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Open mike 21/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 21st, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

133 comments on “Open mike 21/04/2014”

  1. Paul 1

    “Mobil’s response to a Lyttelton Harbour fuel spill is being investigated as the regional council’s harbour master voices concerns about how the oil giant reacted.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9961953/Mobil-in-port-oil-spill-inquiry

    No doubt Simon Bridges will be either ignorant of the issue or blithely unconcerned.

    • David H 1.1

      As long as he don’t use it to show how good we are at mopping up other peoples screw ups.
      Mobil didn’t even have a tank to pump the shit into, it was pumped into another companies tank.

      “Dilley said other tank farm operators from NZ Oil Services Ltd helped at the site.
      They, not Mobil, provided a tank to hold the fuel being pumped from outside and inside the bund,”

    • Suzie 1.2

      He probably doesn’t even know where Lyttelton Harbour is.

  2. Paul 2

    Living wage pays off for business

    Chalmers Organics was one of the first small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt the living wage, which pays a minimum of $18.80 an hour for all staff, in response to Living Wage Aotearoa’s campaign launched in March last year.

    One year after the living wage was phased in staff turnover was non-existent, morale was up and the workforce is proud to work for the company. “Employees are more engaged and point out inefficiencies, which is vital for a small venture, because we can’t afford to invest in bigger systems. We rely on staff,” she said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9961603/Living-wage-pays-off-for-business

    Good on this company. So a business can do well fine and pay the living wage. Amazing what a motivated staff can do.

    It would be great if massive companies like supermarkets, retirement homes, cleaning companies and fast food corporations also paid the living wage.
    They could lose just a tiny bit of their enormous profits.

    And it would be great to have a PM who cared for our most vulnerable workers.
    But then what to do you expect from a money trader?

    This, predictably.
    “Prime Minister John Key has defended wages paid to Parliament’s cleaners – and says there is no reason they should be paid more than other cleaners.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9117450/Living-wage-promise-could-cost-2-5b-Key

    • Jim Nald 2.1

      Good on Chalmers Organics!

      Am keeping an eye out for their products which will be a priority on the shopping list:

      http://www.commonsenseorganics.co.nz/suppliers/fridge-goods-dairy-alternatives/chalmers-organics

      • veutoviper 2.1.1

        Agreed, Jim. Good on them.

        Here is the direct link to Chalmers organics – TONZU ltd.as your link is to Commonsense Organics (another great company).

        http://www.tonzu.co.nz

        The Tonzu link also has a full list of their stockists, as well as recipes for their products.

    • bad12 2.2

      The Beast bares its fangs!!!, from the Herald online comes the story of an Easter egg ‘drop’ sponsored by a Church and a major choclate manufacturer,

      3 helicopter ‘drops’ of Easter eggs in the Auckland area, advertised beforhand as an Easter egg hunt for kids resulted in 1000’s turning out for the occasion,

      Not shy it appears that a large number of adults joined in the ‘fun’ snatching Easter eggs from the hands of children,scratching some in the frenzy and in one case stomping on the hand of one child who was taken to an A and E,

      i can only imagine the uglyness that would have been exhibited had the ‘prize’ been of more value than a simple Easter egg…

    • RedBaronCV 2.3

      Great story. Pity the likes of JK can’t see the downstream effects of low wages
      . Look at some of the bills and debates before parliament, everything from food in schools to warrants for rental housing. Large amounts of this would not be needed if incomes were spread more evenly so people would have enough funds to upgrade their own lives. And this is without going near the arguements about welfare subsidising employers.

      Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?

      • Paul 2.3.1

        Money. They have a price.
        In return for their comfortable houses and baches, their overseas holidays and private school fees, they get the chance to sell the country to overseas corporate interests.

      • Pete George 2.3.2

        Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?

        I call bull on that. In other threads National are accused on beneficiary bashing, they can’t be opposites at the same time. I don’t see any evidence that any party promotes low wages. Higher wages and fewer benefits are better for business.

        This from NZH on Saturday: ‘Mindset change’ cuts benefit roll

        A single parents’ group says “a complete change of mindset” has helped reduce the number of people on the sole parent benefit to the lowest level in more than 20 years.

        Numbers on sole parent support have plunged by 8600, or 10 per cent, in the year to March.

        It is the biggest drop in a single year since the benefit – previously known as the domestic purposes benefit, or DPB – was created in 1974.

        Sole parent support is now being paid to 75,844 sole parents, fewer than in any year in the DPB’s history since 1988.

