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Open mike 19/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 19th, 2012 - 144 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…

144 comments on “Open mike 19/05/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    So, one of Act’s big funders wants Act to follow Brash’s Orewa speech model, of “equal” treatment for Maori and Pakeha.

    But behind this egalitarian argument, is a fundamental dislike of Maori culture, and a lac k understanding of the inequalities that result in a high proportion of Maori being poor, unemployed, and without hope:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806938

    The biggest donor to the Act Party says he gave the money to Don Brash and John Banks so they could stop special treatment for Maori who were “either in jail or on welfare”.
    […]
    The campaign came after the Rugby World Cup, which showcased Maori in a way Mr Crimp opposed.

    “It was an embarrassment at the Rugby World Cup, [Maori] coming to shore in canoes, with hardly any clothes on, waving spears and poking their tongues out, all painted up.”

    He said it was intended as a welcome but would have terrified visitors.

    “Every opportunity the Maoris get they have to do this war dance, whether it is for a funeral or something happy or a wedding. They feel they have to take all their clothes off, stick tongues out and wave spears. That’s not New Zealand.”

    He said New Zealand was poorer because of Maori claims, welfare, language revival, television and crime.

    “The Maori language, that is the biggest waste of money that New Zealand has ever spent on anything … $500 million a year to promote the Maori language.

    “It’s making New Zealand poorer by paying the Maori out the welfare and the language.”

    That’s “free speech” for you…. and for that I am grateful…. it enables some people to demonstrate the poverty, and sometimes nastiness, of their beliefs.

    • Hateatea 1.1

      Mr Crimp is not a nice man as many could attest to. This story in today’s Southland Times is but one of hundreds of similar tales I have heard over the past 45 years or so. He is a wealthy bully.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/6950115/Quake-report-too-expensive#share
       

      • Carol 1.1.1

        Thanks. So in contrast to Crimp’s one law for all Pakeha and Maori, he reckons there’s one law (or set of rules) for everyone else, but he can do what he likes.

        • Hateatea 1.1.1.1

          he has acted that way for as long as I have known of him  (45 plus years). Being at death’s door has done absolutely nothing to sweeten his nature except his generosity to the local SPCA (I have to be fair)

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          That does seem to be normal for rich pricks.

    • Carol 1.2

      Sorry, didn’t end the quote at the right point. in my7.16am comment.

      The extract from the article ends here;

      “The Maori language, that is the biggest waste of money that New Zealand has ever spent on anything … $500 million a year to promote the Maori language.

      “It’s making New Zealand poorer by paying the Maori out the welfare and the language.”

      This last sentence is mine :
      That’s “free speech” for you…. and for that I am grateful…. it enables some people to demonstrate the poverty, and sometimes nastiness, of their beliefs.

    • Foreign Waka 1.3

      Sorry to burst your bubble, I am all for Culture but there is an enormous waste going on just to keep the Nats in Government. Lots of moneys being spent in all the wrong places. It is disgusting – I repeat: DISGUSTING – that the people in Christchurch have to wait to get a roof over their head while PUBLIC money is being spent on items with NO PRIORITY at this time. i.e.paying Gangs on the belief that they may just change their behavior is unbelievable. No wonder that NZ is being taken to the cleaners, no wonder.

      • Chris 1.3.1

        While I don’t think anywhere near enough is being done in Christchurch I also don’t think funding for every other programme should be stopped because of Christchurch.

        One thing the Government is doing in Christchurch is spending a lot of money they’re just not doing it in ways that actually help Christchurch aside from consultants in Christchurch.

        • Foreign Waka 1.3.1.1

          Sorry Chris, I disagree. If there is only so much money in the public purse (taxpayer money) than spending has to be prioritized. Infrastructure is part of public spending and for people to not have basics of clean water and sanitation vs spending on projects currently not on the top of the list is simply irresponsible. There is no other way of saying this: political correctness will not elevate poverty, it just polarizes the parties trying to get “their” project paid for. I am absolutely certain that there is enough money in the Maori Trusts to fund these projects like I mentioned earlier.

          • Chris 1.3.1.1.1

            Why should Maori Trusts have to pay for it though Gangs are not solely a Maori problem.

            You missed my point though that the problem in Christchurch is not that there isn’t enough money being spent down there because a heap is being spent but it is the way it is being spent that is the problem. That won’t be fixed by cutting every programme that someone determines as non-priority.

          • hateatea 1.3.1.1.2

            Clean water and sanitation are a City Council responsibility.

            As for Maori Trusts funding gang projects – it would have to be consistent with their trust deeds and, in most cases, all the gang members would have to whakapapa to that particular trust to qualify. In my experience most trusts only give funding for high school and tertiary education

            • Foreign Waka 1.3.1.1.2.1

              Absolutely, funding of any gang projects are not necessary race related. However, Maori are at the moment the only one getting PUBLIC funding. This I feel is currently completely out of tough with the real needs of any community.

              • Adele

                Foreign Boat

                For a relatively recent immigrant you sure know a lot about what Māori get.

                Māori are not the only ones that receive government funding. Any funding specifically targeting Māori must also incorporate non-Māori into the mix (anyone can apply under Whānau Ora).

                Public funding was established on the back of Māori largesse – what Māori gave up in order for the public to reside peaceably in this country (land, waterways, status, the capacity to be self-sufficient and autonomous etc)..

                I recommend you study more what Māori have lost and then compare it to what we have gained before making judgement on how beneficient the public has / is being towards tāngata whenua.

                Another gripe that is frequently thrown at Māori by Pākehā is that we seek to separate (apartheid) however what you are advocating is exactly that – Māori fund Māori issues, although we are also taxpayers, business people, earners. Are you suggesting that whatever taxes we pay into the government coffers also be directed towards our own interests. I could live with that especially when the Maori economy is supposedly worth an estimated $37 billion.

