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Open mike 19/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 19th, 2012 - 172 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…

172 comments on “Open mike 19/08/2012”

  1. Morrissey 1

    “He’s merely been telling the truth…. He should be congratulated for that, not threatened.”

    Some who trust the anonymous editorial writers, the humorists and virtual government mouthpieces at the Grauniad, the Murdoch media and the BBC might have been led to think otherwise, but Daniel Ellsberg, the Julian Assange of the 1960s and 70s, is a man of formidable expertise, immense knowledge and unimpeachable integrity. He’s someone worth listening to….

    Daniel Ellsberg: I Congratulate Ecuador for Standing Up to British Empire to Protect Julian Assange

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: Well, I congratulate Ecuador, of course, for standing up to the British Empire here, for insisting that they are not a British colony, and acting as a sovereign state ought to act. And I think they’ve done the right thing. I appreciate what they’ve done.

    AMY GOODMAN: And the British government first threatening to raid the Ecuadorean embassy in London, also saying they would arrest Julian Assange if he attempted to leave to go to Ecuador, but also saying they’d actually raid the embassy?

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: It’s an outrageous proposal, which actually undermines the security of every diplomat in the world, in this country right now. I would say it has a chilling effect right now, the very fact that that possibility has been raised. I’m old enough to remember the occasion that gave rise to that, actually. I remember when a Libyan official shot from the Libyan embassy in London and killed a British female officer. … They didn’t raid the embassy on that occasion, but that led three years later to a law that permitted them, under extraordinary circumstances, to do that again. They obviously don’t have anyone here who’s been shooting from the Ecuadorean embassy at anyone. He’s merely been telling the truth, there as in London earlier. He should be congratulated for that, not threatened.

    Watch Daniel Ellsberg and read the entire transcript here…
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/17/daniel_ellsberg_i_congratulate_ecuador_for

    • Carol 1.1

      I have an interest in the Assange situation, although don’t follow it as much as other issues/stories. It is important. But….

      …how long is this little feud between a handful of Standartistas going to dominate open mike with long strings of bitter exchanges from entrenched positions?

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        I have an interest in the Assange situation, although don’t follow it as much as other issues/stories.

        Why not? There is no story more crucial to our futures than this one.

        I suggest you take a few minutes and listen to what Ellsberg says.

        • Carol 1.1.1.1

          It is ONE crucial issue. I’m waiting to see how it plays out. But the feud here goes beyond that.

        • Chris 1.1.1.2

          I would’ve thought the threats from the general economic situation and climate change are a lot more crucial.

          I completely agree with Carol – as I said yesterday noone is going to move on this topic. My guess is anyone who could potentially be swayed no longer reads any of these posts. I know I don’t – it is getting to be far worse than anything Pete George ever did.

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.2.1

            Chris seems a tad frustrated at having his or her peace of mind disturbed….

            I would’ve thought the threats from the general economic situation and climate change are a lot more crucial.

            You “would have thought” that, would you? How much reading have you done on this terrifying case? And please don’t think I am not concerned about our economic situation or global warming.

            My guess is anyone who could potentially be swayed no longer reads any of these posts.

            My intention is to bring to notice the work of people who are deliberately shut out of British state television, or distorted in newspapers like the Grauniad. People like Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein—all of whom have commented trenchantly on the state persecution of Assange. My intention is not to “sway” intransigent people. The likes of “weka”, “Pascal’s bookie” and the Banksy Award-winning “Te Reo Putake” are clearly not willing to treat this issue seriously, but they clog up this forum with their absurd quibbles and distractions. Your beef is with them, not with me.

            I know I don’t – it is getting to be far worse than anything Pete George ever did.

            That’s clever. Now I’m Pete George. That’s ethical and perspicacious of you.

        • Jackal 1.1.1.3

          Morrissey

          There is no story more crucial to our futures than this one.

          I would suggest that Climate Change is of far more importance and gains far less attention. I totally agree with Carol… Let’s give it a rest.

          Let the games begin!

          As most readers are probably aware, there was an op-ed in the Saturday New York Times from Richard Muller announcing the Berkeley Earth team’s latest results. It was odd enough that a scientific paper was announced via an op-ed, rather than a press release, odder still that the paper was only being submitted and had not actually been accepted, and most odd of all was the framing – a ‘converted skeptic’ being convinced by his studies that the planet has indeed warmed and that human activity is the cause – which as Mike and Ken Caldiera pointed out has been known for almost 2 decades.

          ~ Real Climate

          Deep Water

          Grossman reports that most scientists with whom he has spoken expect a sea level rise of around a metre this century. But there is profound uncertainty about the behaviour of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. Will these continent-scale glaciers remain languid in their transport of ice to the sea or under the influence of warming will they become more akin to bounding torrents? He explains very clearly for the lay reader the difference between the gradual surface melting of an ice-cube and the dynamics of glacier movement that can cast into the sea quantities of ice which dwarf the amounts that dribble off from surface melting.

          ~ Hot Topic

          Climate change disease danger

          Parasites look set to become more virulent because of climate change, according to a study showing that frogs suffer more infections from a fungus when exposed to unexpected swings in temperatures.

          Parasites, which include tapeworms, the tiny organisms that cause malaria and funguses, may be more nimble at adapting to climatic shifts than the animals they live on since they are smaller and grow more quickly, scientists said.

          “Increases in climate variability are likely to make it easier for parasites to infect their hosts,” Thomas Raffel of Oakland University in the United States told Reuters.

          ~ Alister Doyle

          Climate change driving Australian fish south

          Australian scientists said Friday there was now “striking evidence” of extensive southward migration of tropical fish and declines in other species due to climate change, in a major ocean report card.

          Compiled by more than 80 of Australia’s leading marine experts for the government science body CSIRO, the snapshot of global warming’s effects on the island continent’s oceans warned of “significant impacts”.

          “Climate change is already happening; widespread physical changes include rapid warming of the southeast and increasing flow of the east Australia current,” the report said.

          ~ Yahoo! News

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.3.1

            I would suggest that Climate Change is of far more importance and gains far less attention.

            Of course Climate Change is of paramount importance. And you don’t think governments harassing and trying to silence Assange will not have a chilling effect on other protesters and dissenters—like ecology activists?

            I totally agree with Carol… Let’s give it a rest.

            That’s the kind of thing global warming deniers say. Have you thought of working for ACT?

            • Jackal 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Ah no! As I said yesterday, the debate is at an impasse. I therefore won’t be making further comment until there’s a substantive development.

      • just saying 1.1.2

        Carol I think you are being a bit unfair in calling this a “feud” implying equal culpability of all parties. I take my hat off particularly to Weka and Mcflock in intelligently challenging the rape-culture aspects of the discussion itself, which inevitably arise in a case of this kind independently of whether Assange is guilty of the charges.

        I had decided to start putting rolleyes as a response to Morrisey’s seeming never-ending campaign salvos.

        • Carol 1.1.2.1

          I get that, js.

          I also understand how the evil US empire to stifle dissent. 2 sides to a complex situation. I don’t think anything’s to be gained from each side constantly repeating their position.

          Now, have to start working.

          • weka 1.1.2.1.1

            Hi Carol,
             
            I personally don’t consider myself to be on a ‘side’ in this. I don’t generally get involved in the debate about the Assange case itself, apart from as js mentions challening rape culture issues as they arise here on TS.
             
            One of my points in the rape culture conversation is that we don’t have to ‘take sides’. This intersects nicely with the small discussion yesterday about the Order of Relations vs the Order of Things that Anne Salmond wrote about.
             
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10827658
             
            However I agree with your and Chris’ points, and have been biting my tongue for a while now about naming Morrissey the new Pete George, esp for the hogging of the first post of Open Mike so often. We can now anticipate protestations of free speech or such.
             
            Like Chris I will now employ :roll: accordingly.

          • just saying 1.1.2.1.2

            I also understand how the evil US empire to stifle dissent

            I get that too Carol, in my view, challenging rape culture in this kind of discussion isn’t synonymous with arguing that Assange is guilty.

            • QoT 1.1.2.1.2.1

              I agree: I don’t quite grok the idea that “challenging rape culture” and “opposing US imperialism” are somehow equivalent/complementary “sides” of an argument.

          • Morrissey 1.1.2.1.3

            Now, have to start working.

            And one of these days, it might be an idea to start reading.