        About 22,000 people with no children under 14 were moved to other benefits when the DPB was abolished last July, but even if they were added back in, the total number of sole parents on any kind of benefit is the lowest since 1993.

        Auckland Single Parents Trust founder Julie Whitehouse said tighter rules, which require sole parents to look for part-time work when their youngest child turns 5 and fulltime work when that child turns 14, had completely changed attitudes.

        “It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s so good that I can’t even get them to volunteer time. The whole mindset has changed.”

        Asked how many of her 580 members now had jobs, she said: “The shift is incredible, I’m almost tempted to say 100 per cent – it really is big. All the attitudes changed. Everybody knew that when your child is 5 you have to go to work.”

        More people working and more people earning more benefits everyone.

        National, Labour and Greens all understand this, they just have different ideas on how to try and achieve it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.1

          They just have different levels of competence, and no-one expects you to understand that.

        • Paul 2.3.2.2

          “I don’t see any evidence that any party promotes low wages.”
          You aren’t looking very hard, then….

          Bill English
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4869938/Low-wages-advantage-for-NZ-English

          John Hayes, National MP, 5 June 2013
          “ I think we should celebrate because a rise in the minimum wage in Australia makes our labour force more competitive and will be helpful in attracting investment and jobs to New Zealand. A driver from the Australian perspective is that the New Zealand labour force is well educated, more productive and less unionised than their Australian counterparts.”

          • Pete George 2.3.2.2.1

            That’s not promoting low wages, it’s comparing our bottom end wages to Australia’s and points out some advantages in that.

            We do have to be careful about pushing wages up too high and pricing ourselves out of international markets.

            I haven’t seen anything suggesting National wants to keep wages low or push them lower. The minimum wage has been increased year by year. The rate of rise can be debated, but I don’t think there’s a valid claim that National want to keep people poor and on benefits.

            • Paul 2.3.2.2.1.1

              Wilful ignorance.

            • anker 2.3.2.2.1.2

              In the words of the Tui Billboard add Pete…………..”Yeah right”

            • fisiani 2.3.2.2.1.3

              Pete George stop being so logical and correct in saying that National are constantly raising the minimum wage whilst sustaining employment growth. Stop pointing out that thousands of mothers are getting off benefits and into work, stop pointing out that wages are rising more than inflation. Such logic goes against the fingers in the ears, hear no good news nihilism of those still on the Left. The good news is that they are diminishing in number. It’s encouraging that so many ex-Labour voters are changing to National especially in South Auckland. It’s encouraging when Tariana Turia says that Labour do not deserve Maori votes. I sense a turning point in NZ political history.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Fisi, if you’re going to ride to Petty George’s rescue, is a barrel of red herrings the best noble steed you can muster?

                Your lady will more likely turn up her nose than take your proffered assistance.

            • millsy 2.3.2.2.1.4

              So are you fine with us being a sweatshop economy?

              Do you think we should ban unions?

            • Naki Man 2.3.2.2.1.5

              Keep up the good work Pete. These fools from the left can’t stand the truth.

            • McFlock 2.3.2.2.1.6

              I haven’t seen anything suggesting National wants to keep wages low or push them lower.

              Really? open your fucking eyes

              Even if the comment was 6 or 7 years ago (link in the article if you want to count months), an exlicit statement would, for most people, count as “suggesting” that fuckwits might have a specific fuckwit objective.

            • weka 2.3.2.2.1.7

              “I haven’t seen anything suggesting National wants to keep wages low or push them lower. The minimum wage has been increased year by year. The rate of rise can be debated, but I don’t think there’s a valid claim that National want to keep people poor and on benefits.”

              If the increase in wages doesn’t at least keep up with the cost of living, then that is equivalent to wages not increasing or decreasing. What you have just said is vacuous.

              btw, WINZ benefits are deliberately set at below the poverty line. Any govt that maintains that is keeping people poor.

              • Not sure how it can be avoided setting benefit levels statistically lower then people who are employed. I’m not sure than any of the larger parties are suggesting that should be substantially changed.

                The aim is to raise people’s income by getting them into employment .

                I presume you know that if the minimum wage was raised by 50% and work was provided for anyone who wants it then we’d still have the same number of people under the statistical poverty line.

                • felix

                  Nope.

                  The poverty line you refer to is 60% of the median wage.

