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Open mike 10/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 10th, 2012 - 66 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…

66 comments on “Open mike 10/11/2012”

  1. just saying 1

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=1108#more-1108

    An outstanding post from Puddleglum on human capital.
    Read it.

    • LynW 1.1

      This is indeed such an excellent post! The content is extraordinary, pulling together such a powerful argument for the essentialness of human social networks and connections. Thank you for the link js. I will be passing this on. Puddleglum, all credit to you for an article so full of gems and insights as you intertwine two very topical issues, the Pike River mine disaster and extended paid parental leave in such a thought provoking way.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Definitely a must read.

      It’s a great example of you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

  2. Well Shane Jones is at it again abusing the Greens and calling their minds “barren” and accusing them of “kneejerk emotionalism”.

    Some one ought to talk to him and explain that the Greens will be an important feature of any future Labour Government and that it is stupid to abuse them.

    He should be training his rhetoric on the real threat to NZ society, the National Party. 

    • karol 2.1

      Jones – who is guilty of “knee jerk emotionalism”?  
       
      I see in the article that the chairman of Northland’s Te Rarawa iwi, Haami Piripi, is also for approriate oil exploration that would create jobs, but “environmental protection is the bottom line”.  He also says:

      the consultation referred to by Mr Heatley was not satisfactory because it was being conducted according to legislation which Te Rarawa opposed “because it fails to recognise any customary interests that we may have in minerals or the environment in which the minerals may exist”.

      Seems like Jones is on the look out for another party to join.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        If he is looking for another party to join AND if he has an iota of integrity, he should stop being a Labour Party caucus member squatter, continuing to live off Labour Party goodwill and resources, and just pack up and get out.

    • karol 2.2

      And Clare Curran responds, saying she has contacted Jones to say she doesn’t agree and that what he has said is out of step with Labour Party policy.  She will recommend the Green Bill to her caucus.
       
       

      • Jim Nald 2.2.1

        “.. Clare Curran, has taken her colleague Shane Jones to task ..”

        And where is the party leader in that piece?
        Is Snorer trying hard to demonstrate the point why Labour will continue still to be government-in-waiting for a long time?

        Two things, at least, need to be done with this Shame job. And quite frankly, the Labour leadership does not even need me suggesting this here, in public, if they they are demonstrating what they should be doing in the first place.

        First, have a strong word with him and give him a good telling off away from the glare of the media. Second, make it clear under the bright lights of the media what is expected from him and the consequences.

        … unless of course if Shearer condones what Shane is doing and saying. … Does that mean Shearer shares the same view?

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Have they deliberately given Shane Jones are long lead to do what he wants. Caucus members, even senior ones, do not get to go rogue multiple times over an extended period.

          • Jim Nald 2.2.1.1.1

            Either that or the leadership team has vetted and cleared Shane’s apparent rouge-ness.

            In either case, it reflects poorly on caucus and the party.

    • Rhinocrates 2.3

      My face, unable to bear the spectacle any more, made a suicidal leap towards my desk and was only saved by the desperate intervention of my palm.

    • weka 2.4

      “He should be training his rhetoric on the real threat to NZ society, the National Party”
       
      Or he could just join the National Party and be done with it.

    • David H 2.5

      When are they going to sack this fool?

    • Dr Terry 2.6

      Any intelligent Party which acts with integrity would frighten the pants off a creep like Jones. Clearly he is feeling threatened.

    • thatguynz 2.7

      So which side of the house does that brainless buffoon represent? Is he the modern day trojan horse of the Labour Party a la Roger Douglas’ first ACT govt in 1984?

  3. Logie97 3

    People on here might be unwise to comment on the PM’s interview with Audrey Young in today’s Herald. After all it’s only what she thinks she heard him say in his responses to her questions. If anyone takes him to task, he will deny it …

    In fact, general advice would be that, unless you acshully see his lips move when you hear an utterance, you would be best to ignore it.

    (Students of the Simpsons would know that from watching Bart’s performances of denial.)

    What John did say, because we saw his lips move, was that he learnt the use of “gay” from his son. Teachers will tell you that it is used by children in the playground as a nasty putdown because they know that it causes offence and gets a reaction.