        • Vicky32 1.1.2.2

          I had decided to start putting rolleyes as a response to Morrisey’s seeming never-ending campaign salvos.

          How very juvenile!
          Here’s one for you…
          :roll:
          And I will put some rolleyes under Weka and McNutmeg each time they accuse people like – oh me, for instance, of “supporting rape culture” because we refuse to judge and sentence Assange for ‘raping’ a couple of cat-fighting groupies!

          • McFlock 1.1.2.2.2

            Yes.
                 
            Because calling complainants “cat-fighting groupies” is in no way supporting rape culture. 
               
            :roll: 

            • Vicky32 1.1.2.2.2.1

              Because calling complainants “cat-fighting groupies” is in no way supporting rape culture
              :roll:
              Oh McNutmeg, did I ever say that all rape complainants are ‘cat-fighting groupies’? No, I didn’t and I never will.
              These women, however, the jury’s definitely out. I am a woman, and I have had the usual exposure to rape-like behaviour – but these women can’t claim they were raped  – not in any logical world!

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Eiher consent was given or it was not.

                If the young women were asleep consent cannot be given.

                Seems quite simple to me.

                I would never behave like that to my wife, let alone a stranger I’d just met.

                I’m pretty respectful of a woman’s right to decide when and if I’m allowed to touch. Consent for one instance does not give me blanket permission, marriage does not give me any non-consenting access either.

                It’s not that difficult to ensure you’re both agreeable each and every time.

                • RedLogix

                  I would never behave like that to my wife, let alone a stranger I’d just met.

                  Well my partner quite enjoys it. The map of human sexual behaviour is neither narrow nor wholly domesticated. And this is true for both genders.

                  Consent for one instance does not give me blanket permission, marriage does not give me any non-consenting access either.

                  Do you have a mutually signed legal document that is a record of every time you and your wife have made love? Can you prove your claim to have gained this consent on each and every occasion in Court?

                  Or would it just come down to your word against hers?

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    “Do you have a mutually signed legal document that is a record of every time you and your wife have made love? Can you prove your claim to have gained this consent on each and every occasion in Court?

                    Or would it just come down to your word against hers?”

                    Now you’re just being an idiot.

                    Anyway her word would support mine not be in opposition to it.

                    The point I was making, which seems a little obtuse for you, was that the Swedish law does represent a not unreasonable social more.

                    It may not be one you share but it is their law and likely in reasonable close context to many of their social mores. I’m actually very liberal in my view of what others are able to do sexually but I’ve always had that attitude in the context of clear consent.

                    • RedLogix

                      Anyway her word would support mine not be in opposition to it.

                      But what if it were not? What if your relationship had broken down and suddenly your loving partner of many years was no longer a person you recognised?

                      Still happy for it to be just your word against hers? Or maybe in hindsight maybe a stack of those ‘legal consent’ forms would come in handy just now.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      “But what if it were not? What if your relationship had broken down and suddenly your loving partner of many years was no longer a person you recognised?

                      Still happy for it to be just your word against hers? Or maybe in hindsight maybe a stack of those ‘legal consent’ forms would come in handy just now.”

                      Well I guess I’d be in a slightly better position than you would be in the same situation cause I’ve never had sex with her while she’s asleep and I’ve never posted on the internet that I have.

                      You’re still being an idiot.

                    • RedLogix

                      On the other hand I’ve never posted on the internet that my head is up my arse.

                      My point is simple. You are pointing to ‘social mores’. Fine, but just exactly how do you propose that detailed compliance with them be established in a Court?

                      Because that is precisely what is being asked for here.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      My point is simple. You are pointing to ‘social mores’.

                      I’m pointing out that the Swedish law is not unreasonable or out of kilter.

                      “Fine, but just exactly how do you propose that detailed compliance with them be established in a Court?

                      Because that is precisely what is being asked for here.”

                      The same way they decide other cases of complaint using the laws they have passed. Gather evidence, interview witnesses, lay charges, examine case law – whatever it is that they do.

                • Morrissey

                  I would never behave like that to my wife, let alone a stranger I’d just met.

                  I’m pretty respectful of a woman’s right to decide when and if I’m allowed to touch.

                  And your wife is …. okay with these adventures in gallantry with other women?

              • McFlock

                You say the women can’t claim to have been raped. You base this on…?

            • RedLogix 1.1.2.2.2.2

              OK in the hours since you last accused me of having no sense of right or wrong I’ve been in the local mountains with a fine group of friends. One of whom recently came out of hospital because her ex-husband put her there. Or how about the woman I was with last year on a five day trip who has only one working eye for the same reason. Or the woman who did my hair last month in a neck-brace and her boyfriend in Rimutaka prison.

              That’s rape culture for you. Right here at home and it’s an innate consequence of the property-owning patriarchal death-cult we currently call society. All the snobbery, bullying, abuse, violence, addictions and dysfunction of our so called ‘society’ has it’s direct roots in this deep unequal distribution of power that has been a feature of most human life for the last 10,000 or so years.

              Now if you want to change all this with laws which define in minute details exactly what consenting adults can or can’t do in bed together … then good luck to you. If you want adults to sign up to a 32 page legal document detailing in precise detail what sex acts they are going to consent to … and you think that will help then again best of luck.

              Personally I’ve read the complainants accounts several times. They invited Assange into their beds. Now that of course does not give anyone a free pass to commit what ever act they like, but in this case I don’t see violence or coercion on Assange’s part. What I do see is miscommunication, misunderstanding and bad timing. Still if Swedish law makes a criminal offence of these events then I’ve consistently argued for a routine legal process to take it’s course.

              But the wider context of events makes it clear that the Swedish authorities are making a very special case of Assange for reasons that probably have very little to do with the welfare of the women involved.

              • Colonial Viper

                Thanks for the bitter, real life, close to home examples RL. Better than continuations of international internet indignation.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                I’m late to this as I’ve been busy all weekend as well but in response to what you just said:

                “They invited Assange into their beds. Now that of course does not give anyone a free pass to commit what ever act they like, but in this case I don’t see violence or coercion on Assange’s part. What I do see is miscommunication, misunderstanding and bad timing. ”

                Can’t be communication if you are asleep. Sure he mayt have felt he had consent based on previous activity but that didn’t mean that he did.

                “Still if Swedish law makes a criminal offence of these events then I’ve consistently argued for a routine legal process to take it’s course.”

                Agree.

                “But the wider context of events makes it clear that the Swedish authorities are making a very special case of Assange for reasons that probably have very little to do with the welfare of the women involved.”

                Both agree and disagree. Sweden has passed these laws and it’s their call. Here there is a hue and cry when celebrities get special treatment and I’m sure it’s no different there either. In fact they may be more determined to have him back in Sweden the longer this goes on.

                You cannot however also deny the international political ramifications of his leaking the information and the desire in particular of governments wanting their hands on him.

                It’s an extremely difficult position that he’s in and I’m not sure that there is an easy solution.

                Will be interesting what he has to say tomorrow.

                • McFlock

                  I reckon I agree with all of that (incl last but 2 paragraph) – and it seems better written than my efforts.

                • RedLogix

                  Can’t be communication if you are asleep. Sure he mayt have felt he had consent based on previous activity but that didn’t mean that he did.

                  Asleep or half-asleep? Can you always tell the difference? And when they were awake did they demand he stop? Or was it a few days later that they decided differently? And what if Assange’s version of event’s is different? Who to believe?

                  All questions that would be best answered if we installed recording video cameras in every bedroom … no?

                  Or perhaps more realistically maybe Assange should have gotten her to sign a form before each and every sex act. Which prompts me to ask exactly how you would define a ‘sex act’ for the purposes of gaining consent of each occasion. Clearly signing a form before each pelvic thrust is a tad over the top, but what about a 10 min pause before switching between say fellatio and a spot of g-spot massage. How about multiple orgasms? Should be sign the form between each one? Or does a 30 minute refractory period mandate a new sex act?

                  Just curious to see how you see these things working.

                  (Actually I do know of a way around all of this. It’s very ancient and effective … but no-one here would listen.)

                  • McFlock

                    Maybe, and I’m just throwing this out for the hell of it, maybe those are questions for a court to decide?
                             
                     

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And to end up in court, charges first need to be laid. And to progress to that stage, investigators could talk to Assange TODAY.

                    • McFlock

                      Not that there’s any point, if they’re not in a position to arrest and charge a known flight risk.