                  • karol

                    Yep. At least, that’s the one used internationally. NZ doesn’t have an official poverty line. The OEDC uses it. And now PG seems to be repeating WO or KB spin. The number of people, or rather proportion of people, under the poverty line does change over time. Depends on how wages are spread around the median.

                    The US also measures poverty threshold:

                    they represent a federal government estimate of the point below which a household of a given size has pre-tax cash income insufficient to meet minimal food and other basic needs.

                    And the percentage of people deemed to be living in poverty in the US; has been increasing in the last couple of decades. In 2012 it was at the highest level since 1993.

                  • McFlock

                    60% median household income.

                    2013 median annual household income = $69,249
                    Weekly median = $799.03
                    Hourly = $20.

                    Minimum wage = $14.25/hr
                    Half of that is $7 and change.

                    If everyone on minimum wage got increased to $21/hr, they’d be >60% median
                    Give the currently unemployed 40 hours a week, and they’d be above 60% median.

                    The median would increase to $21/hr, but the number of people under the poverty line would decrease as the wadge of currently poor people get closer to the average income (although those relying on benefits due to sickness, or kicked off benefits because WINZ suck, would still be in poverty).

                • weka

                  “Not sure how it can be avoided setting benefit levels statistically lower then people who are employed.”

                  Benefits were cut by $20/wk in 1990. In the mid 80s the unemployment benefit was around the same rate as what school leavers were earning going into office jobs. We used to have relatively higher benefit rates then, why can’t we now?

                  “I’m not sure than any of the larger parties are suggesting that should be substantially changed.”

                  The GP want a UBI.

                  “The aim is to raise people’s income by getting them into employment.”

                  That disqualifies you from having any opinion on beneficiaries until you answer the question: how many beneficiaries are not required to seek/gain employment?

                  Then you will have to answer how many people are now required to see work, despite previously being exempt.

                  Then come back and explain how those people are supposed to live. And why those people aren’t entitled to a livable income.

                  Then explain why you think that beneficiaries are all unemployed.

                  And then explain how unemployed beneficiaries are supposed to raise their income via employment when there aren’t enough jobs.

                  Then, when youve done all that, retract your statement that NACT don’t keep people poor.

                  “I presume you know that if the minimum wage was raised by 50% and work was provided for anyone who wants it then we’d still have the same number of people under the statistical poverty line.”

                  What everyone else just said. Plus, you’re a dick. If the people at the bottom end of the scale have enough to live on, then poverty stops being an issue irrespective of the statistics.

                  • felix

                    +a zillion weka

                  • karol

                    Excellent.

                  • I said I don’t think National want to keep people poor. But you’re right claiming National keep people poor. Labour have and would keep people poor. Greens would keep people poor. Some people keep themselves poor.

                    I agree with giving some poor people more to live on. That’s not easy, but it’s made substantially easier if a lot more people are encouraged and assisted off benefits.

                    If the benefit budget is significantly reduced that makes it easier to provide for those who need it.This excludes Government created and paid for jobs which increases Government expenditure.

                    My questioning of statements like “Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?” stand.

                    I don’t believe they promote welfare dependency. Neither do Labour.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      :roll:

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      :roll:

                      You’re completely ignoring reality but that’s to be expected of RWNJs.

                    • freedom

                      :roll: :roll: :roll:

                      How’s that weekly budget for poor people coming along Pete ?

                      I realise it is a complex thing to engineer without looking like a $2 shop tool but you are Pete George, the man with the plan! Where is the budget Pete?

                      You are Editor in Chief at the fact checking site called Politicheck.
                      Are facts not an essential item for your researchers to have on hand?

                      How do you plan to check the veracity of Government statements about poverty, incomes and expenditure if you do not have a clear understanding of the weekly budgets required of people who inhabit the lowest levels of our economy?

        • ‘In other threads National are accused on beneficiary bashing, they can’t be opposites at the same time.’

          Of course they can. They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries in order to reinforce rightwing ideas about individualism, and at the same time in practice they encourage economic conditions which favour short-term profiteering by businesses – keeping wages down through attacks on workers’ rights, maintaining a large pool of desperate unemployed people, and diverting government funding to subsidies on business such as Working for Families and wage subsidies paid to companies like McDonald’s.

          It’s all completely consistent, and not exactly difficult to observe.

          • Pete George 2.3.2.3.1

            “They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”

            I don’t think they do that, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that there’s any intent to do that. In other words, I think that’s a nonsense claim.