              • Hateatea

                Sorry, foreign waka, I completely missed this on Saturday but evidence please:
                What gangs are being publicly funded? Evidence that all members of the gang are Māori (should any gang prove to be publicly funded)
                I get more than a little annoyed that such divisive and unsubstantiated canards keep being uttered as if they are true with no evidence to back them up. A lie, no matter how often repeated (or by whom) remains a lie

          • Descendant Of Smith 1.3.1.1.3

            “I am absolutely certain that there is enough money in the Maori Trusts to fund these projects like I mentioned earlier.”

            I’m absolutely certain that there is much much more money in Pakeha trusts to pay for the things they (Pakeha) need than there is an any Maori trusts.

            We know from media reports that Pakeha use these trusts to access much state assistance, to deprive women of their matrimonial property, to close down companies and still keep the money they have transferred out of it, to get the state to pay for their residential care when they are elderly and so on.

            You’re a bit like those I was at school with who bitched about the (few) Maori kids on scholarships to go to boarding school. I was also a scholarship kid paid for by the state, they were paid for by iwi scholarships – you know their own money.

            No student or parent did I ever hear whinge about my scholarship – the constant five year refrain about “these Maori” kids being funded by the taxpayer was just another step in demonstrating the irrational, uneducated premise that many Pakeha have about Maori – most pakeha of whom would never have stepped on a marae in their lives.

            Often this rhetoric influences foreigners who come here as does the media portrayal – the fact that foreigners get sucked into this only ever reminds me of Muldoon’s statement about raising the IQ of both countries. It just that on this occasion we are on the receiving end.

            • Foreign Waka 1.3.1.1.3.1

              To Adele and Descendent of Smith
              Firstly, you both assume to know what I know, how I live and what my background is. You are wrong on all accounts by the way. However, in regard to by comments- what I am saying is that 2 wrongs do not make one right. Yes, Maori got the colonial treatment albeit to a somewhat lesser extent (not an excuse!) than in other countries. However, NZ has come a long way to pay reparation and a far as I can see Maoris biggest hurdle these days is not so much the payouts themselves but the lack of the trickling down from the Trusts and Elites (this is so familiar)- Oh I can hear the drums already……
              This defensive attitude is what truly stays in the way of further development and is politically used and EVERYBODY outside this can see it. Not the ones actually involved, of cause not – what else is new.
              Anyway, my comment was directed at Government spending per see as I feel that any money that is collected by law abiding taxpaying people should be used wisely and appropriately. This means that this country needs to first cover the basics for EVERYBODY before it can decide on any other use of moneys. You are talking about the crown when referring to any moneys that Maori claim and seem to forget that it is in fact your neighbor with the 2.5 kids and a mortgage, worry to hold a job if at all having one, getting by on minimum wages who is now asked to pay. So maybe you have to ask the Queen?
              As for the study of Maori, yes I have done some, their history, the genealogy and I was on a marae, meetings etc. Possibly more than your average NZlander. But there you go, this is not about race, this is about right or wrong.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Hmmm the closest I came to mentioning you was you remind me of.

                It’s a bit of an extrapolation to take that to me suggesting what you think and know.

                Disagreement and a differing view isn’t a personal attack.

              • Adele

                Foreign Boat,

                I assume things about you based on your comments and it appears to me, as a person with extensive knowledge and lived experience of Te Ao Māori, that your interactions with Māori history have done you little favour as your ignorance is still woefully apparent, and whoopee that you have been on Marae. The days of feting non-Māori for learning about tāngata whenua are well and truly over.

                You are suggesting that Māori Trusts should fund Māori social (and presumably health services) because the country cannot afford to do so under the present recessionary climate. Your suggestion does in fact have precedence in history. The introduction into this country of the old age pension exemplifies how Māori were treated differently as citizens.

                When the old age pension was introduced in 1908, Registrars were instructed to make Māori access to the pension as difficult as possible. All Māori claims for the pension had to be filtered through the Native Land Court and placed before a magistrate, effectively slowing the process.

                Other mechanisms used to deny Māori equal treatment included removing a swathe of Māori names from the pension rolls. For those Māori that could collect a pension their entitlements were reduced to two-thirds of the amount paid to Pākehā. From 1925 the maximum rate payable to Māori was £32.6s per annum or 71% of the maximum of £45.10s. In 1927, many Māori pensions were below £20, less than half the rate paid to Pākehā.

                Koroua and Kuia were literally been starved through this inequitable treatment. The extreme poverty of Māori communities became the rationale for different treatment. Pākehā saw Māori poverty as a sign of lower expectation rather than greater need and by the 1920s living in a pa became a reason to disbar Māori from full pension entitlement. Other types of welfare benefits followed a similar discriminatory pattern. Such treatment continued well into the 1940s.

                Your type of thinking is a rehash of the colonial mindset and is discriminatory.

                • Foreign Waka

                  Thank god I learned good manners, I would otherwise get a bit stroppy here. You seem to enlarge the issue ever so much just to further your agenda. Woppee? Well, at least I made an effort. How about you? What have you done so far to learn about the people around you if they are not Maori?
                  As for equal rights to benefits, I belief it these are paid on equal footing. I am not referring to a time some 80 years ago but to the time right now. My comments were specifically to the plight of families and elderly in Christchurch. But with all that politicking that point seem to get lost on you. It is in fact your ignorance that seem to put just yourself into the center and hence no one else counts. Meanwhile, there is hardship due to a major natural event and every cent is needed to get the people back to a reasonable state of affairs. We are not talking about luxuries when providing sanitary facilities and drinking water which are too expensive for any City Council to cover. I belief that in light of this need funding of none urgent items should be suspended – such as benefits to Gangs.
                  As to your assertion of discrimination, I really don’t follow how you get this out of my comments. Because a civilized, democratic society provides for EVERYBODY equally and that means also for the folks in Christchurch.
                  Discrimination is such an easy throw around word these days that it seem to be often just used to put someone else at unease. In response to your assumptions, I am tempted to give you more insight but then again, it wont help the issue as your point of view is set and seemingly in a frame of mind that is not really open to any conversation.