                    • RedLogix

                      Assange stayed in Sweden and cooperated with the first investigation for five weeks. As a result of that no charges were laid and he was given permission to leave the country.

                      Only after the whole affair became so overtly political did he become a ‘flight risk’. Whose fault is that?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not that there’s any point, if they’re not in a position to arrest and charge a known flight risk.

                      How can there be no point to progressing the investigation.

                      And, uh, presumption of innocence remember. They might decide to drop further action against Assange if there are no grounds to proceed.

                    • McFlock

                      RL: the prosecutors and his lawyer seem to differ in their accounts on that. But it’s not the same lawyer who came up with “sex by surprise”, so I’ll just say it seems undetermined. As opposed to jumping bail in the UK.  
                             
                      CV: Paragraph 149. Knock yourself out. There’s no point in the second interview without the possibility of a charge. That’s the bit where the present the evidence to him and ask if he has anything to say. Which is probably why he skipped it the second first time.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There’s no point in the second interview without the possibility of a charge.

                      Why is there no possibility of a charge? They can charge him after they interview him. Which can happen TODAY. Nothing stopping them.

                      They could also decide to drop further action against him. You know, presumption of innocence and all that.

                      That’s the bit where the present the evidence to him and ask if he has anything to say. Which is probably why he skipped it the second first time.

                      Or, they’ve avoided asking him because what evidence they do have is flimsy at best.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, right. :roll:
                               
                      And maybe tomorrow he’ll announce he’s going to Sweden. Problem solved.

          • Morrissey 1.1.2.2.3

            It’s interesting, Vicky, to see that some of these people are now giving YOU this juvenile treatment. I was disturbed to see the rolling eyes campaign against Pete George a few weeks ago; I thought then that it could be utilized against anyone.

            Still, when you have no credible argument to offer, using the rolling eyes graphic is an eloquent way to say: “I got nuthin’.”

            • Vicky32 1.1.2.2.3.1

              You’re exactly right, Morrissey… I was upset about the rolleyes campaign against PG for the same reason! Aside from anything else, it’s very juvenile – I can imagine year 9s in a classroom sniggering at someone they can’t answer…

              And, uh, presumption of innocence remember. They might decide to drop further action against Assange if there are no grounds to proceed.

              CV, there’s no reply button on yours, so I am answering you here – it seems to me, we didn’t get the memo – the one saying that Assange is uniquely * not entitled to the presumption of innocence!
               
              * When I think about it, not so uniquely, sadly…

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Richard Wolff: bringing Democracy to the Workplace

    This is how its done. This is what the unions should have been doing 40 years ago. Except they always just held on to the limited vision of fighting The Man.

    Imagine a union that had an official two-pronged strategy. Prong one, you bargain collectively, you do what unions traditionally do. Prong two, we’re going to organize workers into self-directed enterprises. We’re going to move energetically the minute we hear that there’s a factory or enterprise planning to shut down, to close a facility, to move a facility, we’re on it like white on rice. We’re in there saying go, we’ll take over. You can leave, but you’ve got a whole new problem here, Mr. Corporation. You think you’re moving, you’re not moving, you’re adding capacity in China, in Bangladesh—we’re going to continue here, and we’re going to be a competitor of yours. Because we’re American, we’ll be producing locally, we’re not going to have your transport costs, we’re going to have a lot better PR than you are, because we’re going to tell everybody, you’ve got a choice, we, who kept it going, or them, who are exploiting cheap labor over there.

    Then, what happens to the bargain between the union and the boss about that move when that’s in the wings? That’s a very different conversation. If I’m sitting across the board from the boss, begging and pleading, that’s a very different conversation from “When you leave, we’re going to be right here, we’re going to make your life so unpleasant.” That is much more powerful.

    http://rdwolff.com/content/richard-d-wolff-can-we-remake-our-workplaces-be-more-democratic

    • rosy 2.1

      Add to that a compulsory labour think-tank that produces opinion on the effects on the workforce of proposed legislative changes, that the government has a legislative duty to take into account.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Fascinating, thanks for the link.

        Membership

        All employees, apprentices, persons on maternity (paternity) leave, as well as the unemployed are subject to compulsory membership; civil servants and agricultural workers are exempt. Total membership is 3.2 million. The Chambers of Labour also represent the interests of retired employees.

        • Carol 2.1.1.1

          Excellent links and ideas. And the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour is easily financed:

          Finances

          The financial basis of this entire structure is the so-called “Chamber of Labour levy” amounting to 0.5% of all members’ gross wages or salaries up to a certain maximum basis of assessment. More than 80% of these funds are spent on direct services to Chamber of Labour members.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Organisations with cashflow like that can add small businesses (purchasing them or starting them up) to their asset base rather quickly. In a co-op model, the Chamber of Labour would then become an employer of considerable scale to be reckoned with. Employees could then make an active choice between working for a typical capitalist firm, taking a wage and taking orders from the top. Or work for a co-op where they would have an ownership stake and participate in decision making at all levels.

            Easy choice eh.

            • rosy 2.1.1.1.1.1

              You’d have to deal with the two different objectives – legislative power and business. But I do agree there is dire need to find a funding mechanism for the ownership of business through workers co-ops.

              Question: Does incorporating worker interests into the capitalist model evens out some of the highs and lows in the business cycle? That would be economic incentive for workers over and above the traditional capitalist model. Workers require stable incomes over time – compared with capitalists who are often willing to accumulate as soon as they can, and carry the risk of this not continuing in the future.

              • Colonial Viper

                Question: Does incorporating worker interests into the capitalist model evens out some of the highs and lows in the business cycle?

                Yes it does. Reading the article, Richard Wolff describes how Mondragon has had to cope with the majocr Europe-wide recession. In a capitalist corporation, directors will often cut loose money losing units and lay staff off, in order to protect shareholder returns. In Modragon, the workers ARE the shareholders. So they have gone to extraordinary lengths to redeploy, retrain, reassign those workers.

                BTW the usual business cycle of being up 4-5 years then being down 1-2 years has been destroyed by the debt deflation/energy trap the world economy is now caught in. IMO co-ops will become even more important economic structures as this drags on for another 10-20 years.

                You’d have to deal with the two different objectives – legislative power and business.

                Indeed. It is a different mode of operating, but there are existing examples. Eg the many large corporations who also do political lobbying do these days. What would be nice would be large organisations who do exactly the same for workers and the underclass.

                • rosy

                  Yeah, i have a suspicion that worker focus evens out the highs and lows, but am not sure the research has been done to support it. co-ops John Lewis and Waitrose in the UK seem to have weathered the downturn better than most (and they’re high-end retailers). Also Co-op and Mondragon and at a national level Austria.

                  For me, this would be the biggest buy-in reason for a focus on workers interests… Stable profit and income over time. The exact opposite to the precarity model being implemented across the western world right now.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And consumers get a choice of supporting businesses owned by local workers.

                    Yeah, i have a suspicion that worker focus evens out the highs and lows, but am not sure the research has been done to support it.

                    IMO research can often give retrospective insights, but rarely prospective guidance, as organisations and market niches tend to be quite individual.

                    The main question I think needs to be answered is: can co-op enterprises help solve any/many of the problems our communities face today. I think its YES.

                    A private enterprise needs to focus on serving shareholders. So much the better if those shareholders are local workers, and not a bunch of faraway investors based in Sydney, New York or London, and who have zero care and interest in your local community.

                    We know that people work the best, the most creatively, and the hardest, when they feel they have a real stake in the enterprise. I have no doubt that a co-op enterprise can outperform any standard enterprise on a routine basis.

                    A co-op enterprise can also choose to be not for profit. On that basis it will be able to undercut or outlast corporate enterprise almost always. Eg. let’s say a foreign owned factory in your town employs 100 people. The factory is busy, sales are decent, and the workers are busy, but the factory can’t make any real profit against low priced products out of Thailand. Corporate based out of USA shut the factory down because even though its not losing money its not making money for shareholders, and shift production to Thailand, where it will make money for shareholders. The shift doesn’t cost the Corporate anything, but costs your local community 100 jobs. You can see how a locally owned co-op might make different decisions in the same situation.

    • chris73 2.2

      Unions in NZ being productive? Yeah right, far easier to dictate to the bosses how things should be done then actually get of your (workers) collective chuffs and take the responsibility yourselves.

      What the unions want is all the rights and privileges without any of the responsibilities.