            Some opponents try to talk up “hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”, which arguably is more damaging for beneficiaries. It’s worse than claiming Greens are anti-growth (which I don’t wholly agree with), and is dishonest or ignorant.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.3.1.1

              :roll:

              “Opponents” like that communist Guyon Espiner, for example.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  April 13th 2014, Fairfax media.

                  • That says nothing. Can’t you cite your claim?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Guyon Espiner, April 13th, Fairfax media:

                      “…beneficiaries can’t afford defamation lawyers. And they probably don’t vote National.”

                      “…In one of the more gratuitous examples of this, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett recently trumpeted…”

                      “… the dog-whistle to the small-minded…”

                      As for a link, find your own, Petty George, and please please ignore what Bill told you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Ha :lol: it was his brother Colin. That communist.

            • weka 2.3.2.3.1.2

              “I don’t think they do that, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that there’s any intent to do that. In other words, I think that’s a nonsense claim.”

              In other words, “I think, therefore the world is the way I think it is” :roll:

            • Puddleglum 2.3.2.3.1.3

              Hi Pete George,

              John Key described some on the DPB as “breeding for a business” in 2002.

              I think it’s reasonable to suggest that such comments do stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries by echoing back derogatory remarks towards beneficiaries (i.e., ‘breeding for a business’) commonly used by some New Zealanders.

              Obviously, that comment was used by someone in the National Party – their current leader.

            • Murray Olsen 2.3.2.3.1.4

              Pete George, you don’t think, full stop. What do you think about all the beneficiaries jetsetting to luxury resorts on the taxpayers’ dollar? What did you think of this grave problem the day before Paula Benefat started talking about it?

              If I were feeling charitable, I’d label you a gormless fool. I’m not. You have one or two gorms after all, but the most dishonest PM of all time is your role model. This is not really a step up from Dunne worship.

            • Tracey 2.3.2.3.1.5

              are you still pretending you dont know who you are going to vote for?
              That disqualifies you from having any opinion on beneficiaries until you answer the question: how many beneficiaries are not required to seek/gain employment?

              Then you will have to answer how many people are now required to see work, despite previously being exempt.

              Then come back and explain how those people are supposed to live. And why those people aren’t entitled to a livable income.

              Then explain why you think that beneficiaries are all unemployed.

              And then explain how unemployed beneficiaries are supposed to raise their income via employment when there aren’t enough jobs.

              Then, when youve done all that, retract your statement that NACT don’t keep people poor.

              “I presume you know that if the minimum wage was raised by 50% and work was provided for anyone who wants it then we’d still have the same number of people under the statistical poverty line.”

              What everyone else just said. Plus, you’re a dick. If the people at the bottom end of the scale have enough to live on, then poverty stops being an issue irrespective of the statistics.

          • Rogue Trooper 2.3.2.3.2

            to the last line, yep, and, nope.

        • weka 2.3.2.4

          Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?

          “I call bull on that. In other threads National are accused on beneficiary bashing, they can’t be opposites at the same time.”

          They’re not opposites, they’re complementary. It’s not hard to see the advantages for National of having people on benefits and having a culture of hating people on benefits.

          • Pete George 2.3.2.4.1

            What are “the advantages for National of having people on benefits and having a culture of hating people on benefits”?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.4.1.1

              :roll:

            • Anne 2.3.2.4.1.2

              Don’t answer anyone cos he knows the answer.

              What a miserable life PG must lead if this is the way he has to get his kicks…

              • Poor response from you Anne. I’m not the one trying to talk up misery for beneficiaries, many of them have enough hardship to deal without being labeled and used dishonestly as political footballs.

                • bad12

                  Here’s a little message from a beneficiary George, :roll: then, :roll: along with :roll:

                • weka

                  “I’m not the one trying to talk up misery for beneficiaries, many of them have enough hardship to deal without being labeled and used dishonestly as political footballs.”

                  No, you’re the one trying to talk down the shit that beneficiaries are subjected to because it doesn’t suit your world view or privileged position in the world. Try listening to the experiences of beneficiaries and see how markedly that differs from what you perceive.

                  • Nope. Several people here have claimed things and so far they’ve failed to back up those claims. They haven’t even tried to back up the claims, instead trying standard diversions.

                    • see what i meant by ‘a tap left running’..?

                    • bad12

                      :roll: :roll: :roll:

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Petty George “Opponents are making it up”.

                      OAB: cites Guyon Espiner

                      Petty George: “No-one cites anything”.