    When Key, was asked about it in his press conference, he stumbled (despite his apparent sharp wit) to find a synonym and used the word “weird” which simply further demonstrated his limited vocabulary.

      • Herodotus 3.1.1

        How do you become intelligent? According to Key move to Aussie and your increase your smartness?
        How, by making more money. Beckham’s smart as he has made more money than “I” have.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10846333

      • weka 3.1.2

        Oh please, get out the violins (Audrey Young’s article). Poor, misunderstood and misrepresented John.
         
        It’s not Key using colloquial language that is the problem. It’s his behaviour. As Prime Minister. He can use the word shit as much as he likes for all I care, just as long as he does it appropriately. An insult to an international sportsperson who has done the PM’s son a favour is still an insult whether in kiwi-ese or the Queens’ English.
         
        Likewise, fuck the semantic arguments about the word ‘gay’. It’s his willful ignorance about the politics of sexuality and language that’s at issue. And by politics I mean not how this reflects on him, but how the use of words about homosexuality is still part of the homophobic nature of this country and how that translates in to prejudice and violence.
         
         

        • McFlock 3.1.2.1

          Basically, he had two fails with the shirt comment:
          1) of all the words in the English language, he used “gay”;
          2) it never occurred to him or his entire team that “gay” also means “cheerful” – hence “I was referring to the bright cheery nature of the shirt”.

          No, he had to make up “weird”. Tool.

    • Dr Terry 3.2

      The word “gay” is not defined as “weird” in my dictionary. All we can be sure of is that Key knows there is such a thing as a dictionary, he never appears to look into it.

      • David H 3.2.1

        But as soon as he said that Gay means Weird he immediately alienated the whole gay community. Good one John Keep up the good work, I hear there’s a Grey Power meeting tonight you can go to and give a talk.

      • felix 3.2.2

        Dictionaries are just like lawyers and scientists, I can always find another one to provide an opposite definition.

  4. muzza 4

    Following on from Prisms post – http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06112012/comment-page-1/#comment-543706

    Auckland Council reports NZ$233 mln annual loss after tax; Has now lost NZ$343 million after tax in its first 20 months

    A council spokeswoman told interest.co.nz the NZ$167 million hit to the bottom line from interest rate swaps on loans stemmed from a combination of new swaps and swaps inherited from legacy councils. She described the contracts as “forward starting fixed rate paid (borrowing) interest rate swaps.”

    “The contracts are spread across a number of banks as you would expect with a diversified portfolio. The physical debt portfolio is currently NZ$4 billion in size and projected to increase to NZ$8.5 billion in size. It is prudent to hedge a portion of this increase in projected debt to reduce council’s risk to an increase in interest rates,” the spokeswoman said.

    Who knows where the Auckland Council takes it financial portfolio advise from?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      These derivative contracts are sunk local governments all over the world. Scams by bankers perpetrated on the people.

      Whoever in the council recommended or signed these off need to be fired now, and the contracts with the banks immediately renegotiated – or abrogated.

      • Jim Nald 4.1.1

        “Whoever in the council recommended or signed these off need to be fired now” …… and their assets traced and seized.

      • muzza 4.1.2

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/6671255/Government-in-112b-barney

        By the time these explode at central govt, as they are designed to do, its going to be very bloody bad!

        One would assume that it would be the CFO responsible for ALL financial positions, and happenings at Council, which would make it Andrew McKenzie, as a place to start to unravel the local govt fraud..

        • Herodotus 4.1.2.1

          Treasury functions would have set parameters to operate under as to e.g. the % of debt to be covered by such instruments, the length that SWAP’s or other means of fixing debt. And such instructions should be under the guidance of the board or directors with the implementation by those in charge of the treasury function of the organization.
          With councils there is never any comment in the LTCCP of debt maintenance or even reduction of debt in $ terms. But we have apologists who then try to reframe the topic by indexing debt to GDP, Income(Rates collected), Net Assets, etc to justify that in $ terms an increase in debt is actually a reduction.