      Having said why the unions won’t (general laziness and irresponsibility) I’ll say its a damn good idea in theory.

      • millsy 2.2.1

        Would you ban unions then Chris?

        Do you accept that union members enjoy better wages and conditions than those who arent union members?

        Do you want to bring back slavery?

        • chris73 2.2.1.1

          Would you ban unions then Chris?
          – No, unions are dying out so they don’t need my help

          Do you accept that union members enjoy better wages and conditions than those who arent union members?
          – Yes, undeservedly

          Do you want to bring back slavery?
          -I’m not entirely sure how you made the jump from me thinking union employees are lazy and irresponsible to me thinking slavery should be brought back but I’m guessing you probably had one too many red bulls and didn’t get enough sleep

          • millsy 2.2.1.1.1

            Do you dont like unions and think that wages and conditions should be slashed?

            • chris73 2.2.1.1.1.1

              So not liking unions is the same as endorsing slavery? Go back to bed for a couple of hours and then try posting.

              • Morrissey

                So not liking unions is the same as endorsing slavery?

                There’s not a lot of difference.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Employers and corporations and farmers LOVE unions (for themselves). They know the power and leverage that organisation and co-ordination brings to the table.

                  The EMA
                  The Business Roundtable
                  The Feds
                  ……

          • the pink postman 2.2.1.1.2

            Chriss 73

            One thing I well remember ,in the days when I was an acive unionist was that bluggers like you refused to pay the union fee but were first in line to get the gains the union had fought for. You are typical of the anti-worker ,anti -union low life it has been my misfortune to sometimes have worked with. Working Class Tories ! nothing is lower .As my Spanish Civil war father classed them “They are that low they could crawl under a snake with top hat and stilts on” That that type are still with us today is sad !sad! sad!

      • bad12 2.2.2

        You could try not talking SHIT, show us where there is a workplace where the unionized workforce is not productive,

        There is NO difference in the poductivity of a unionized workplace versus a non-unionized workplace,

        Oh except of course if you consider productivity to be an employers ability to exploit workers in a non-unionized workplace by paying workers lower rates of pay than what they would receive in a unionized workplace,

        But then, that aint got anything much to do with worker output or productivity…

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.3

        Yeah right, far easier to dictate to the bosses how things should be done

        Except unions don’t do that, they discuss things. The bosses try to dictate how things should be done and get upset when they’re called on it.

    • Bill 2.3

      From time to time I’ve mentioned that very possibility in the company of union officials, organisers, members and in general company too.

      In short, negotiate with an aim to assuming control of the company if and when the correct circumstances arise. (In NZ there is a perfectly legal route to pursue in such an instance) The two basic hurdles are that unions (or those aho comprise the heirarchy of unions) simply aren’t familiar with the basic structures that would need to be developed to facilitate worker’s control. (If they were, an outline of necessary structures and procedures could become part and parcel of any union’s membership literature as a way of introducing workers to the concept and the possibilities it contains.) And ordinary workers are in the same boat and in addition have a lot of resistance vis a vis their idea of what a work place is and their fears with regards being in control and responsible.

      I had thought of doing a post on it a while back to compliment one I’d done on what policies a genuine left parliamentary party would pursue. (Use their position in government to distribute the power of the state outwards and downwards ie, rather than rely on the mistaken Marxist assumption that the state will smehow magically naturally wither, to actively wither the state’s centralised authority)

      Hmm. Maybe you’re comment has given me the wee kick in the arse needed to get into gear and do the post ;-)

      • bad12 2.3.1

        Aha, the other arm of the Marxist debate, Trotsky believed Capitalist enterprise was in fact a better means of distribution and ordering production,

        The profits of Capitalism re-distributed from the bottom up into society immediately destroys inequality and poverty…

        • Bill 2.3.1.1

          Erm. Not sure where you’re coming from with that comments bad12. I know that Trotsky and Lenin both advocated for single management structures in the workplace… the vertical division of labour.(Hence the dissolution of worker’s councils and the appointment of party personel to over see or manage the workplace. And Trotsky’s lament that the USSR would have moved in that direction a lot quicker had circumstances allowed.)

          It’s the second part of your comment that confuses me. If production is organised such that there is no vertical division of labour and therefore no exploitation of workers by those seeking to profit from their labour, then there is no capitalism… that is, if we agree that the power relationship of boss and worker and the profit that relationship yields is what lies at the core of capitalism.

          Maybe an alternative phrasing of what you wrote would be to say that if the fruits of production were to be distributed across society via democratic mechanisms then inequality and poverty (inevitable products of profit driven market based mechanisms for distribution) would likely disappear.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        Would be a great post Bill, if you could put it together at some stage. Although I’m familiar with some of the concepts I don’t know enough about the specifics of how a privately held small business could be legally transformed into a co-op, when the right “circumstances” arise.

        As for workers being uncertain/anxous about the responsibilities of owning their own business, that is understandable, but given how many people have gone from being employees to contracting/consulting and have become GST registered etc themselves, I don’t think its too big a hurdle to get past.

        Re: the operating hierarchy of a business, I think there will always be a role for some sort of hierarchy of decision makers in a larger business, in order to expedite day to day and week to week matters of business. But the managers/supervisors will be democratically elected from amongst their peers, and if they fail to perform can just as easily be replaced. And for the more important or bigger strategic decisions of the business, all the shareholders of the co-op (ie the body of workers) can meet say once a month, discuss and vote on the matters of consequence.

        PS nice side benefit of workers gaining first hand experience of how democratic systems work…

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.1

          I think there will always be a role for some sort of hierarchy of decision makers in a larger business, in order to expedite day to day and week to week matters of business.

          Not necessarily a hierarchy but an administration that reports to the workers who are themselves part of the larger co-op.

        • Bill 2.3.2.2

          If you can get your head around the idea that although certain administative or managerial functions need to be performed, it’s not necessary to have a single person or committee of people or whatever assigned to positions or assume roles per se in order for those things to be done – then you can make a clean break from static or fixed heirarchies.

          And if you don’t abolish the positions while maintaining the functions of the positions through, for example, extensive systems for knowledge and skill sharing, then you will simply recreate the same deleterious vertical divisions of labour that we currently have.

          And yeah. It’s always kind of ‘amused’ me that a worker will baulk in fear at the idea of a collective and then use redundancy compensation to make a go at establishing their own business…a far riskier undertaking in terms of vulnerability.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.2.1

            Ideally you’d want it to be cyclical. Moving from the workspace to administration and back again so that no one becomes divorced from either. If the co-op also has research (which it should do) then you’d want people cycling through that as well.

            • Bill 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Ideally you’d want it to be cyclical. Moving from the workspace to administration and back again so that no one becomes divorced from either.

              Or have both areas straddled similtaneously. There is no reason why people performing admin tasks can’t perform more immediate production tasks too. And although those not interested in admin tasks, or who just naturally lack the ability to perform them, would be in the workplace only, there is no reason why they can’t perfrom a range of tasks there instead of being tied to the one task/area all of the time.

              So it’s perfectly feasible to envisage somebody undertaking ‘office related’ tasks one day and shop floor tasks the next…or in the afternoon or whatever. And it’s also perfectly feasible for the grotty or mundane things to be attended to by everyone via some equitable mechanism – y’know, things such as general cleaning or cleaning the loos or whatever.

              • Colonial Viper

                In Mondragon manufacturing facilities, workers commonly do the same job only for 2 or 4 hours at a time, before going to another role on the factory floor. Gives both the body and the brain a change. So I agree completely.

                And you have to take into account those people who excel/like a certain work role as well.

        • prism 2.3.2.3

          CV
          Wouldn’t it be good if the trend to contractors, which I have thought is a sneaky way of employers getting out of responsibility for the wellbeing if workers, actually is a training step to getting into a true small business. (As contracting often is dependent or nearly on full-time work from one company, hence my feeling that they should be employees.)

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.3.1

            +1

            And there’s a model for it: the Marcora law in Italy. It dates from the 1980s, and I advocate for that here. If you become unemployed in Italy, you are given a choice. Option A: you go on unemployment like in America, you get a weekly check for a couple years, that’s your unemployment benefit. But you can choose an alternative if you wish. The government of Italy will give you the entire two to three years of unemployment right now in a lump sum. But here’s the condition. You must get together with eight or 10 other unemployed people to make the same choice with you at the same time, and you must commit to using the lump sum as the startup capital for a collective enterprise, cooperatively owned and operated by all of you unemployed people.

            http://www.alternet.org/richard-d-wolff-can-we-remake-our-workplaces-be-more-democratic?paging=off

        • Balanced View 2.3.2.4

          Very interesting idea.
          What are the objectives of running this? And are there any examples of this actually happening successfully in a competitive market environment?
          Although I like the idea, I just cant see it working that well.

