather, the frequencies of extremes, wind, rain, temp, do appear to have increased, yet that’s only my memory. Sure is hot today though.

      • bad12 5.1.2

        Actually they aint, the most disastrous bushfires in ‘known’ history that is, There were fires in Tasmania in the 1960’s which killed 60 odd people, burnt a greater area, (including parts of the State Capital),

        I flew by a bit of info on the Northern Territory fires the other day while looking at info on the fires in NSW and Tassy and from memory in the North fires burn across 1/3rd or 1/2 the land mass of the Territory every year,

        Will see if i can dig out the link…

        • bad12 5.1.2.1

          Here it be, the page title= Australia savanna fire regimes:context, scales patchiness,

          fireecology.org/docs/journal/pdf/volume03/issue01/048.pdf

          The land mass burned in the Northern territory EVERY YEAR is 21% of the Territory’s total land mass,

          The page is a pdf. but it’s got a quick view’

          Edit,damn made a mess of the link,(as usual), second attempt=

          fireecology.org/docs/journal/pdf/volume03/048.pdf

      • Jenny 5.1.3

        Ask her this for me the next time you talk to her Fortran. “Are you thinking of immigrating to New Zealand?”

  6. KhandallaViper 6

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/why-a-labour-reshuffle-just-aint-enough

    “The irony is that the only way to get the attention of the voters you need to win over and earn their respect is to actually stand. for. something.”

    Tim Watkins, 7th October 2012 in The Pundit.

    “So, David Shearer’s planning a reshuffle of his front bench and folk such as John Tamihere and, well, just about everyone, reckons it’s about time. The carping has started, so the Labour leader had better get on with it. But what he needs to realise is a reshuffle is only the beginning. In many ways it’s the smallest part of the job.”

    The membership wants a full reform of the party, not only the re-shuffle/retirement gig in the Caucus.

    What are the changes we want?

    The full implementation of the resolutions from the conference in word and in spirit: that is a membership connected with all sections of the community empowered to forge policies and leadership that will bring health and prosperity to all Kiwis.

    Over the next few weeks we have too see evidence that changes are taking place that will implement this reform.

    What we do not want to see is a re-shuffle that entrenches power in the few that are fighting the reform.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The membership should be permitted by caucus to confirm the Leader. It would energise the party, bring onboard new blood and new members, and fire up the on-the-ground activisits going into the 2014 campaign. It is a full on win scenario for Labour.

      • Colonial Weka 6.1.1

        Do you mean the membership should be permitted by caucus to confirm Shearer as leader? Or something else?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Yes, caucus IMO should pull the consitutional caucus trigger in Feb. Thereby allowing the wider membership to vote and confirm the leadership of the Labour Party. There are huge campaigning, momentum and growth advantages available to the party if it chooses that democratic road. IMO.

          The other perspective is the one we have heard consistently from TRP – there’s nothing left to talk about, everyone please move on. That path IMO would leave Labour with a very half hearted activist base going into the 2014 campaign.

          • Colonial Weka 6.1.1.1.1

            How does that work with the new rules?

            Can caucus just decide to have a membership vote without caucus voting on the current leader? Or does it require caucus to vote against the current leader, thereby triggering the membership vote?

            If/when the membership vote gets triggered, how are the candidates for leadership selected?

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              This post explains a few of the points…some of the questions you are asking are matters of perspective and intent, however. Remember, the ABCs took Cunliffe breathing at Conference as evidence of an imminent coup.

              My view is that both Shearer’s leadership position and Labour’s on-the-ground momentum would be greatly strengthened going into 2014 with a full membership confirmation.

              http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-conference-day-2/

              • Colonial Weka

                Re-reading that link from last year, my understanding is still that giving the membership the chance to vote requires 40% +1 of caucus to actively vote against Shearer next month (and this is a once in a three year opportunity).

                Where does it say it is possible for caucus to bypass that and just go straight to a membership vote? You are suggesting that caucus “pull the constitutional caucus trigger” in Feb, but how can they do that without essentially having a vote of no confidence in Shearer? It’s a nice idea that caucus should give the vote to the membership at this stage, I just don’t yet see how that can actually be done. Some specifics would be nice.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think you got that right. The caucus vote would have to be technically “against Shearer” in order to enable a membership vote “for Shearer”. It won’t be hard for the MPs to realise that this pathway provides an opportunity to strengthen Shearer’s position, Labour’s democratic credentials, and the party’s momentum going into 2014.

                  • Dr Terry

                    I fear Shearer’s methods of “punishment and reward” will yet again win the day.

                  • McFlock

                    What happens if more than 50% vote no confidence? Is it a caucus vote for replacement or straight to membership for the replacement?