                      OAB: :roll:

                    • blue leopard

                      Pete George,

                      Plenty of people have given you responses that back up the claim that National create hostility toward those in the most unfortunate circumstances in this country.

                      Others have realised it is simply a waste of time to do so because you appear to be trolling.

                      To give you a chance to be a decent human being on this matter and apologise for the idiocy you have been putting forward I provide you this link:

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11231545

                      Please note this comment of Paula Bennett’s:

                      “Every day we hear stories of how people cannot live on the benefit. Today you’re hearing that literally thousands can not only live on it but can afford to travel overseas as well.”

                      As Minister of Social Development she knows full well that NOONE can save up for overseas travel on a welfare benefit

                      She knows full well how much savings a person can have while still qualifying for a benefit (I don’t the amount but know some savings still allow one to qualify).

                      She may also know, like a lot of us do, that people are sometimes given tickets by family members for various reasons.

                      If she doesn’t know at least the first two points then she is not doing her job properly and what the hell is she making statement like the above for?

                      She is deceiving the public by making such a statement and she is creating hostility toward those without jobs by misinforming the public

                      So please no more of this ‘the Nats don’t Bene Bash’ crap. It is a poor reflection on you if you don’t know this is the case already and an extremely poor reflection on you if you do, yet attempt to promote such utter horseshit.

                    • weka

                      “Nope. Several people here have claimed things and so far they’ve failed to back up those claims. They haven’t even tried to back up the claims, instead trying standard diversions.”

                      That’s because everyone else here knows what we are talking about, and we also know that supplying back up to you just means another round of mindfucking inanity. The standard is full of examples of how the right in particular promote bashing of beneficiaries. That you can’t see that is about you and how your world view works, nothing to do with us.

                      In other words, no-one here believes that proving something to you is necessary, because your main role here is that of concern tr*ll and shit stirrer (in the nicest, centrist kind of way of course).

                      Now, you can disagree with the perceptions of most of the other people here, no problem with that, but don’t trying to frame this as ‘there is no proof’, because there is proof, we’re just not going to do your homework for you. You demanding proof is just another example of your disingenuous approach.

                    • karol

                      Beneficiary bashing has been the subject of many comments and posts in the past on TS. It’d be very time consuming to repeat it all every time it’s commented on.

                      Colin Espiner on Bennie bashing beign too easy.

                      It amounts to a prejudice, so it’s about the way its expressed in a range of contexts, publications and discourses.

                      Kyle MacDonald, psychotherapist on the psychology of beneficiary bashing.

                      Kyle MacDonald was a guest on Radio Live this weekend.

                      He cites research in the US which shows levels of prejudice against the poor and the homeless in the US are stronger now than the levels of racism.

                      And let’s not forget Sarah Wilson, whose blog post on her experiences with WINZ went viral.

                      But I would expect anyone into fact checking, would have a wide general knowledge of current issues. bennie bashing and prejudices against people on benefits, or unemployed or poor, is one that has got some news coverage lately. I would expect anyone who was interested in such things would do a bit of their own research,and not expect others to do the research for them.

                    • It wasn’t me who made the claims. Should any claims pass go unchallenged here?

                      It’s easy to claim ‘bennie bashing’, but that’s diverting from the original claims.

                      “Why do the NACTs promote and enable welfare dependency to such an extent?”

                      “They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”

                      “It’s not hard to see the advantages for National of having people on benefits and having a culture of hating people on benefits.”

                      There are advantages in having some people on benefits, but I don’t see these claims anywhere near justified.

                      Instead I see deliberate stirring up of hate and prejudice against National.

                      I think emotive overstating and making claims that most people would see as ridiculous are counterproductive. It would be far better to make good arguments for providing better support for those who need to be on benefits, and support initiatives to assist and encourage people off benefits as both Labour and National governments have done.

                      Labeling, name calling and making questionable claims don’t help beneficiaries at all.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Pete George

                      Yes you did

                      Pete George 2.3.2.3.1
                      21 April 2014 at 12:05 pm:

                      “They stir up hate and prejudice against beneficiaries”

                      I don’t think they do that, and I don’t think there’s any evidence that there’s any intent to do that. In other words, I think that’s a nonsense claim.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      :roll:

                      Questions claims, demands citations. Is provided with examples and citations. Fails to acknowledge examples and citations. Makes accusations.

                      Petty George is the embodiment of dishonesty and bad faith. No wonder he’s unelectable and everything he touches turns to bland failure.

                    • weka

                      “Instead I see deliberate stirring up of hate and prejudice against National.”