          • Bill 2.3.2.4.1

            What are the objectives of running this?

            Where to begin. The restoration of one’s dignity through no longer beng a wage slave? Efficiency and productivity sky rocketing? Working far fewer hours for the same renumeration as at present? Being an integral part of a functional democratic environment? Individual and collective empowerment? Workplace satisfaction? Oh, and I could go on but that should be enough to be going on with; enough to ‘give you the picture’.

            And are there any examples of this actually happening successfully in a competitive market environment?

            Yes. And I could write at length from personal experience of my time as a part of a succesful worker’s collective. But I won’t. Because I’ve done it before here on ‘thestandard’.

            • Balanced View 2.3.2.4.1.1

              Well nice idea, and nice theory. However the fact that these discussions here exist suggests that there are not many current examples. So either the model is not usually successful, or there is a lack of will to make it happen.
              I suspect it is a combination of both.

              • blue leopard

                @ Balanced [?] View

                …gee I’m glad that great minds and inventors of the past didn’t adhere to your logic: “there are not many current examples ergo the model is not successful ergo…do I detect a “not worth trying” in there???

                • Balanced View

                  Your criticism would be valid if it was a new idea, but it isn’t, in fact its one of the oldest society models there is.
                  So I stand by my earlier point

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Your view is uninformed, and unimportant. Thanks for the derail though, its very interesting you would take the time to attack the idea of real life democracy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                So either the model is not usually successful, or there is a lack of will to make it happen.

                Or their are systemic barriers preventing it from happening, or…

                Life isn’t as simple as you seem to believe.

                • Balanced View

                  Hi DTB,
                  What are the barriers?
                  I’m certain that if the model was successful and there was a will to make it work, there would be many businesses in NZ operating like this as we speak. I’m not saying there aren’t any, but I certainly haven’t knowingly come across one.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What are the barriers?

                    Just guessing a few here:
                    1.) Lack of the necessary social networking
                    2.) Lack of access to money
                    3.) Lack of the necessary knowledge needed to work through the system
                    4.) Unable to support themselves while they initiate a huge risk and no other support available (I think this is the biggest – people have the ideas and the will, they just don’t have enough resources to actually apply them)

                    That’s a few I could think of in a couple of minutes – there will be more but probably need research to really find them.

                    I’m not saying there aren’t any, but I certainly haven’t knowingly come across one.

                    So you’ve tried to make a cooperative? No? So that would mean that you’re talking out your arse then.

                    • Balanced View

                      I don’t think any of those reasons are substantially different from anyone going into business for the first time.
                      Have I tried to make a cooperative – no. Have you? If not then I guess you can join me in talking sh1t

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I don’t think any of those reasons are substantially different from anyone going into business for the first time.

                      Really? You do know that most business start-ups fail don’t you? But here’s the thing, it’s easier to try it with one person than finding several people to do it together, i.e, see 1.).

                      And, yes, a lot of the barriers will be the same. Have you ever considered that may be why not everyone is in business?

                      Have I tried to make a cooperative – no. Have you? If not then I guess you can join me in talking sh1t

                      You were the one that said you haven’t come across any barriers regarding setting up a co-op.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, one of the barriers is people like you who seek to undermine the idea from the very beginning.

                    • Balanced View

                      Bulldust.
                      Shouldn’t make any difference what people like me think.
                      Actually, I like the theory of it. I just question it’s capability to be successful.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, that’s the stuff.
                         
                      Rather than looking for ways it could be made successful, you just sit and snipe questions.  
                             
                      Had a team member like you once. He ended up managing to obliterate team morale and capability to the point that everyone was reassigned. Then, apparently, he did the same to the next team. Got kicked out in the end, I heard.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Tories and farmers love the idea of co-ops. They can be very successful and very profitable. Just look at where Fonterra, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms, PGG, CRT and many others have come from.

                      Funny how Balanced View is completely ignorant.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Balanced View

                    Here are a few links, from some very quick google searches; most of them are about cooperatives (not democratic ones).

                    A review on a book which has studied strengths and weaknesses in cooperatives:
                    http://www.workerscontrol.net/authors/essential-components-workplace-democracy

                    Info about Nz cooperatives:
                    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1203/S00957/cooperatives-showcase-their-mutual-benefits.htm

                    http://www.nz.coop/membership/

                    With stats on cooperatives around the world:
                    http://www.geo.coop/story/power-cooperation

                    I had no idea it was The Year of the Cooperative!

                    • Balanced View

                      Thanks Leopard (and Rosy). The links are interesting. I thought the Mondragon model was especially interesting and closer to what has been proposed above. Having senior manager salaries linked to the business minimum wage is something that a lot of businesses should work towards.
                      The NZ versions Viper lists above are quite removed to these ideals, and I would suggest don’t come close to achieving the main goals and objectives that have been outlined to me.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Balanced View

                    Yeah, I hadn’t realised how many cooperatives were around…and most aren’t the model of including the workers in the cooperative, as Viper’s example, yet, still, I had heard there were difficulties in keeping them going, so interesting to see that the form can work.

                    “Having senior manager salaries linked to the business minimum wage is something that a lot of businesses should work towards.”

                    Yes, would make a big difference.

              • rosy

                balanced view… Check out John Lewis in the UK http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/
                and Mondragon in Spain http://www.mondragon-corporation.com/ENG.aspx

                You might be surprised.

    • blue leopard 2.4

      @ CV (2)

      Fantastic article (and website) cheers
      :D

    • McFlock 2.5

      Seemed to work so well in Argentina that the government recognised the concept. :)

  3. rosy 3

    Family court chaos

    “It is only a matter of time before someone is injured, or worse, as a consequence of court proceedings not being dealt with, or orders not being issued,” society family law section chairman Garry Collin said.
    Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier has written to the ministry with his “continuing concern” about the system, and asked for a meeting with Justice Minister Judith Collins.
    A nationwide rollout would be a disaster, Collin says. “The model is fundamentally flawed.”

    Someone should have told them a fundamental review would result in delays and negative social impacts

    the Law Society firmly believed that substantial charges to the Family Court were not appropriate. Instead, with some targeted legislative amendments to reduce fiscal costs, the Family Court should remain significantly unchanged.

    The the 81-page Law Society submission on the Family Court submission concludes:

    11.1 – It is easier to be critical than to be correct and it is important in considering the undoubted challenges confronted by this review not to make changes merely to be seen to be “doing something”
    .
    11.2 – Family law is still law. It embraces legal rights and legal responsibilities. It sets boundaries. It is the product of statutes created by Parliament. Citizens are entitled to pursue available remedies and to be brought to account for perceived breaches and shortcomings. Care needs to be taken not to trivialise this by closing the door to the Family Court’s expertise and specialties.

    11.3 – Access to justice and the associated issue of equality of arms should not be lightly put aside. Claims that if parties too readily resort to the Family Court, they are discouraged from finding their own solutions are both overblown and unsubstantiated, although they fit the model of confronting the fiscal emergency.

    11.4 – Care needs to be taken to ensure that changes, however well-intentioned, do not have unintended consequences. Simplistic solutions are likely to create more difficulties than they resolve. In the Law Society’s view, the data provided in support of the review do not justify substantial changes to the Family Court. With some targeted legislative amendments to reduce fiscal costs, the Family Court should remain significantly unchanged at this point in time. The Law Society reiterates that the exercise of greater discipline, refinements to existing systems and procedures, and a properly resourced Registry, would enable the Family Court to serve the purpose for which it was established, in a fiscally sustainable manner

    More short-term thinking about a fiscal emergency in the family courts rather that thinking about the long-term costs – both economically and to society from single-minded thinking looks like it’s producing an ugly, expensive outcome. Judith Collins must re-think these changes before adding to the appalling toll of family violence.

    • Hi Rosy

      The reorganization is the most inept that I have seen.  The Waitakere Family Court used to be really good to deal with.  Urgent applications would be turned around within 12 hours and the Judges knew the files well.  Cases would be dealt with quickly and not left to fester.