                    What I’m thinking is if shearer publicly asks for a no confidence vote so it can be taken to the membership, that would be a cool way of bypassing the entire “ooo shearer’s in the shit/ party crisis” yellow journalism from certain TV news politics editors.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If the caucus trigger were pulled, it would then allow a 40/40/30 caucus + members + affiliates postal vote to confirm Shearer as Leader.

                    • McFlock

                      So all future elections of new leaders are under the new rules? Cool.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep. The issue re: Feb is simply one of whether caucus will let the members have a say to confirm the leadership, or whether they will choose not to give members that chance.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      “If the caucus trigger were pulled, it would then allow a 40/40/30 caucus + members + affiliates postal vote to confirm Shearer as Leader.”

                      Or to replace him. Still don’t know how the rest of that process works.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In that respect you are in the same boat as everyone else. This has never been done before you see.

                  • QoT

                    The caucus vote would have to be technically “against Shearer” in order to enable a membership vote “for Shearer”.

                    Just want to add – though I haven’t seen anyone cite the “but if they support Shearer how could they vote against him” – that the reasoning is a lot similar to (what I understand was) Chris Finlayson’s vote against marriage equality – it’s not that he doesn’t support treating same-sex couples equally, but he opposes State intervention in marriage at all. So a seemingly-illogical vote can be very easily justified.

                    • karol

                      Doesn’t it just require 40/1% of the caucus to vote against Shearer to trigger a full leadership contest?

                    • QoT

                      Indeed, but hypothetically >60% of the Labour caucus could absolutely sincerely support him as leader, meaning the choice to send the decision to the membership would involve voting “against” their actual inclination.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Which is why I’m not sure that CV’s idea would work – asking for caucus to voluntarily give the membership the vote. It requires MPs to vote against their support of Shearer.

                    • McFlock

                      CW
                      Not if he asks them to turn the vote to the membership and affiliates. What they’d be voting for is that affiliates and membership should have a say as to who should be leader.

                    • weka

                      Not being a Labour party member I have no way of finding out, but I’m still not convinced that what you say is possible McFlock (Shearer instructing the MPs to vote against him in order to hand the vote to the members). Doesn’t it depend on what got written in the rule changes? Is it really ok for the leader to make it up as he goes along at this point? If I were a Labour party member, I would be wanting to know exactly what the processes were (not least because I don’t expect the ABCs to play fair). Just saying.

                      Bill’s idea about abstaining is interesting, but again, were I a member, I would want to know the processes and implications AHEAD of time (esp if I were lobbying my local MP).

            • Bill 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Shearer needs the endorsement of 60% of caucus. There is no need to vote against him. Abstention would do.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Child In Time
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6869.The_Child_in_Time

    RNZ- asbestos ceilings in CHCH being ripped out shit and busted breathing to flow on

    Shattered Glass
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Lacan#Mirror_stage
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_Bakunin_to_Lacan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-left_anarchy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-Marxism

    bbrrrrrrrrrrr All Shook Up (Elvis is still in the building)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n3ebuL1cPA

    -Od onata Anisoptera (whose round, and whose paying?)

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    Back to the pelvic thrust…

    Best Practice:
    Restless Leg Syndrome :)

    oops,From the Mountain (not under it)
    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/mt-zion-2013

    this HAARP does play tunes (sample of one)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAARP (the caravan may act as an aerial) , fine, I’m between homes anyway, any way interesting construction, can you Send Me An Angel next time? Shall I tell you I had a dream?…na don’t wanna bore you with the details, suffice to say it was counter-motivational.

    Feedback- “Well I stand up next to a mountain, and I chop it down with the edge of my hand…
    Well I pick up all the pieces and make an Island, might even raise a little sand :)

    We’re all gonna die so lets get High? I prefer Raw Power or Well my Baby she wrote me a letter, aint got no time to take a fast train (I’d make a good spook ;) )

    -Iggy ( http://www.footsteps.co.nz/ footsteps in the sand)

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    back to Fear and Trembling,
    (and there were some interesting symbols, flange, inert gas, gearboxes, escort, hard to understand scottish accents off exercising for lunch, thinking for other people…)
    anyway,
    Restless Leg Syndrome, oh look, it’s all there in lovely Living Color.
    http://www.bpac.org.nz/magazine/2012/december/restlesslegs.asp

    Oh well, better check out the Real News.

  10. The National party is just a corrupt subsidiary of Australian owned banks, their party supporters must be high on residual Pinochet fumes.

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      when we read the compilations put together by posters and comment providers on The Standard the “facts” of the matter are more than Beyond Belief, Objective lie speaking.