                  • Hateatea

                    The provision of safe drinking water and the provision of sanitation are both core business for territorial and local authorities in New Zealand. That Christchurch, Waimakariri and Selwyn councils have to face an unprecedented bill due to earthquake damage doesn’t change that.
                    Many councils are faced with similar issues post flooding.
                    This in no way makes acceptable that some are still waiting to know what will happen to their properties, and hence, whether or not water and sanitation will be supplied to their property in the future. That is in the hands of CERA and the Minister.
                    There are many who would agree that a lot of the money Government is supposed to be invested in Christchurch is difficult to see at the flaxroots, that again is something that you might want to consider investigating via OIA requests.
                    What that has to do though with diverting money from educational, well health and other social issues, particularly those to ‘Māori’ is unclear to me. What is even more unclear is why my iwi,hapū and whanau trusts should pay for what are government and community initiatives. Our investment strategies are clear: for us, and for the generations to come. That means that we as the members get our ‘dividend’ in ways other than an annual sum in the bank. Our choice, no one elses business, and certainly not to be spent as you or any politician decides. We suffered too much for too long to give away our hard won financial independence. (BTW, if you think that recompense of approximately 1% of the calculated loss is unreasonable, imagine the cost to the country of proper restitution. )
                    Lastly, why should the Queen pay the restitution. The profits made from illegal land purchases and sales didn’t flow to the Queen, it went, as usual, to the bankers, pastoralists and other colonial parasites, not Queen Victoria.
                     

                    • Adele

                      Tēnā koe, Hateatea

                      Ngā mihi nui ki a koe. If I may just flow on from your words.

                      Foreign Boat

                      I have exceptional manners, unless I am confronted by ignorance, especially from someone who should know better. In a discussion on Crimp’s blatant racism you introduce into the Kōrero a back-hander about public money going into all the wrong places (Māori) while the good citizens of Christchurch SUFFER because of inadequate resourcing. Your opinion says that in such dire circumstances, culture (Māori) is expendable and Māori initiatives should have no priority insofar as public spending is concerned. The greater good must prevail. You do not recommend that SPCA funding be curtailed or Creative New Zealand funds be re-directed.

                      You raise the evil spectre of Gangs receiving public funds at the expense of the neighbour with 2.5 kids, and a mortgage while STRUGGLING to hold onto a minimum wage job. For added emotional effect, you ought to have included the little old lady having to eat cat food because some Maori received funding to attend a well catered hui. Crimp would creak with glee at the hyperbole.

                      Apparently, Māori are blind to the excesses being poured into their coffers by the generous but increasingly (and rightly) indignant public. The generosity you speak of obviously includes welfare – but numbers show the largest burden to the welfare state is superannuation – and very few Māori receive the super (32,000 as opposed to 550,000 non-Māori). There is also roughly a ten year difference in life expectancy between Māori and Pākehā.

                      If the generosity includes treaty settlements, Ngai Tahu settlement monies (as an example) equates to roughly $120 for every acre that was stolen, dishonestly acquired, or confiscated. If the generosity includes government spending on targeted social and health services, the health spend (as an example) equates to roughly $90 per Māori head of population in the South Island or 3% of available health funding.

                      I am fairly sure that the gangster incident that provoked your ‘crimpness’ was when a Dunedin based gang received funding under whānau ora for $50,000. However, compare that amount to the $8billion being siphoned off the rest of the country including Māori communities, businesses, workers, and taxpayers to fuel the Christchurch rebuild – whose stunted progress is more about government ineptitude rather than lack of resources.

                      I should mention that Ngai Tahu is currently offering accelerated trade training to Māori to help with the rebuild and that Māori organisations across the country were quick to respond to the aftermath of the earthquakes, Rotorua (as an example) sent a team of 18 doctors and nurses to Christchurch to aid in recovery.

                      If I accuse you of being discriminatory in your viewpoints, to quote koro Crimp “the truth hurts.”

                    • Foreign Waka

                      Kia Ora Hateaea

                      Your comments are such that I will just end this with a short reply:
                      1/ I was not aware that NZ has Tribal Law instead of an all encompassing State Law.
                      2/ There is no excuse of Apartheid politics, neither in social nor any other matter and this goes for all sides.
                      3/ It becomes increasingly obvious that one cannot voice a point of view without being berated in such manner that it seem that no other voice is allowed because of past events.
                      I am of the view that I am treated in this way because I have identified myself as an immigrant and thus I can reassure you, feel discriminated against. Not that I really care, mind you.
                      So, as far as I am concerned I will draw my own conclusion and leave it at that.

    • weka 1.4

      I’m so glad the Herald gave Crimp such a good hearing. The more that NZ sees what is behind ACT the quicker ACT will be gone.
       

      He said the party had to be more direct, although it was not able to position itself as “anti-Maori”.
      Asked if his political views could be labelled racist, he said: “I don’t give a stuff what I’m called. You have to look at the facts and figures. This is the problem with New Zealanders. Most of them dislike the Maoris intensely – I won’t say hate – but they don’t like to say so.”
       

      Would love to know who Crimp spends his time with. And who he does business with in Invercargill.
       
      He goes on to say that there are hardly any Maoris down there, LOL. What a dick.

      • Tigger 1.4.1

        How many of National’s big donors also think this way? Many, I suspect.