      There was quite a roadshow with the reforms and we were promised that things would not only remain the same but get better.  Hearing times would be available more quickly.  Judge time would be more available.  I did not believe it from the start because there were also redundancies happening.

      And the reality is that it has been a total shambles.  A week’s wait for a decision in an urgent application is not uncommon.

      To add to this the changes in legal aid are going to drive up the demand in court time, not reduce it.  And the cutting in counseling and use of mandatory mediation are going to mean that things will only get worse.

      The current Government has no idea what it is doing to justice.  This is really scary. 

      • muzza 3.1.1

        The current Government has no idea what it is doing to justice. This is really scary.

        Why do people keep believing the govt dont know what they are doing, its simply allows them to be lazy and wait until the next govt comes along….more of the same

        Loop and repeat every electoral cycle!

        Newsflash to all: The government knows exactly what it is doing, its being directed!

        • tc 3.1.1.1

          Agree with Muzza and I thought one of the reasons Power slunk off to the banking industry was he couldn’t climb back into his cosy lawyers world as he’d made enemies of them with the reforms he slammed through.

          • muzza 3.1.1.1.1

            Power went to Wespac, because its the government bank, and having him “inside”, simply BAU for the revolving door policy. “Good business I think they call that, and it allows power to be groomed off radar without the media focus!

            Look for Power to return to politics, at a politically “necessary” time, almost certainly as leader of the Nats.

      • North 3.1.2

        The government’s doctrinaire, blundering, hamfisted “reform” of legal aid has turned the relative silk purse of that institution into an undoubted pig’s ear.

        Parallel to soundbites cynically badmouthing criminal legal aid lawyers particularly, it was glibly vaunted that the natural consequence of changes would (a) reinforce experienced legal aid lawyers’ commitment to legal aid, and (b) attract to legal aid greater numbers of experienced lawyers.

        It is uncontestable that the reverse has occurred as to (a) and you can forget the fantasy all over (b). Those devising and leading changes were on notice as to the outcomes now with us. It must therefore be that the public was knowingly misled. If it’s not that we can look only to extreme negligence/incompetence.

        Uncontestable reports of resulting failure and dysfunction conveyed to the Ministry of Justice from the highest levels of the District Court bench have simply gone unanswered.

        Legal aid as an anywhere near viable institution and criminal legal aid particularly is heading for collapse. What do we have in answer to this crisis in an indispensable wing of our justice system ? Seemingly not much more than the now commonplace Morning Report refrain – “The minister was not available for interview……..”.

      • RedBaron 3.1.3

        Over 6 months delay in the Welllington area for submissions only hearings. Okay money is less important than safety but still means some are starving.

        Trouble is this ADR is feeding the problems. Just gives one parent a chance to harry the other over an extended period. Two years later most “access” parents arn’t turning up and are paying only $12 per week.
        It’s a ridiculously expensive system with rubbish outcomes.

      • prism 3.1.4

        mickysavage
        A good summation of our present passing-for government.

        The current Government has no idea what it is doing to justice. This is really scary.

        I’d stop at – the current government (and one can’t say ‘ours’) has no idea. About what anything it is attempting to do will achieve for our nation’s good. And doesn’t care because doing something that pleases one’s present or soon-to-be friends is all that counts, including in the counting of course is the money that the system lavishes on these prime people.

        • muzza 3.1.4.1

          I’d stop at – the current government (and one can’t say ‘ours’) has no idea. About what anything it is attempting to do will achieve for our nation’s good.

          As opposed to any previous government going back decades, which have clearly been working for NZ, as opposed to against it! /sarc

          Prism, when a government looks blatantly to be working against a country, and the vast majority of its people, the government is broken, and the people have let it become their enemy, so the people are getting exactly what their apathy has created. How much more obvious for people does it need to become! I guess the next few years will answer that question, and still there will be be many who ponder, “why does the government not have any idea”….Again I will just repeat, that when it looks like the government has no idea, its because they are executing someone else’s agenda!

          Another newsflash: The “soon to be friends” you refer, are the same “friends” they have alsways been, regardless of government, and the sooner people wrap their skulls around that, the sooner we can get some energy working the right angles..

    • muzza 3.2

      Judith Collins must re-think these changes before adding to the appalling toll of family violence.

      A police decision to drop family violence as a category in crime statistics will obscure a nationwide rise in domestic abuse, Women’s Refuge says.

      I would suggest a rethink is optimistic!

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        You can imagine what will happen.  Collins will get up and praise the magnificence of the National Government whose rule has caused the crime rate to drop.

        And more women will get beaten and killed. 

        • muzza 3.2.1.1

          MS – I think that is a certainty, which is why I keep links to such articles filed!

  4. Morrissey 4

    Would YOU trust this politician to lie straight in bed?

    “It’s important to understand that this is not about Mr. Assange’s activities at WikiLeaks or the attitude of the United States of America.”

    William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, Thursday 16 August 2012

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/8/17/lawyer_raid_on_embassy_to_arrest

  5. Te Reo Putake 5

    Apropos of nothing, here’s Tanya Gold on rape jokes. Caution, misogynists may find the content challenging.

    • weka 5.1

      That’s pretty shocking but not surprising.
       

      It’s true; even comedians that don’t do misogynist material are protective of those that do, because they are wary of censorship and contemptuous of hecklers. When Daniel Tosh was told by a female punter that “rape jokes are never funny” he asked the audience, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her …” Other comics defended him and the promoter said: “You start dishing out something to a comic and try to be funny, you better be able to take it.”
       

      Tosh probably doesn’t realise how many of the women in his audience have been sexually assaulted (one in four is the usually accepted number). Although if he did know I’m sure he wouldn’t care.
       

  6. vto 6

    Starter for ten … (you need a copy of the Sunday Star Times)

    Across page 4 and 5 of the SST – John Ansell, Todd McLay and Hone Harawira ….

    which ones are the racists and why?

    • chris73 6.1

      Well Hones racist but I don’t know about the other two

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        Well Hones racist but I don’t know about the other two

        You know bugger all, judging by what you’ve posted recently.

      • muzza 6.1.2

        Are you as limited as your words indicate?

        The most rac*st people in the world are corporations/governments, and any “organisation” which we see promoting itself as being against racisim. Think IOC, FIFA and the rest of the alphabet agencies, which are generally speaking headed by people, who have rac*st ingrained deeply into their soul, among other truly awful traits.

        Stupid people can’t see through the charade, and in case you’re one of them, the most rac*st peoople in this country are almost exclusively white, and belong to the same clubs.

  7. vto 7

    One more thing on the same theme ….. on Q+A this morning there was interview with two gentlemen over water rights. The older gentleman clearly and concisely laid out the issues in a way that made unseratsnding easy. He reiterated the status of two laws in NZ. Customary law and common law and the way in which they influence Maori and the rest of NZ. It all made sense and was well worth listening to. What the interviewer didn’t cover, and I guess wasn’t in hs brief for this, was how those two systems fit together and how well they serve a community over time. This is the bigger issue in the long term and it is not acknowledged or discussed in any proper manner. Yet.

  8. Jackal 8

    Cameron Slater vs Colonial Viper

    Of course this isn’t really about upholding high moral standards at all, and is simply being used by the hypocrite Cameron Slater to undertake another baseless attack on the excellent leftwing blog The Standard…

  9. chris73 9

    A quite insightful comment from one of the contributors to whaleoil, not sure I agree with all the points though…

    Cunliffe will not make it – hope he has the job he went overseas to seek.
    Reasons:-
    He is male
    He has a brain
    He is not Queer
    He is not a Unionist
    He is not a Teacher
    He is quite wealthy (along with his Lawyer wife)
    He has never worn a cloth cap either
    He is in wrong Party

    • QoT 9.1

      :roll:

      You know you’re dealing with serious comments when they use scare-caps on words like “queer”.

      • Morrissey 9.1.1

        chris73 thinks, when he thinks at all, in clichés. That’s fine in the National and ACT parties, but we expect more in an online discussion group, surely.

    • DH 9.2

      So you think Shearer won’t make it chris73, what with him not meeting any of those criteria either.

      ……………..

      These right wing trolls remind me of the Borg. The great leader gets a boner about something & it’s spread throughout the collective for the drones to propagate. They’re all the bloody same.