  11. Rogue Trooper 13

    Dom
    -60% of those folk surveyed did not exercise 30min / 5X week, up from 50% surveyed in 07-08 –
    SpNZ
    Reason? TIME-the winner, with “expense” and “convenience” close runner ups (gotta work on being less judgy / more on “perceptive” according to my “minders” ) soooo just the facts. TIME.

    -the Ed Ministry employs and pays consultants to do their basic homework; speech writing and OIA assignments

    -Corrections the naughtiest in school when it come to watching porn at work (cha know? a guy was openly staring as close to the screen at it here where I “work” earlier, noz Right up to the screen; I was more laid back when caught in that particular fly-trap)

    -An anti-China moralizing editorial; and we know which broadsheets serve the function of propaganda officers here in the land of the long opaque cloud… apples and mandarins.

    -Anti-Muslim advertisements paid to be placed on NY subway walls are the Graffiti Crimes allowed by “free speech” in the west.

    -fortunately they published a letter by a Dr Anne Jenkins that identifies how they stir the racist pot; there is some foolish regular writer in the local paper who thinks it’s appropriate to lampoon “Engrish” or, alternatively ‘Chinglish”; it’s an uphill battle when students must look up to people like this.
    Eden in The East?
    http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Eden_in_the_East.html?id=C01yQgAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

    Reefer Madness is in the air again.
    oh those British; the “Met Office” downplays planet warming (peas not mushy enough yet) ’til 2017 with an “experimental” computer model, one of ten internationally yet acknowledges warming trend has not gone away (who writes these twisty-turny articles?)
    Living Dolls http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/jan/31/living-dolls-natasha-walter
    raising girls that are now a soft target for big business propaganda with concomitant mental health issue increases (why, thank so much Hollywood for the mammary )

    How about some New York Dolls.W O W

  12. Rogue Trooper 14

    While locally they rabbit on about sarin loaded into bombs
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/article7151349.ece
    http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-EdContributors/Article.aspx?id=298991
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-rejects-israeli-offer-to-allow-refugees-from-syria-to-enter-west-bank-and-gaza/

    p c plus http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/1/10/business/20130110122238&sec=business

    asian markets advance
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/global-markets/asian-markets-advance-as-china-trade-data-beats-forecast/articleshow/17963975.cms

    NZ / US $ was 83.80 when I last checked

    I want money…thats what I want…the best things in life are free? lets just keep killing the birds and bees…in fact I want so much money…thats what I want-The Flying Lizards

  13. Socialist Paddy 15

    Chris Trotter has posted again about Shearer at http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/behind-mask-whos-backing-david-shearer.html

    Asks some interesting questions:

    1. What did Shearer think of Roger Douglas and the 4th Labour Government?

    2. Will he advocate a neoliberal approach to NZ’s economic problems just as he advocated a neoliberal approach to building up peace keeping forces in the 1990s.

    3. Says “The next genuine policy aggressor will be a politician possessing both the courage and the imagination to go beyond the maintenance of a discredited orthodoxy – someone willing to forge a new political, economic and social consensus” and obviously does not think this will be Shearer.

    4. Says that the right believe that Shearer “will not only leave the neoliberal settlement intact, but that he may also, with Esko Aho’s example set firmly before him, seek to extend it into the spheres of welfare, health, housing and education. It will not have escaped their attention that Labour’s “Affordable Housing Plan” is really just a glorified PPP on behalf of the professional middle-class.”

    5. Says that “the prognosis for those who entered Parliament with honest left-wing intentions is grim. Promotion to Cabinet will depend not only on making ritual obeisance to Shearer and his clique, but also, following the tragic precedent of the Rogernomics Era, on abandoning their former social-democratic ideals. Such self-inflicted injuries to the soul do not heal quickly.”

    This makes grim, grim reading. I hope it is not true.

    • KhandallaViper 15.1

      These are is very strong accusations against the leader of the Labour Party.

      David Shearer must respond to the allegations. Trotter is a respected and published political historian.

      Shearer should call a press conference and dismiss, refute or whatever each point.

      • Anne 15.1.1

        Beat me to it SP. Was about to link to the post.

        Oh dear… was starting to feel a little bit optimistic and now it’s gone. What to make of it? Trotter is a respected political historian – arguably the best we have.

        I am sure Trotter would dearly love to be proven wrong, but he is right to put forward the hypothesis.

        • Olwyn 15.1.1.1

          If someone appears as a virtual unknown, refuses to declare their position, and has predominantly right wing active supporters, then they must expect people to hypothesise from whatever facts they are able to access. Trotter has given Shearer something to answer to. Whether he will take up the challenge or not remains to be seen.