      • Sookie 1.4.2

        That interview with the horrible Mr Crimp was so outrageously awful I actually laughed. But sadly, he’s only saying what South Island rednecks are thinking, or saying on talkback/down the pub.

        • weka 1.4.2.1

          I don’t think so Sookie. Even within the redneck communities I think the subset that believe what Crimp does is very small. He is very extreme. He is a white supremacist and what he is saying is basically promoting cultural genocide. He hates Maoris and he thinks that their culture should not exist because it’s not NZ. The rednecks I know might think that Maori shouldn’t get special treatment etc but I don’t often hear the outright white supremacist stuff.

      • Vicky32 1.4.3

        Would love to know who Crimp spends his time with.

        Exactly! Rabid nutmegs, by the looks…

    • Daveosaurus 1.5

      If there were any real journalists in this country, they’d have been asking him probing questions about his business dealings. http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/155763/documents How convenient for him that everything is mysteriously “Not Available”.

    • felix 1.6

      So this fuckwit ACToid who hates everything maori (including te reo) owns a business called Tuatara.

      Righto.

      • hateatea 1.6.1

        Exactly! He probably doesn’t realise that tuatara is a Maori word. A surprising number of children to whom I taught Te Reo didn’t realise just how many words had been borrowed into NZ English

        • Vicky32 1.6.1.1

          A surprising number of children to whom I taught Te Reo didn’t realise just how many words had been borrowed into NZ English

          That’s surprising and very sad…

  2. Zorr 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI

    The TED talk that TED won’t post… such a shame because it is so very excellent and full of truisms that have been forgotten in our corporate world…

  3. BillODrees 3

    National down 2.5 points to 44.5% and Labour up 1.5 points to 30% in the Roy Morgan Poll.
    Disappointing. They have been on the back foot for months and Labour gains less than the margin of error. We had plenty of opportunities but failed to put the boot (or knife) in. Where is Labour’s “mongrel”? Has Labour changed strategists since the failure of last year? Are the same strategists doing the same things and hoping for a different outcome? WTF!!

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4776

    • Carol 3.1

      I’m not keen on Labour’s current strategies. But I take polls with a grain of salt. Long term trends in polls have more value than individual ones. And the 1% difference between National’s loss and Labour’s gain is margin of error stuff.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    More research shows why a completely pessimistic view about oil isn’t warranted:
    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/05/18/1538252/diesel-like-engine-could-boost-fuel-economy-by-50

    “Autoparts manufacturer Delphi has developed a diesel-like ignition engine running on gasoline, providing a potential 50 percent efficiency improvement over existing gas-powered engines. Engineers have long sought to run diesel-like engines on gasoline for its higher efficiency and low emissions. Delphi’s engine, using a technique called gasoline-direct-injection compression ignition, could rival the performance of hybrid automobiles at a cheaper cost.”

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      We’ve already hit Peak Oil and it will be years and more probably decades before the new engine is common enough to make a difference.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Not necessarily. The whole thing about oil-based transportation is that there’s no technology in progress that can substantially increase energy efficiency. Well there’s one right there.

        I’m not suggesting this engine is going to replace the vehicle fleet in any significant way. More that existing vehicles will simply be scrapped, we’ll have 1/20th the number of cars on the road as we do now, but with this particular type of engine we might end up with 1/10th instead.

        Also things like trucks and construction vehicles are much more vital to the industrial economy than private personal transport, so efficiencies of these types will help to keep those vehicles running.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Not necessarily. The whole thing about oil-based transportation is that there’s no technology in progress that can substantially increase energy efficiency. Well there’s one right there.

          No, the problem is that there’s no energy source available to replace oil. That one will extend petrol vehicles for a time if it actually works as envisaged (I think it probably will) and it get widely used but to get that will require the government to remove older engines from the road.

          I’ve never been as pessimistic as RA and AFKTT. I think industrial society will continue but that it will have to shrink to fit into the energy constrained future. This tech will help there and agree that trucks are more important than cars, trains are also more important than trucks.

          There’s a lot that needs planning for and leaving it to the market won’t work. Actually, leaving it to the market invariably leads to collapse.

      • mike e 4.1.2

        DTB a product called graphene could make electric motors lighter and more efficient.
        The infernal combustion motor will have its day sooner than later!

  5. Stephen Doyle 5

    Look here
    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/tracking-poll/
    Labour is consistently on the up since late last year. When was Shearer elected again?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Its something, but showing that Labour is back in the same spot as Aug 2011 is neither here nor there, given that National has hit multiple scandals so far this year.

    • muzza 5.2

      It would not matter if Labour were leading a government today, the outcomes are still going to be the same, the journey there a little different.

      Time for people to accept responsibility, and stop looking to a failed system to save them!

      • John72 5.2.1

        Muzza, yet again, I agree. Economy wise, NZ is just a couple of islands off the coast of Australia.
        Is the media saying any more about the French politicans taking a 30% pay cut?

      • Bill 5.2.2

        I agree with you there muzza. But there’s only one view you get when you are shackled to debt and time worn habits that compel you to persist in chasing personal material gain (if only to pay the mortgage and other debts or tread water) : the wall you are shackled to.

  6. As one trader confirms after a visit to Europe the collapse much worse than the MSM let’s on. How much? Border controls are back in place!

  7. Sookie 8

    A friend in the energy management profession told me something interesting in the pub last night. The hydro lakes are very low this year, so low that in a non-asset sales year they would be issuing warnings to the public. The companies up for sale are deliberately not saying anything about the problem as that would affect their share price, no doubt because the government ordered them to shut the hell up. Certainly the lakes looked very low when I was up in the Mackenzie a couple of weeks ago. Oh for some media coverage, but of course it will be ignored as usual by this useless bunch of Nat lickspittles we’re stuck with.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      There was something on Checkpoint (5-7pm National Radio weeknight news) about this, although they didn’t say it was because of the asset sales. I can’t remember everything, but the guy was saying that the new structure of the industry in NZ encourages thermal energy providers to produce power whereas in the past they didn’t have as much incentive. They mentioned the new law that says if the power companies are forced to implement a rationing scheme then they must actually pay customers money as compensation – a very strong market force to do everything possible to avoid that situation.