      The latest tit-tangle for these trolls is unions, you’d think it was the ’70s the way they’re carrying on.

      • chris73 9.2.1

        Actually I think Shearer could make it but it depends on the actions of the labour caucus. Labour would/should have won the last election and Goff would be the PM but for whatever reason the Labour MPs seemed to develop a serious case of foot in mouth.

        If all the Labour MPs just STFU in the lead up to the next election then Shearer should win.

        But they won’t/can’t help themselves (attention seeking perhaps?)

        “The latest tit-tangle for these trolls is unions, you’d think it was the ’70s the way they’re carrying on.”
        -Funny I’d have thought the same thing about the unions

        • DH 9.2.1.1

          “-Funny I’d have thought the same thing about the unions”

          Oh come now. The unions today have very little influence on politics, the workplace or NZ society in general. The right have gone all ‘reds under the bed’ because the unions made them look complete fools over the recent Talleys and Ports of Auck disputes. A quiet spoken & well mannered lady wiped the floor with all the sneering braggarts & posers and the right can’t handle it.

          • Chris 9.2.1.1.1

            What’s actually happened with both the Talleys and Ports disputes? I haven’t heard anything for ages so assume things are pretty sorted, but I have never actually heard of any collective agreement being signed for either. Has that happened?

    • To chris 73,

      You are showing complete ignorance regarding your cloth
      cap comment.Only once was it worn by the great Socialist/Pacifist ,Keir Hardie who worn it in the British Parliament to make a point. Perhaps you should read a bit of history before you make such comments which only highlights your lack of political knowledge,

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Seems that charter schools are as unpopular as decreasing the number of teachers. Considering the news that some of them will be teaching Creationism I’d say that they’re about to become even less so.

  11. Jackal 11

    Vladimir Putin – Asshole of the Week

    Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Pussy Riot causing a public disturbance and everything to do with closing down criticism of the current regime…

    • blue leopard 11.1

      @ Jackal

      What makes you think that the political interference involved in this court-case outcome is Russian?

      Could be of a false flag nature?

      • Jackal 11.1.1

        False flag operation? I can assure you that the members of Pussy Riot are Russian citizens and I very much doubt their activism has been influenced by foreign interests wanting to destabilize Putins reign… He’s doing a pretty good job of that himself.

        It’s interesting though that this issue has gained more media attention than the recent widespread public protests about election fraud. However I haven’t seen any similar cases of disinformation concerning the Pussy Riot issue. As far as I can tell there’s no link to a black flag operation.

        • kiwi_prometheus 11.1.1.1

          But its a PUNK band which means it’s imported Western capitalist decadent culture stuff!

          Very destabilising for dictators.

          Of course they get more attention because of our shallow fame/celebrity obsessed MTV entertainment media culture.

        • blue leopard 11.1.1.2

          @ Jackal,

          Wasn’t meaning Pussy Riot’s actions. I was meaning the long sentence, which you appear to be assuming was influenced by Vladimir Putin, however simply from reading your article, one could also view the information, with belief that Vladimir Putin truly saw merit in not imposing a long sentence and the influence effecting the court’s sentencing was coming from another quarter.

          I believe Russia isn’t falling into line with big money interests’ desires to ‘get on in there’ into the Middle East and this is the quarter that I would immediately query.

          Also explains the wide coverage.

          I am inconclusive about this, merely questioning, yet admit to being entirely suspicious of main media outlets’ ability to convey information that suits only one main interest: big money.

          (…of course there may be no “influence” at all….)

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1

            Putin had a very difficult balancing act to pull off with this. He had to satisfy a lot of local political and religious interests pissed off with P.R. A lot of whom are his core political base. Plus send a message that this kind of political expression is not particularly welcome. While not crossing the line of Russia becoming dictatorial or tyrannical, in international opinion.

            So a 2 year sentence less time served probably passes muster. Don’t be surprised if there is an early release due to good behaviour or what not in 12 months. Probably at a time he needs to soften international opinion.

            • blue leopard 11.1.1.2.1.1

              @CV

              So you have no doubts that such an occurrence could have anything to do with interests other than internal Russian ones?

              • Colonial Viper

                Well, I’m reasonably confident. (Although the Russian political psyche is pretty opaque to outsiders…) The main reason being the massive level of international media coverage the case has received and the fact that Putin found himself forced to respond to that coverage officially. P.R. are now a card to be saved up and used later, if the occasion calls for it/allows for it.

          • Vicky32 11.1.1.2.2

            I believe Russia isn’t falling into line with big money interests’ desires to ‘get on in there’ into the Middle East and this is the quarter that I would immediately query.
             

            Me also!
            http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32225.htm

    • muzza 11.2

      The good old NED – Supporting freedom around the world

      I reckon you should look a little deeper into those taking pot shots at Russia!

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Looks like this government is going against the populations will regarding land sales as well. And good on the Greens for calling out this governments habit of bullying.

  13. prism 13

    One of the Taranaki three appears to have been found. The instructor who has lost his life along with two of his group, was remembered by his wife as someone who was always quick to get involved. It seems a pity that people don’t take up Slow Adventuring similar to the move to Slow Food in opposition to Fast Food. Even perhaps daring to decide that it is too chancy to go out after making a reasoned assessment of the conditions, which would take time. Incidents like this blacken the image of responsibility, integrity and carefulness of outdoor ‘experts or professionals’ or whatever they call themselves. All based on the idea that outdoor pursuits are good and make a man of you – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger eh!

    I remember Outward Bound having to change from its gung-ho approach to its wilderness experience with people who didn’t know the territory and the dangers. This was after Susan Consedine slid over the edge of a bluff to her death, and also one other died.. I think it was misty, the ground was damp, there was a gravel-covered slope to the edge of the bluff and not anything that could be grabbed to stop what must have been a frightful slide to disaster.

    (from google)
    The last death was in 1993, when 22- year-old journalist Susan Consedine fell down a 61-metre bluff …
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/6402583/Bound-to-succeed

    Notable is the mention of a previous military course.in the item. “Outward Bound was founded in 1941 by the German educator Kurt Hahn. It was originally devised for The Blue Funnel Shipping Line as a training course for their young sailors during World War II.”

    Also on this line – from wikipedia on Prince Charles’ education which is relevant to Kurt Hahn who has had a lot of influence on educational ideas. The Prince attended Gordonstoun and his thoughts were “Reportedly the Prince despised his time at the latter school – “Colditz in kilts”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles,_Prince_of_Wales#Education

    Gordonstoun in the north-east of Scotland was founded in 1934 by German educator Kurt Hahn, Three previous generations of British royalty were educated at Gordonstoun since its establishment including the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.[5] Due to Dr. Hahn’s influence the school has a strong connection with Germany and forms part of the Round Square Conference of Schools, a group of over 60 schools across the globe also founded by Hahn.

    It could be that many of these attitudes of conquering and fighting fears and so on could be traced to military training attitudes that tend to be ‘resigned’ about deaths occurring to souls in their care.

  14. Excellent photo of JK on Facebook

  15. bad12 15

    In today’s Herald Bernard Hickey makes some strange comments, i am not sure just how tongue in cheek hickey is being when He calls for the former money trading Prime Minister to again enter the fray so to speak on behalf of lowering the historically high value of the New Zealand dollar,

    Essentially what Hickey says is that the likes of the Brits,US, and Japan are in the process of ‘printing’ loads of paper money, which dilutes the value of their currency’s and to avoid any suggestion of creating internal inflationary pushes in their own economy’s ‘exporting’ the stuff by buying up Government bonds in the likes of Australia and New Zealand, thus making us and our children responsible for adding the ‘labour’ to such fictional ‘money’ to in essence make the stuff more real than the stuff produced by the ”pixies at the bottom of the garden”, (to quote Slippery our Prime Minister),

    The Heralds Hickey goes into a ‘us too’ over this,(no discussion about the morality at all),and it’s here the suggestion is that the master money trader himself, Slippery the Prime Minister, step into the breach and return the favor, perhaps tenfold, to those economy’s which in essence are now treating the New Zealand economy as a ‘slave economy’ to wash it’s excessive printings of money through,

    I frimly believe the whole thrust of the Herald article is either a pisstake by Hickey, or, there’s something in the water up that way, and,we all have to assume that Bernard had to suspend quite some part of His belief system in writing it,