          • muzza 4.1.2.1.1

            Cheers H – Thing is though, set parameters implies that those making the investment decisions understand the down-side potential of what are levereged instuments, so it requires that there are “skilled” hands at wheel.

            It also implies that those making the investments , or the decision on behalf od councils etc, that they either do not know that the markets are totally rigged, or that those making the decisions are corrupted.

            Either way, this is really not good, and it is going to be a some digging to do in order to understand who inside council is authorizing this stuff, as I assume it could sit under the ACIL possibly.

    • muzza 4.2

      This Link
      Was put up by someone here recently too, which is directly related to the above.

      Claims banks missold interest-rate swaps to businesses and local authorities have been making headlines around the world.

      Interest rate swaps are a derivative financial tool used by sophisticated businesses with skilled treasury functions to limit interest rate risk.

      But it is becoming clear that in places such as Britain, Italy and America, interest-rate swaps were sold by banks to organisations that did not understand the risks they were taking.

      In case after case, interest rate swaps often sold in 2007 and 2008 as “protection” against interest rates rising sharply have served mainly to protect bank profits by locking businesses and local bodies into high levels of interest ahead of those rates falling.

      In July, an investigation by the Financial Services Authority in Britain concluded that it had found “serious failings” by banks, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland in the way they sold interest-rate hedging products to small- and medium-sized businesses leading to a “severe impact” on their finances.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        Exactly muzza.

        I recall Steven Keen showing mathematically how the finance sector should consist of no more than about 5-8% of GDP in order for an economy to remain stable. There is no question that these people have exploited their trusted and privileged position to parasitically consume a larger and larger share of our prosperity.

        Recall the $30Trillion of cash hoarded in banking tax havens around the world by a mere 50,000 odd people. That’s around U$4000 for every other man, woman and child on the planet. The inequality of wealth (and rights) across the planet is far more extreme than most people imagine, and much of this has been enabled by the banking industry.

        Frankly it’s a shame these new-fangled electric lamp posts don’t have convenient gas-lamp holders the way the old ones did.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Steve Keen also says that banking needs to, once again, become the most boring, unmaginative, straitlaced, rule bound industry in the world.

          No more financial engineering, no more whiz quid PhD ‘quants’, no more multilayered hypercomplex executive bonus schemes.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.2

          I recall Steven Keen showing mathematically how the finance sector should consist of no more than about 5-8% of GDP in order for an economy to remain stable.

          I thought it was 2% to 3% for stability with them presently taking up 5% to 8%.

          • RedLogix 4.2.1.2.1

            Well in the UK the finance industry has mestatisized to the point where the City of London was almost 50% of the UK GDP, and in 2007 some 50% of all US corporate profits were made by them.

            And the point is that even here in New Zealand where the banks should indeed be a minor component of the economy … they are the ONLY industry consistently able to make 20% returns on equity.

    • prism 4.3

      Thanks for giving us that update Muzza. It forms part of the anxiety I have about our NZ accumulated capital from our country-wide enterprises disappearing into unfriendly hands from under our noses through the work of highly paid functionaries who are supposed to be excellent at their job. And I wonder what skills and focus those who granted their jobs actually were seeking?

      It seems to me that many present business practices in private and public entities, have a subversive element undermining the country’s prosperity similar to the mafia in Italy and I have seen in my reading that some say also in the USA. Does anyone remember James McNeish’s book, last century, about the crusade by Danilo Dolci to break the dead hand on business and employment of the mafia in Sicily? They had pressurised and decimated business so much that people were vastly unemployed, desperately poor while the mafia were picking the cherries off every exchange of money. A Tobin tax in reverse? Dolci got them to make a protest and there was trouble from the authorities which were being undermined by this go-to-work strike, not a stop-work strike.

      The people took spades and shovels and worked on some of the rutted roads in their area that had been neglected because of funds going first to mafia-controlled projects and machinations. The trouble is that once corruption of good practice and integrity becomes ingrained it is hard to dig out the pus. But Labour will restore such virtues won’t they?

      • muzza 4.3.1

        Hi Prism – Despite what many want to believe (not aimed at you), the world is run by gangs who are in effect like a marfia, although nothing like the traditional mafia that people associate with anyway.