  8. Sanctuary 9

    Russell Brown has written a brilliantly funny satircal piece over at Public Address where he ruthlessly parodies the faddish foodism of a completely out of touch and pampered New Zealand middle class.
    The great thing is the deadpan way in which the whole post appears to be completely serious.

    • Eddie 9.1

      lols.

      russell brown to me epitomises why the liberal elite in this country has consistently lost to the business elite.

      oh, they have values, but navel-gazing and self-indulgence are much more fun than fighting for those values.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Check the comments.

    • weka 9.3

      What makes you think it is satirical?

    • RedLogix 9.4

      After a lifetime of avoiding all food-fads like the plague I finally fell for this one in Feb this year.

      Since then I’ve lost 12 kg and have never enjoyed my food more in my life. And I’m fit again, 8-10 hr tramping days are easy, and I can do real forehand chin-ups again. This at an age when our grandparents were considered ‘old’. This is nothing like usual yo-yo ‘diet’ either… I’m eating as much as I need to feel satisfied and the flab keeps melting off.

      And I’m busy DOING things in my life again, doing a new qualification, contemplating a new building project, leading a community project, tackling a major new project at work… and enjoying it.

      It’s also why I haven’t had the time for The Standard so much recently…I still drop in daily to read the threads, but I’ve got the energy now to live life the way I believe in; as compared to just sitting around typing about it.

      Ultimately food IS political, and my own personal experience convinces me of this. Because there is no doubt in my mind that the standard dietary ‘food pyramid’ serves no-one other than the food industry conglomerates while harming us ordinary people who eat it.

      Oh and our grocery bill is around 2/3rds of what it was last year.

      • weka 9.4.1

        That’s great RL. The Paleo diets are pretty interesting. Don’t work for everyone one, but many people seem to get alot of benefit, and there is sound science and evidence to back it up. It’d be good to see the political blogosphere get more nutritionally literate.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Good article.

      • Stephen Doyle 10.1.1

        If the NZ electorate wanted a marxist govt, the closet part we’ve got in the public eye being the Mana Party, wouldn’t their polling be higher?

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          I don’t think Mana is anything close to being a Marxist party.

          That said, WTF has that got to do with the article? And, perhaps, the electorate doesn’t show favour for Marx due to the spin and BS that has been propagated about over the last century which, as the article shows, was wrong.

          On that note, do you have anything to say about what the article highlights, specifically, the failure of capitalism as predicted by Marx?

          • mike e 10.1.1.1.1

            dtb even main stream economists are saying neoliberalism doesn’t work in post industrial countries now.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s not just neo-liberalism but capitalism as a whole – it quite simply doesn’t work.

    • kiwi_prometheus 10.2

      Dialectical Materialism, though a fascinating bit of the history of philosophy, is a Fail.

      Reminds of a John Ralston Saul quip about Marxism in a nutshell being economic determinism and the belief society is a wide open battle field – therefore the only practicing Marxists these days are the neo cons and the big corporate executives.

  9. Rosie 11

    Cognitive dissonance news of the day. Count the many ways you can see how amazingly wrong Tracy Watkins is

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6950260/Kiwis-are-tolerating-moderate-austerity

    Sycophants underpants anyone?

  10. just saying 12

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/owen-jones-hatred-of-those-on-benefits-is-dangerously-out-of-control-7763793.html

    A story from The Independent about the effects of the international hate campaign against beneficiaries. Excerpt below.

    I was talking with a friend in Auckland the other night who was in tears about being vilified for being a beneficiary.

    Earlier this year, a Sunday Times article featured the headline “End the something for nothing culture”. Below was a picture of the Gallagher family from the comedy-drama Shameless, as though these fictional caricatures were real life. This one-time paper of record quoted a Whitehall official on benefit recipients: “If we want them to tap dance, then they will tap dance.” Rod Liddle – who dresses up the boorish rants of a thick pub bore as journalism – claimed that his new year’s resolution “was to become disabled”, perhaps with a “newly invented” illness like fibromyalgia, so he could claim benefits. As the economic catastrophe that began four years ago led to a national jobs’ crisis – there are now over six million people looking for full-time work – the “scrounger'”caricature perversely has become more and more popular.

    It is tempting to ignore the ramblings of glorified internet trolls like Liddle, but their projected ignorance has consequences. Six of the biggest disability charities have warned that the campaign of demonisation – by both journalists and politicians – has led to a surge in abuse towards people with disabilities. According to Scope, two-thirds reported abuse in September last year, up from 41 per cent just four months earlier.

    • Olwyn 12.1

      What an utter horror! The Western World is heading in a direction that is just terrifying. We are becoming like swamp birds with cell phones, and with the capacity to do much greater damage.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Of course it’s a horror Olwyn. And so many people love to wallow in it nowadays.

      It will get worse because our owners want it to get worse. They want us divided and fighting over the scraps they deign to let trickle our way. The one thing they cannot afford it for us ordinary people realise what has happened and to turn our attention on those who perpetrated it.

      • Olwyn 12.2.1

        Yes. That poor family is portrayed as a drain on society, the person who killed their youngest kids is now a mass murderer, while David Cameron and that shock jock woman make themselves another G & T, and think about how they can make use of this tragedy, if they think about it at all. We often say we must wake up before it’s too late – for the Philpotts and many others it is already too late.

    • Vicky32 12.3

      A story from The Independent about the effects of the international hate campaign against beneficiaries.