    First, we all have to actually believe the back story of the Slippery little Shyuster currently installed as the Prime Minister, which i for one call bullshit upon, sure money trader He was but don’t for a minute believe that Slippery was head-honcho of any of it,

    After a career in the (fraudulent?)banking industry he walked away with 50 mill a huge fortune as far as any of us have the fingers to count it, but, in the great scheme of things in the fraudulent world of international banking our Prime Minister was simply a minor functionary, the under-boss running a small team of serfs among many under-bosses running small teams of serfs,

    The real big fish operating the complex and complicated frauds which are at the heart of and account for the profits and losses of the international banking system over the past decade earn sums like 50 million a year, 100 million a year, not the piddling 50 mill our Prime Minister managed to eke from the rort over a decade,

    That’s what makes me call bullshit on that particular fairy tale, our Prime Minister the big time money trader???, nah, a small functionary well rewarded for doing exactly as He was told, money trader extraordinaire???, frigging doubt that big time, i doubt whether our Prime Minister ever made any trade anywhere at any time that He wasn’t told to by someone higher up in the sharks tank of (fraudulent?) international banking to make,

    So,the Heralds Hickey might want to consider a wiser option in the grand scheme of attempting to export New Zealand’s competitive disadvantage, a high priced dollar, back from whence it came from,

    (a),Sure print the stuff, but, spend it into the New Zealand economy helping to solve another problem that economy is suffering from,

    (b), Spending the stuff, printed money, into our own economy need not lead to undue inflation, we simply need know how many millions injected into the economy equals 1% of inflation and thus spend such money at a pace that keeps within the Reserve Bank’s monetary targets,

    (c), Build with such money high density housing for low income people, which i would suggest in the future is going to be the majority of us thus taking the heat out of the New Zeland housing market,

    (d), I suspect that the Herald’s Hickey has bundles of the stuff, money that is,tied up in the housing market thus advocates keeping the internal market over-revving…

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      re (d): – I’ve met Hickey before and I figure that he would be honestly insulted at your suggestion. He’s frequently indicated that NZ must deleverage its very high private debt levels and move on from allocating capital into unproductive real estate assets. Which is the opposite to “over-revving the internal market”.

      (b), Spending the stuff, printed money, into our own economy need not lead to undue inflation, we simply need know how many millions injected into the economy equals 1% of inflation and thus spend such money at a pace that keeps within the Reserve Bank’s monetary targets,

      It doesn’t quite work like that. If you spend the printed dollars into increasing the productive and competitive aspects of the economy, market pricing (and therefore inflation) will remain under controlled.

      If it turns out at any stage that money supply needs to be reduced, you can tighten up on the availability of private interest bearing debt, increase taxes or increase savings rates.

      • bad12 15.1.1

        It doesn’t quite work like that???, well if it works like what you have pointed at we would need hire an idiot savant to do whatever it is you suggest…

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Prof Steve Keen is developing quantitative computational models of endogenous money systems. Ones which use starting points far different from typical neoliberal assumptions. And he is visiting NZ soon.

      • prism 15.1.2

        CV
        Can you tell Treasury that. I think this idea must have been filed away on one of the hard drives they have had and got wiped when they updated their technology.

    • muzza 15.2


      FXC – Class of 2000

      John Carter, Lehman
      James Kemp, Citigroup
      John Key, Merrill Lynch
      Adam Kreysar, UBS Warburg

      I would say that having been a member of the FXC would indicate, that it is quite feaseable Key was not at the level of underlings you suggest.

      Have a look at some of the names in the list, some of the worlds biggest criminals are there…They are all underlings, sure, but to underestimate what Key does/does not know, or has/has not done, would be naiive.

      I would also suggest that the figure of 50m, was lowered considerably to make it palpable for kiwis.

      • bad12 15.2.1

        As far as being on the Fed goes, it depends what the masters were grooming Him for is how i see that little appointment,

        Any indication of the where this missing pot oif gold might be stashed or how big it might be,

        On the reported fortune,50 million and falling our Slippery Prime Minister was after a decade or so definitely in terms of cash one of the minnows of the fraudulent international banking industry,

        The big boys from the upper echelons easily make that in a year…

    • AnnaLiviaPluraBella 15.3

      BAD to the power of 12.

      BAD by name and by nature too?

      Hickey is s very well informed, hard working and very straight-up guy.  He desereves respect, not the baseless ramblings that you shoved through your keyboard.

      I’ve no idea how anyones actually knows what someone like Key is worth. But he certainly had a very senior role.  There are only about 30 members on the NY FXC at any one-time and he was one.  Yes he was there as an Exec employee of ML but he was certaily right in the middle of it. He had full responsibility and accountability.  Don’t let him off the hook with your fanciful view of the world.    

      • bad12 15.3.1

        My point exactly, Key was certainly there in the thick of it, and there in the thick of it as a mid level employee of Merrill Lynch,

        Glad to see we can establish that as some basis upon which we agree, actually we agree on everything about Slippery,

        He was a mid level employee put forward by the hierarchy of Merrill Lynch to do their bidding as far as the rate fixing that went on (and still goes on?),within that organization, which, in my opinion just proves more my point that He was just another underling doing the business of those higher up in the shark tank,

        In all of it, thew higher echelons of Merrill Lynch would have been instructing the Slippery little Shyster on what rates they wanted set and when He was on the trading floor He would have been plugged into those higher up within Merrill Lynch who themselves would have been co-operating with their fellow executives in other banking organizations and i doubt for not one minute that He would not have issued a buy or sell order without first being instructed to by someone higher up in the shark tank,

        Oh you bet that Slippery and all the under-bosses on His level knew exactly what they were doing and knew exactly when they were and were not undertaking illegal activity BUT He was the fire-wall between His level of responsibility and that of His Bosses, should the excrement have become entangled within the ventilation system it would have been the Slippery’s who become coated in the stuff as far as responsibility for criminal wrong-doing was concerned,

        Where you think i give the Slippery’s of the world any form of out as far as responsibility goes is as far as i can see all part of your imagination, and,as far as His nett worth goes it’s been well reported and a stash that size tends to suggest that Slippery was as i say a mid-level gang-boss in the great scheme of things as far as Merrill Lynch is concerned,

        And, to your wee whine about Bernard Hickey, diddums, He wrote the piece in the Herald some of which i disagree with and wish to comment upon, which is what i understand ‘Open Mike’ is for,

        If Bernard want’s to take issue with what i have written then i assume He is free to also attend and take me to task if He so wishes,and whether ‘insulted’ or deserving of ‘respect’ that buckwheat is a matter of personal opinion and you waste your time attempting to tell me what i can and cannot write as i just don’t give a s**t about your infantile little fan-club support of Him…

        • Colonial Viper 15.3.1.1

          and whether ‘insulted’ or deserving of ‘respect’ that buckwheat is a matter of personal opinion and you waste your time attempting to tell me what i can and cannot write as i just don’t give a s**t about your infantile little fan-club support of Him…

          Seriously, what is your emotional age. The irony of you using the term “infantile”.

          You’re in for a hard old life aren’t you, if you can’t tell the difference between friends and enemies, and between people who know the game and people who don’t.

          • bad12 15.3.1.1.1

            Yawn, thats just a pile of gobbledy-gook, i am not about to sit here and defend what i commented to another poster to the likes of you,

            Address the facts of what i started out discussing or don’t bother as your personal little vindictive snippets of vitriol directed at me are at worst Yawn material or at best something to point finger and laugh at…

  16. Molly Polly 16

    This may explain something…

    Mallard was spotted at a recent NZ Royal Ballet production of Cinderella in Wellington, tête à tête with well-known political journalist, columnist for the NZ Listener and former partner of Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully.

    Just saying.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Charter schools are just sooo good:

    The meeting at Crescendo Preparatory South was progressing as usual when the acting principal dropped a bombshell: She had been given copies of the upcoming standardized tests. The teachers were to study them, take notes — and make sure the kids got it.

    Yeah, sure they are.

  18. Ianmac in Ho Chi Minh city 18

    This shows an approach by the belief that to excel one needs to pass tests at all costs. This one became public but guess how often cheating was done out of site. Roll on National Standards as incentive to prove “excellence.”
    Oops. This to DTB.

  19. AmaKiwi 20

    Three more NZ soldiers die in Afghanistan. What will Labour say?

    Last time Shearer said he backed Key: we should stay.

    His foreign affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff, said we should get out.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10824900

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    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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