        NZ is no different, how could it be, and the simplist way to understand it is to observe the interconnectedness of the financial markets, commodities markets, trade agreements etc all over-seen by the global alphabets, IMF, WB, UN, WTO, and on and on. The corporste front faces and brands dealt know and see, are all owned by the same by the same entities, it all rolls back to the same places. Thats how the tens of trillions which Red Logix refers to can be possible, because the big sucking sound of ours, and the next generations futures are being pulled out into those offhsore accounts, and thats just the cash, and other trinkets, the same entites still own most of the wealth producing asstes, and resources, and are seeking to steal whats left with the help of JK in NZ, and any PM before him back to Muldoon, including!

        How are we to go forward under such crushing weight, because sadly I know its going to get much worse, before it ever gets better. And the further doen the track this all goes, the less likely that it can ever be undone!

        This is so serious in its consequence, its staggering!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      The banks who just profited by another hundred odd million.

    • joe90 4.5

      An Australian Federal Judge has found that a ratings agency is liable for the losses incurred by local bodies who relied on their advice.

      http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2012/11/05/hero-of-the-day-cpdo-edition/

      The coverage of the decision (Quartz, FT, WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters) concentrates, as it should, on the hugely important precedent being set here: that a ratings agency — in this case, S&P — is being found liable for losses that an investor suffered after trusting that agency.

      S&P is appealing the decision, which runs to an astonishing 635,500 words, or almost 1,500 pages: it’s literally longer than War and Peace. At this point, it’s fair to assume that Jagot is one of the world’s foremost experts on structuring and rating CPDOs — crazy derivative instruments which had a brief moment of glory at the end of 2006 before imploding spectacularly during the financial crisis. And helpfully, her decision begins with a 56-paragraph summary of her findings, which lays out exactly how culpable and incompetent S&P really was.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Presented as a public service because it needs linking to on a regular basis:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

    AND as a delicious extra:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=hWiBt-pqp0E&NR=1

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    This should upset the Climate Change Deniers:
    Warmer still: Extreme climate predictions appear most accurate, report says

    Looking back at 10 years of atmospheric humidity data from NASA satellites, the pair examined two dozen of the world’s most sophisticated climate simulations. They found the simulations that most closely matched humidity measurements were also the ones that predicted the most extreme global warming.

    In other words, by using real data, the scientists picked simulation winners and losers.

    “The models at the higher end of temperature predictions uniformly did a better job,” Fasullo said. The simulations that fared worse — the ones predicting smaller temperature rises — “should be outright discounted,” he said.

    Yep, the climate models that project a greater calamity from AGW are the most accurate.

    • Destruction from climate change suits the right-wing agenda, if millions die or lose their homes they get bonuses and earn more money. In the case of Christchurch, the government can sell out the city to their developer mates and reap the rewards of removing New Zealanders from house ownership, shutting down their schools; and making them dependent on foreign corporates for accommodation, education and jobs.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      The fact that nothing will be done about this tell us who really controls the political agenda where it matters.

      Face it.The Denier charade was always just agit-prop theatre to keep the masses confused and thus passive. Everyone who matters knows that the science is real.

      But it would cost them money. These people have conciously, deliberately and maliciously chosen to put their personal wealth and privilege above the almost certain catastrophe that they are causing.

      It’s too late to stop a 2-3 degC temp rise. That’s now built-in and irreversible. The only thing left to us is to try and stop a 4-6 degC rise. Unless the political system responds within a few years, Obama’s next term at most … then we will have failed at that too.

      And that will be the end of politics as we know it.

      • kiwicommie 6.2.1

        I think it is too late even to stop the 4-6 rise. The truth of the matter is that there would be climate changes irrespective of human impact; by flooding the atmosphere with pollutants, rivers with industrial waste and running all those nuclear tests the process of climate change is way more rapid. As a result billions/hundreds of millions of deaths is inevitable over this century and the next from climate change related natural disasters i.e. more droughts, hurricanes,etc.

        • RedLogix 6.2.1.1

          For the first time in my life I’m beginning to seriously question the wisdom of sticking with the political process, when it is so egregiously failing.