      My giddy aunt! That’s horrific…

  11. joe90 13

    The only thing going to plan in the latest dotcom scam seems to be the tax dodge.

    The big pop in Facebook Inc. shares never came.

    Buyers did not rush into the market to snap up shares of the social networker. And the big Wall Street banks that brought Facebook public scrambled to prevent the stock from collapsing into declines.

    The underwriters averted a potential debacle by scooping up shares of the company during the Nasdaq debut. This propped up the stock, keeping it above the $38 offering price through most of the day.

    • kiwi_prometheus 13.1

      There’s been a few observations in the last 2 years about another dot.com bubble. Here’s the proof I guess.

    • kiwi_prometheus 13.2

      Regarding bullying brought up in the context of millionaire Act Party donor, actually being a bully seems to be a central part of Maori behaviour.

      I remember three Maori co workers. One told me about how she went to school with black eyes from the step father, but “at least it made me FUCKIN tough!”. Oh yeah she was tough as nails for sure, and had one HUGE anger management problem.

      Another one told me his father had all kinds of belts, including automotive lol, and he would put the kids names on them so they knew what he would thrash them with.

      The 3rd one had a lesbian lover and used fake names to open bank accounts etc. She would demand we call her one name then a month later demand we call her another. When she answered to her lesbian lover over the phone, she would go all meek and pathetic, squeaking “Yes maam… yes maam…yes maam”.

      I told them I can remember clearly the times I got smacked as a kid because it only happened twice.
      They just stared at me speechless.

      • just saying 13.2.1

        Another one told me his father had all kinds of belts, including automotive lol, and he would put the kids names on them so they knew what he would thrash them with.

        lol? You must be very proud of the superior human being you have shaped yourself into being KP

        And btw, anecdotes from a few acquaintances, even when true, do not consitiute proof of anything about a wider group.

        • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1

          “lol?”

          Ever heard of the phrase “If I didn’t laugh I’d cry”.

          Drop the self righteous attitude js.

          “btw, anecdotes from a few acquaintances, even when true, do not consitiute proof of anything about a wider group.”

          I could keep going all day with the anecdotes dude. How about one of the “bros” who rocks on up to the family holiday get together with his girlfriend – he keeps her in the car THE WHOLE WEEKEND, she was only allowed out a couple of times to use the bathroom.

          Plus all the Maori social/economic stats.

          Guess you think “Once Were Warriors” is only fiction and in no way reflects on Maori. That would be RACIST!

          • weka 13.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, and white people have no domestic violence or anger problems.

            • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Not on the level of Maori, I know that from what I have seen and what is in the stats.

              • weka

                “Not on the level of Maori, I know that from what I have seen and what is in the stats.”
                 
                So what is the statistical difference between Maori and Pakeha? Where is the research that proves that Maori are better at bullying than non-Maori?

          • felix 13.2.1.1.2

            Why didn’t you let her out of the car?

            • Hateatea 13.2.1.1.2.1

              + 100 felix

            • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1.2.2

              Oh that was a story related to me from a close family member, she was frightened and ended up leaving the get together.

              Also, why didn’t she leave the car herself?

              • felix

                Oh I assumed it was your family gathering, what with him being your bro and all.

                Was your friend frightened for the whole weekend? Sounds awful.

                Is it just the three maoris that you’ve met yourself then?

          • Hateatea 13.2.1.1.3

            Actually, “Once Were Warriors” is fiction, I heard it from the authors own mouth.
            Of course there are people for whom alcohol, anger, violence, poverty is a problem. They come in all ethnicities, religious beliefs or lack of them and in every strata of society

            • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1.3.1

              Sorry, I used “only” in the sense that it must be untrue.

              Like Charles Dickens – it is fiction but certainly tells us a lot about life, especially for kids, in 18th C England.

            • Vicky32 13.2.1.1.3.2

              Actually, “Once Were Warriors” is fiction, I heard it from the authors own mouth.

              Maybe, yes, however I lived something rather similar until I gathered my courage, left him, and lost custody of my son to him! :(
              However, it’s true that such things happen in all ethnicities etc.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.4

            I could keep going all day with the anecdotes dude.

            And they’d still be just that – anecdotes.

            BTW, I read a few years back that Maori didn’t hit their kids until after the arrival of the Pakeha. Don’t know how accurate that is but there are numerous cultures around the world that don’t have a culture of hitting their children. The most high profile culture that does, though, is English culture.

            • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1.4.1

              Like I said the stats are there too.

              Predictably enough, racked with white liberal guilt, you seek to explicate maori and blame all the bad stuff on Whities.

              • Draco T Bastard

                White liberal guilt? No, that’s just another delusion from your fragmented mind.

          • Adele 13.2.1.1.5

            Kiwi Prometheus

            The Crimes Act is being revised where it will be a criminal offence to ignore harm being perpetrated on children or vulnerable adults. I have stood up to gangsters and bullies in defence of others whereas you have used the suffering of others to perpetuate your bigoted slant on all Māori.

            If anecdote is evidence, I know heaps of Māori that love and respect their children, their old people, and even Pākehā. I know heaps of Māori that will never raise their hands towards another. I know heaps of Māori that will give willingly to help others without payment.

            A Pākehā mate of mine just last week had to call into a petrol station on her way to Taupo as she was running out of petrol. Unfortunately for her she had left her purse at home. The Māori proprietors gave her $20 without making her beg or mortgage her home as security.

            Prometheus supposedly championed the cause of mankind – your views are so small-minded that I suggest a renaming should take place to whatever Greek God is the champion of lost causes.

      • felix 13.2.2

        What does the word “lesbian” have to do with your story, k_p?

        • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2.1

          I’m sorry, I don’t understand felix, have I done something wrong?

          • felix 13.2.2.1.1

            That’s ok. A lot of people don’t understand felix.