          As I have said before, I would like the party to be able to eject those that break ranks with its values, even if they keep their plans under their hat until they have become prime minister. It seems to me a far graver offence to hijack a party by betraying its values than to put silly notes in mail boxes. I am not saying that Shearer does intend to betray the party’s values, since I am in no position to know such a thing, but we would all rest much easier if we had the tools to discourage such behaviour. It would also give the MPs themselves the necessary backing to resist outside pressure.

          • weka 15.1.1.1.1

            Well quite. Given that the Labour party (and NZ) was massively betrayed in the 80s, it stands to reason that transparency is a deal breaker. If Shearer (or any high ranking Labour MP or official) can’t respond to Trotter’s points openly and honestly, you’d have to wonder why.

            Personally, I think SP’s synopsis of Trotter’s article is the clearest thing I’ve read on the whole Shearer issue. Come on Labour, stop wringing your hands and do what needs to be done. Are you really willing to trust that everything might be ok?

    • Rogue Trooper 15.2

      interesting article

  14. Te Reo Putake 16

    Big ups to LP re: the PG B.S.!

    “Here I sit broken hearted,
    Spent a penny, only farted”.

    • weka 16.1

      Lynn Prent? Pete George? Bull Shit??

    • lprent 16.2

      No problem. Was bored waiting for a slow serial routine to run so I could debug the unpack. So I scanned my feeder and saw that pile of tripe and wrote a comment. Was meaning to mention it to you… but the usual interruptions happened.

      Later, when I was scanning the wordpress notifications (useful that – shows up in the dashboard if you’re logged in and displays replies on this site and other wordpress sites), that he’d replied at least 3 times. But the first paragraphs looked more apoletic than informational, I had work, so I ignored them.

  15. just saying 17

    There’s not really any point in my saying this. I know how it sounds, I know I have no authority to say it. But I have to say it straight just once:

    Shearer is a nasty piece of work and a very dangerous man.

    I’ve seen a bit of shit in my life. Known a few wolves who disguised themselves as saints. It can be a very successsful strategy.

    I genuinely hope I’m wrong about him, but I’ve been watching and listening pretty closely for a while now. The more I know of him, the stronger the conviction