          The media owns and manipulates the mass conciousness.

          Direct, revolutionary political action almost never yeilds the outcome hoped for.

          Our visions, our dreams and ideals have been perverted into drab, materialistic ‘aspirations’.

          I know that human nature is not fixed, and that this is what must change. We must learn to believe in a better version of ourselves again. Soon.

          • Jim Nald 6.2.1.1.1

            And Shearer is so articulately helping us to see a better version of ourselves again.
            Fours years rebuilding the Labour Party has yielded the fantastic product seen as Shearer.
            The Labour leadership team has done incredibly well. For National.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.2

            For the first time in my life I’m beginning to seriously question the wisdom of sticking with the poltical process, when it is so egregiously failing.

            We have to question why it’s failing and, from what I can make out, it’s failing because the politicians are working to protect capitalism (and thus capitalists) and growth at all costs rather than working to bring about a better society – a society that works within the Earth’s environmental limits .

  7. RedBaron 8

    And Fran Sullivan’s response in the Herald to the unemployment figures.

    Why doesn’t John Key hold an economic summit?

    Well Fran, he made the problem, he can solve it!
    He squandered the advantages that the country had going into the recession by handing the bulk of it out in tax cuts to the richest via gst and income tax changes and lowering the top income tax rate.Those two alone are costing us a fortune. He wants to spend money on useless roads, can’t be bothered with democracy in Canterbury and hounds young people, poor people and women as if they are not part of our society.

    Now, although Key won’t change useless policy settings, share the power or even consult with people, you have this wonderful idea.
    “Everybody else should gather around and try to solve the problems he has created and give him the credit for it.”

    Lovely passive aggressive behaviour Fran. You have the power but you didn’t make the problem but you’re going to make us solve it for you.

    Shape up Fran, you’re a big kid now and you get to take responsibility for your own side’s creations.

    Getting rid of Nact would be more use than any summit.

    • Fran got a cozy journalism job for herself where she can rant away with her neo-liberal trash economics, she doesn’t care about you or me; just the next pay check. I am pretty sure the paper runs her column just to rile people up and boost readership numbers.

      • RedBaron 8.1.1

        Quite right KC. It just spoilt the first coffee.
        However, I see some other right wingers hedging their output a little these days. Must have calculated, in their own self interest, that this lot aren’t going to last forever and they might have to invite the other lot onto their shows.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Why doesn’t John Key hold an economic summit?

      He already did, we got a few parts of a cycle way out of it.

  8. Fortran 9

    Good on Christchurch Council for giving it’s staff 11 more days leave as they are working under stress conditions.
    Though Marriott should have consulted the Councillors first though, although they are irrelevant in employment matters (and many other things). The CEO is the only employer not the Councillors.
    Good lesson for other Councils where many staff are under stress.
    4/5 weeks leave, 11 days additional, and 10 days sick leave – sounds great to me – bring it on.

  9. David H 10

    Things must be bad for Fran Sullivan to say Key is a waffler..

    But instead of galvanising Key into action – through orchestrating a real Jobs Summit and incentivising employers to take on more workers – the Prime Minister waffled.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10846359

  10. pete 11

    Yep, Cunliffe is the man.

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike because it looks like you are trolling and off topic. If I see any further similar un argued grunts from you, you will find that it will get hard to write comments here with a permanent ban for being a dumb troll. ]

  11. AlseepWhileWalking 12

    UK now offering *free spray tans!* to job seekers. The idea behind this is to make people feel better about themselves, and therefore be more likely to get a job…..

    I’d like hair removal myself as I’m a bit of an ape : )

    http://tinyurl.com/b5whcwx

  12. pete 13

    There is only one person with gold plated balls robust enough for this job – and that’s Cunliffe.

    [lprent: *sigh* Moving your comments to OpenMike. A lack of explanation makes them look like a simple troll (you know – dumb enough to believe goats) and they are off topic. ]

  13. AlseepWhileWalking 14

    This is BRILLIANT! I really hope it works for them and the folks it is supposed to target.

    “Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.

    Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)

    This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!

    Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program LIVE and NATIONWIDE, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.