            I don’t know if you’ve done something wrong. Why do you ask?

            • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.2.1.1.1

              “A lot of people don’t understand felix.”

              Is that why felix seems angry and frustrated all the time?

              “Why do you ask?”

              Just that I mention the “L” word and suddenly you are all over my arse.

              • Hateatea

                I am curious too – in the context of Maori bashing, you slipped in a lesbian. Are you homophobic as well as racist?

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  See, another bully tactic, scream “Racist!” at anyone who doesn’t tow the PC line.

                  • Hateatea

                    Defensive, much?? If the cap fits, wear it.
                     
                    You are happy to stereotype when it suits your agenda. I ma happy to reciprocate using the evidence you have personally supplied

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      I haven’t stereotyped.

                      The stats are there, the anecdotes are there. Other people have made the same observations.

                      But you will just keep screaming “Racist! It’s all the whities fault!.”

                      Had a Maori room mate at the backpackers, he comes back 3am blind drunk reeking of it, and proceeds to try to take a leak in the middle of the room. I jumped out of bed “Whoa dude not there!”, opened the door and he headed for the light – “Oh thanks bro!”

                      He comes back in and starts crashing around, so the young English tourist back packer in the bunk above him ask him to be quiet. So the Maori guy threatens him “Me and my bros will deal to you!”.

                      He was always hanging around the social room drinking and smoking. He felt a special affection for the Irish backpackers because of “the Englosh!”. The affection wasn’t reciprocated.

                    • felix

                      I guess your mate behaved that way because he’s maori.

                      (See how much better it works when you don’t confuse the issue by making him Jewish or gay or disabled as well?)

              • felix

                I’m in a state of zen-like calm.

                The reason I asked about your descriptor “lesbian” is that it confused me. I didn’t understand how it related to the story and I thought maybe I had missed some important aspect of the story, and that if you could explain it for me I’d be up to speed with everyone else.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  You didn’t just appear out of no where to question me about the “L” word. If you are accusing me of something spit it out.

                  You are quite the political animal, felix.

                  • felix

                    It’s not a swear word. You don’t need to use the initial.

                    But why did you use it in your story? What information does it convey to the reader? What changes if the word is omitted?

                    As a writer of fiction these are the questions you need to ask yourself constantly.

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Well you would know from all the feminist “critiques” you have read or written.

                    • felix

                      lol you do have some funny ideas about me k_p. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything I’d call a “feminist critique”. I mostly read technical manuals.

                      I’m not going to keep asking you about the lesbian aspect of your story as you clearly don’t want to talk about it.

                      And that’s ok. Writers often get tired of explaining the choices they make. I do think it’s something you might like to think about though for the sake of your craft.

      • Hateatea 13.2.3

        For every ‘Maori are bashers’ anecdote you can tell, I can source you with Dutch, Sots, Irish, English, etc, etc. People, especially disadvantaged people, can express anger and frustration in inappropriate ways.
         
        My ex was physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually abusive to me. I may be Maori but he was a Scottish New Zealander. So, by your standards, am I to blame because I am Maori or was he just an angry, bitter man who chose his fists, feet and temper to bully and coerce?

        • Vicky32 13.2.3.1

          My ex was physically, verbally, emotionally and sexually abusive to me. I may be Maori but he was a Scottish New Zealander.

          FWIW Hateatea, my ex was the same to me. I am an English/Scots New Zealander, he was a Maori (he died 5 months ago). His family is very different, he was a distinct oddity (drug and alcohol dependent) and so it just goes to show it’s going on amongst all peoples… :(

      • travellerev 13.2.4

        Wow, were where you working?
         

      • John72 13.2.5

        k p, the truth hurts. You have upset a lot of people. I would say your critics are bleeding badly and since you have cut deep they can only use irrational, personal abuse as defence. I would not have the time or courage to discuss the subjects with anyone on this site. They only recognise their own faults in other people.
        The Press (today) has several very good articles on the departure of Manners, Courtesy and Respect For Others during the last 50 years. Your critics are an example.
        Your critics only want to hear from people who will confirm what they already believe. Even some site Moderators are not without fault.
        John 8:7 “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

        • North 13.2.5.1

          John72………I guess your full name is John1872.

          Get a life in the 21st century for Christ’s Sake.

          Manners Courtesy Respect indeed.

  12. I haven’t seen Michael Valley posting here recently on why we have to liberate all those poor brown people from their despots all over the middle east and his MSM propaganda slant may have something to do with it but I sometimes think about him and this is one of the moments. I would really like to read his spin on this one.

     

  13. captain hook 15

    Better hurry on down to MSN news where their straw poll today is who would you vote for.
    Hooton has already massed his troops so make your vote count.

    • kiwi_prometheus 15.1

      Don’t stress about it – the Nats are obviously on a steady downward projectory regardless of marketing ploys like instant polls.

  14. Jackal 16

    Groser promotes ecological disaster

    I had to laugh while reading a speech given by Tim Groser yesterday in which he claims that people who promote localized food production and security of supply are acting instinctually and that not wanting to rely on other countries for food is rooted in people’s hunter and gatherer DNA, which is a little insane to say the least…

  15. RedBaron 17

    Help please.
    I see something that will come up in parliament soon that is based on some pretty solid misinformation being bandied about. Nothing unusual about that. Now I want to go lobbying. I can go and see the spokeperson that each party has for this area taking along, I imagine, with a short written document as back up. Do I also go and see each individual MP as well . What else would be effective?

    Secondly is there any way here of ensuring that a post goes into moderation deliberately?

    • felix 17.1

      There are certain words that guarantee moderation. Mentioning the surname of a famous Austrian with a Chaplin moustache and a fetish for Wagner will do it.