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  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas. Staff and South Auckland community members had been campaigning to turn around the polytechnic’s proposal for mass redundancies since they were announced last...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Proud’s Britain
    Alex Proud has a very good long piece in the Telegraph that is as disturbing as it is accurate. The subject? Baby-boomers, and the way they have blindly robbed the generations that came after them. He is writing about Britain,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2
    Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in...
    Hot Topic | 19-11
  • Public Service Announcement: Advice to Andrew Little
    Over the last 48 hours absolutely everyone and his/her dog/cat has been publicly advising Andrew Little what he should with his front bench and much else decides. Good for them. Free speech is super. I won't be joining the chorus,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • Jordan uses Islam to battle ISIS
    My former UCLA colleague Larry Rubin, and my former Michigan colleague Michael Robbins, have a fascinating piece at the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog overnight, all about how Jordan is setting Islam against ISIS: Many people in the Hashemite Kingdom...
    Polity | 19-11
  • a respnse to robyn malcolm
    yesterday i had a brief exchange on twitter with robyn malcolm regarding roger sutton, and you can see the whole exchange from this tweet:A CERA employee with some humanity https://t.co/VgjwPhpUVz http://t.co/2Q9s8efQBx— Robyn Malcolm (@robynmalcolm) November 19, 2014twitter is unfortunately not...
    The Hand Mirror | 19-11
  • Gordon Campbell on the SAS role against Islamic State, and Podemos
    Could this news report serve to explain – in a nutshell – why Prime Minister John Key has not ruled out the SAS forming part of New Zealand’s contribution to the fight against Islamic State? From the New York Times...
    Gordon Campbell | 19-11
  • Support Andrew Little
    We need to get in behind the new Labour leader. Let's focus on the need to defeat National in 2017, and not concern ourselves too much with the utter destruction of everything we had ever hoped to achieve for this...
    Imperator Fish | 19-11
  • Marshall Islands takes on the nuclear-armed states, for all our sakes
    “The day the sun rose twice”. That's how 1 March 1954 was recorded in the history of Rongelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Marshall Islands. Early that morning, shortly after the sun rose in the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 19-11
  • Unwelcome prayer
    Parliament’s speaker has proposed a new prayer to open each sitting day in our House of Representatives. You might be reasonably surprised at that sentence – why, in a supposedly secular country, is each day in Parliament opened with a...
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Mill Rd update
    While it emerged the other day that AT are looking to cut back on rail to the airport due to it’s cost, a day later they announce they are seeking a designation for a $300 million mini highway through currently...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections On Andrew Little’s Narrow Defeat O...
    Bugger! Grant Robertson's and Jacinda Ardern's bitter disappointment was written all over their faces as the listened to Andrew Little fielding questions at his first media conference as Leader of the Labour Party. The extreme closeness of the result, however,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-11
  • Occupation is responsible for escalation in Jerusalem
    The following statement was issued by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on 18 November 2014. “The operation today in Jerusalem is a natural response to the ongoing racist policies and crimes of the occupation, and it is...
    Redline | 19-11
  • Occupation is responsible for escalation in Jerusalem
    The following statement was issued by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on 18 November 2014 in relation to the attack on a synagogue in the Har Nof area of Jerusalem. “The operation today in Jerusalem is a...
    Redline | 19-11
  • Turbulent week for global climate policy leaves many questions
    They came, they saw, they cuddled koalas and world leaders then largely ignored the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s instructions to ignore the global, intergenerational and morally challenging kerfuffle over climate change. All in all the last seven days have...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • Andrew Little: A Man for the Time?
    In an ideal world good men and good women would be elected to government; the best would achieve high office and a few the highest office in the land. New Zealand, still one of the least politically corrupt nations in...
    Brian Edwards | 19-11
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 19
    Top of the AgendaSynagogue Attack Heightens Israel Tensions...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Free Trade, Or trading freedom
    New Scientist unpick the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) the other half of the worlds TPPA equivalent. How the world's largest trade deal affects you (here)Beware the treaty's empty economic promises (here)Healthy profits, but what about people? (here)These, and related...
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 19-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Wild West culture a result of gung-ho government
    Successive employment law changes over the last six years that have taken away work rights have led to a Wild West employer culture in many workplaces, Labour’s workplace relations spokesperson Andrew Little says. A government audit of 23 Christchurch building...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Dr. Kennedy Graham’s speaks in the 2014 Ministerial Statement –...
    I have listened closely to the Prime Minister's statement this morning and to this debate over New Zealand's engagement towards the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In my contribution I want to focus on the broader aspect...
    Greens | 05-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • REVIEW: The Blind Date Project
    The Blind Date Project Silo Theatre 4-29 November The Basement  Part of the excitement of a live performance, be it music or theatre or a circus with trapeze artists and lion tamers, is the risk that it could all go...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Good News For The Left!
    EVER SINCE the debacle of 20 September 2014, the New Zealand left has been hanging out for some good news. Today, thanks to Stephen Mills, the Executive Director of UMR Research, it has finally got some. UMR Research has for...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • The SIS won’t use 48 hour warrantless spying for ‘evidence’
    Let’s just slay one of the myths the Government are trying to use right now to justify the SIS 48 hour warrantless search fishing expeditions shall we? The Government has been telling all who listen over the weekend that the SIS...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • There’s a better way of discouraging would-be jihadists
    The Prime Minister claims there is a growing threat from New Zealanders attracted to Islamic State and he wants to increase state powers to watch such people and take away their passports. I believe there is a better way to...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Nationwide Day of Protest Captures Public Attention on TPPA
    . . NZ, Wellington, 8 November 2014 – Wellington basked in a beautiful summers’ day with nary a breeze and only a few clouds in a clear, blue sky. The sort of summer day that we keenly await after months...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Judge joins calls for tourist driver tests
    A district court judge has joined the growing number of professionals calling for tourist driving tests....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU congratulates new Labour leader
    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union congratulates Andrew Little on his election as Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. “I have worked closely with Andrew and know he will be a strong and successful leader,” says Bill Newson,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • WHO Highlights Devastating Global Impact of Drowning
    The global drowning report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 372,000 lives are lost each year to drowning. Safekids Aotearoa, as a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, has joined the worldwide effort to focus more attention...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPA must refuse phosphate mining application
    Text of the Press Release issued by KASM (Kiwis against Seabed Mining), Greenpeace and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition on 17 November 2014: “EPA must refuse phosphate mining application” The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency should refuse...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Compulsory smoke alarms needed in rental accommodation
    The tragic deaths of three young people during a house fire in Hamilton, hot on the heels of a 3 year old dying in a house fire the previous week, point directly to the need for compulsory smoke alarms in...
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • CAA fines Minister for security breach
    The Civil Aviation Authority has completed its investigation into an alleged security breach at Christchurch International Airport by then Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee and two aides on 24 July, 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Pacific climate funding must prioritise the poor
    Caritas supports the government’s prioritising of the Pacific for direct climate change related funding, rather than making a major contribution to the global Green Climate Fund....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
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