    We’re kicking things off with a show called THE PEOPLE’S BAILOUT at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, November 15. It will also stream online, like a good ol’-fashioned telethon!”

    http://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/35309150177/the-peoples-bailout

    • That is fascinating.  I bet if people under financial pressure had the chance to get rid of debt that way they would contribute.  OWS could be onto something …

    • weka 14.2

      How does it work? If I by someone’s debt, doesn’t the person who the debt is owed to then come after me instead?

  14. pete 15

    Let’s face it – when you’re not packing the spuds for this job, it’s time to step aside.

    [lprent: I have no idea how that is relevant to the topic -> OpenMike. The only reason you aren’t being sin-banned is because I see that you can express opinions in other posts. But that forbearance isn’t going to last. ]

  15. BLiP 16

    .

    Bradley Manning plea carries potential risks and rewards

    . . . By pleading guilty to certain facts, Manning also gives up any right to contest them at trial, which potentially could make it easier for the government to prove its most serious charges.

    “That’s the cost-benefit analysis you have to do,” said Philip Cave, a military law expert in private practice” . . .

  16. Glad to see their are nice, cool people left in the world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0fAnwX76aI

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Actually that is what goes on most of the time Brett.

      Good and evil are not symmetric. Greed, theft, violence, destruction and death are so very potent because most of us ordinary people are not conditioned to respond to it, and so it easily overwhelms us. One moment of destruction can erase an entire life, a decade of patient labour, and a legacy centuries old.

      Which is why it works, and why it must be guarded against.

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Great post by the Archdruid this week:

    Outside the United States, circumstances will no doubt vary. Those nations that have linked their welfare or their survival too closely to American empire will be dragged down in their turn; those who align themselves with one or another contender for America’s replacement will rise or fall with their choice, while those that have the good sense to step back into neutrality until the smoke clears, and then make arrangements with the new hegemon, will doubtless do well. I suspect, though, that Japan and western Europe in particular will be in for a rough awakening. For decades now, they’ve reaped the benefits of having their national defense backstopped by gargantuan US defense budgets, and the end of that cozy arrangement will force them to choose between spending a great deal more money on their own militaries, accepting a new overlord who may be a good deal less congenial than the one they have now, or accepting a position of extreme vulnerability in an epoch where that may turn out to be an exceptionally risky thing to do.

    A paragraph the most certainly applies to NZ. I’d prefer it if we went totally neutral and built up our defences but unfortunately the government we have and the one in waiting appear, IMO, to want to continue to kowtow to the US.

  18. karol 19

    Enigmatic from bomber, promising an exclusive at 6am tomorrow…?  Will that live up to the promo?

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    Four days before the Scottish Independence Referendum, the UK's supposedly neutral monarch intervened, telling the Scots to "think very carefully about the future". While cloaked as a "private exchange", it has now emerged that the whole thing was scripted by...
    No Right Turn
  • The courts and the Public Records Act
    Nicky Hager won an important victory in his case against the police yesterday, forcing discovery of the police's internal working documents about the decision to apply for and execute a search warrant against him. While some of the documents will...
    No Right Turn
  • Deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit tax cuts!
    Bill English’s laser-like focus on delivering tax cuts in 2017 whether it is a good idea or not reveals a deep problem that right-leaning parties have with being responsible. The whole idea behind deficit spending, which National has done a...
    Polity
  • Does intensification increase traffic congestion?
    Earlier this week, I took a look at the relationship between congestion and density. I was investigating geographer Phil McDermott’s claim, based on some dodgy data comparing between cities, that increasing density would increase congestion. Economists know that it is...
    Transport Blog
  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!
    When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a...
    Public Address
  • LMAO
    Andrea Vance reports / mocks: Acronyms will go MIA in Defence Force briefing papers as new minister Gerry Brownlee says NOMW (not on my watch). Brownlee has ordered military top brass to remove all acronyms from their ministerial documents as...
    Polity
  • What do plummeting milk prices mean for our fresh water?
    This year milk prices have soured like a bottle left in the sun. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the economic impact of the fall in prices, but what, if anything does it mean for our...
    Gareth’s World
  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
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  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
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  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
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  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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