    • NickS 17.2

      On the second thing – putting “tr*ll” (sub * for o) will chuck a post into the moderation queue.

  16. joe90 18

    The birther nonsense that’s been going on over at the sewer recently prompted me to track down something I saw a few weeks ago.

    Abraham Africanus I : his secret life, revealed under the mesmeric influence ; mysteries of the White House. New York : J.F. Feeks [1864]

  17. joe90 19

    Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’

    A draft of Spitzers letter of apology

    Several months ago I told you that because of my revised view of my 2001 study of reparative therapy changing sexual orientation, I was considering writing something that would acknowledge that I now judged the major critiques of the study as largely correct. After discussing my revised view of the study with Gabriel Arana, a reporter for American Prospect, and with Malcolm Ritter, an Associated Press science writer, I decided that I had to make public my current thinking about the study. Here it is.

    Basic Research Question. From the beginning it was: “can some version of reparative therapy enable individuals to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual?” Realizing that the study design made it impossible to answer this question, I suggested that the study could be viewed as answering the question, “how do individuals undergoing reparative therapy describe changes in sexual orientation?” – a not very interesting question.

    The Fatal Flaw in the Study – There was no way to judge the credibility of subject reports of change in sexual orientation. I offered several (unconvincing) reasons why it was reasonable to assume that the subject’s reports of change were credible and not self-deception or outright lying. But the simple fact is that there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid.

    I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some “highly motivated” individuals.

    Robert Spitzer. M.D.
    Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry,
    Columbia University

    • North 19.1

      Interesting post and link there Joe90.

      The advocates of “cure” are frequently those who also insist that sexual orientation is a matter of personal choice – the thrust being that it’s as simple as one’s preference for rugby union over rugby league or pale ale over stout.

      The late Phil (?) Raffills, the vehemently anti-gay former principal of Avondale College and religious right Auckland City councillor was one of those on that buzz.

      The obvious question I mentally posed when he was in full piety about this: “OK Phil…….tell me about the time when you made the personal choice to be straight rather than gay.”

      As I recall the whole thing turned to spectacular farce when a recent past head prefect of Avondale College, personally chosen by Raffills, came out and “confessed” to being gay.

      This Young Gay Man Of Disgusting Choice also hinted that Raffills, the educator darling of the Right at the time, was something of a moral bully.

      Yep, sounds right.

    • joe90 19.2

      I’m wondering whether the apology will be recognised by the knuckle draggers who’ve been trotting out Spitzers original conclusion to support their bigotry.

      And I’ve always wanted to ask someone like the late Raffills or his ilk when did you decide that you were straight?.

  18. Dv 20

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806979

    Parata is quoting average teacher salary of 71,000 , only reached after several years experience.

    that is the top of the scale for a class room teacher AND it started on the 13th of may this year.

    So the 71k cannot be the average for the ‘ordinary’ teacher.

    I smell spin.

    • North 20.1

      It may not be spin you smell…….it may be the stench of a rotten egg. Why ?

      Well I don’t know for sure but I do know that in Moerewa and other parts of the North the stunning Ms Parata is known to a number as “Heki Pirau” Parata – translation – “Rotten Egg” Parata.

    • muzza 20.2

      Teacher average = 71

      Warfies average = 91

      Both spun the wrong way , these numbers stink!

      • John72 20.2.1

        Someone needs more media support. Does the media care about you and me or is it just making money?

        • McFlock 20.2.1.1

          welcome to capitalism.

          • John72 20.2.1.1.1

            Granted, BUT, the wharfies would not have got to $91K without media support. Is that capitalism? I do not know. (Q. “Much is invested in having us believe everything we read in newspapers and everything our government tells us. If we are not thinking for ourselves we are easy targets for control and manipulation”. Printed in USA 15 years ago.)
            As I see it, the media are just selling to a population pictured in “Corination Streed” .

            • McFlock 20.2.1.1.1.1

              I hope you mean “public misperception that wharfies routinely take home $91k/yr would not have happened without media support”.

              Actually, the Daily Show had a fascinating observation recently, after Obama’s comments about gay marriage: in five years the Fox debate has gone from “gay marriage will end the world” to “he only said it because it’s popular”. While most money comes from corporates, media still need to sell stuff in order to make money – if nobody buys what’s being advertised, the advertisers back off, so the media has to find the balance between money and believability. That’s why Glenn Beck is off air, even though he was their biggest herald. Capitalism is cannibalism.

              But the media also shapes perception, so it’s a complex system of persuasion then token acquiescence.

      • mickysavage 20.2.2

        I share your skepticism Muzza.  I found this document on the minedu site which does suggest that it is $71k per annum.  I presume this includes headmasters salaries which would drive the average up.

  19. Murray Olsen 21

    Sugar beet would probably grow much better than sugar cane in Aotearoa.

  20. Hateatea 22

    @ Foreign Waka 7pm 22/05/2012
    I didn’t say that there IS tribal law in New Zealand, I said that the understanding of rangatira in 1840 was that within Te Tiriti, whānau, hapū and iwi would manage their own affairs including their forests, fisheries and traditions while the settlers would manage their people. Given the significant population imbalance in the favour of iwi, this was a reasonable assumption. This they saw as tino rangatiratanga for iwi while the tāngata tiriti would have kawanatanga. This did not turn out to be the case, population ratios changed, the huge influx of new settlers were told nothing of Te Tiriti and the base for grievance was set.
     
    As we saw ourselves (and still do to a degree) as separate nations living side by side with other nations, I would not accept your definition as apartheid, however, I cannot ‘control’ how you see things, nor would I wish to. I merely offered some background and an alternative viewpoint to yours and others. Whether you choose to ponder upon my views, do more research or blithely continue on your particular path is entirely up to you.
     
    Kia tau te rangimarie

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    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
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    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...
    Scoop politics
  • 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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