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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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    Left hand palm
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    After The Nation's Labour leadership debate in Hamilton a few weeks back, I said to some of my colleagues, 'if Little doesn't win this, he should be given the strategy job of making Labour relevant again, that's what he seems...
    Pundit
  • How to get rid of the State Services Commissioner
    Over the wekeend, Andrew Little effectively called for State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to resign over his mishandling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment claim. I'm inclined to agree. But as DPF points out, the SSC can't just be sacked,...
    No Right Turn
  • How British
    How corrupt is the British establishment? This corrupt:The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed. Two...
    No Right Turn
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    frogblog
  • Labour’s front bench: Demographics
    When he became Labour leader last week, Andrew Little promised a front bench that was representative of New Zealanders' background aspirations, and also promised a front bench that represented New Zealand's future aspirations. Here's how he did: The average age...
    Polity
  • Was Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations...
    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • 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
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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,...
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  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
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  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
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  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
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  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
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  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...
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  • 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....
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  • 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...
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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