                      Yeah that’s right Pete. There is no bene bashing culture in NZ* that is promoted by National, but there is a terrible National bashing culture on the standard. Poor National of course have done nothing to deserve this.

                      *There is no depression in NZ either.

                      Keep it up mate, the more we see your values and perceptions of the world the better. You are dangerous, so making that apparent is a good thing.

                      I think emotive overstating and making claims that most people would see as ridiculous are counterproductive. It would be far better to make good arguments for providing better support for those who need to be on benefits, and support initiatives to assist and encourage people off benefits as both Labour and National governments have done.

                      Labeling, name calling and making questionable claims don’t help beneficiaries at all.

                      All I can say to that is go fuck yourself you rabid, blind, self-serving, egotistical, leftist-hating, conformist, sanctimonious prick.

                      You are the last person on this forum to have any idea about what is helpful to beneficiaries. The more I see of what you write and do here, and the more you insist on peddling your centrist, holier than thou hypocrisy to the detriment of this forum and the left in general, when so many people want you to just fuck off, the more I think your actual role here is to destablise left wing discourse. Whether you are conscious that that is what you do, I don’t know. But it is what you do.

                      If you don’t feel emotion in response to what is happening in NZ, then fuck off.

                      If you don’t bother to read karol’s links and see what we are actually talking about, then fuck off.

                      And if you want to tell us how we should be discussing politics in NZ when you still have no idea what we are on about, then you can fuck off in triplicate.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ Weka,

                      I second that

                      [Except for the bit about destabilizing left wing discourse. He’s been distracting people but I wouldn’t give him any credit for destabilizing discourse – he is, however, severely destabilizing his own and Politicheck’s reputation if my shift in view is anything to go by.]

                    • weka

                      Agree about his own reputation (silver linings and all that).

                      I think the distracting is destabilising, but it’s worse than that. He’s a trll, and the function of the trll is to disrupt in anyway he can. Going into an election… can you imagine what it will be like if he is still here a month or a week before the election? How much time and energy will be wasted between now and then countering his bullshit? Not an ordinary tr*ll, because they don’t tend to last, they get banned (and unfortunately for us PG might just manage to be smart enough to not get banned again).

                      And not an ordinary right winger, because at least even though their views might be daft or repugnant, they’re reasonably competent at having an argument. PG is a clusterfuck of communication, just about every time.

                    • “..All I can say to that is go fuck yourself you rabid, blind, self-serving, egotistical, leftist-hating, conformist, sanctimonious prick…”

                      plus many more than one…

                      ..pete george..

                      ..putting the ‘con’ into contrived…

                    • If you think that exaggerated attacks and dumping on anyone who suggests being so negative mightn’t be the best of looks will appeal to disillusioned and non-voters and will get you the election result you want good luck with that.

                      No wonder the Greens are frustrated that when they have their best chance ever to make a significant difference the allies they need look like bitter old loners.

                    • weka

                      “If you think that exaggerated attacks and dumping on anyone who suggests being so negative mightn’t be the best of looks will appeal to disillusioned and non-voters and will get you the election result you want good luck with that.”

                      You’re not being dumped on because you made a suggestion. You’re being dumped on because you are tr*ll and insist on taking up so much space with so much inanity.

                      I really think you quite misunderstand what this forum is for, lolz.

                      “No wonder the Greens are frustrated that when they have their best chance ever to make a significant difference the allies they need look like bitter old loners.”

                      Oooh, PG, friend of the GP now. Or concern tr*ll :roll:

                  • karol

                    PG asks a lot of questions, but he still hasn’t answered this one.

                    The underlying values are as important as the evidence.

                    And the evidence is often detailed and requires time to digest – and can’t fully be captured in some quick sound bites, or easily quotable stats.

                    [Edit]

                    PG doesn’t seem interested in any in depth research like that of Dr Marriott, who compared the treatment of tax fraud with that of beneficiary fraud.

                    The research finds that tax offences are perceived as less serious when compared to other similar offences, such as benefit fraud, when measured by the likelihood of receiving a custodial sentence. Tax offences are significantly less likely to receive a custodial sentence than blue-collar offending and more likely to be given community work by way ofpunishment. The research also finds tax prosecutions are unlikely to act as a significant deterrent for non
                    -compliant taxpayers,with few custodial sentences and minimal reparation via the prosecution process.

                    He doesn’t respond to citing such evidence, then just comes back the next day with more questions to use up people’s time. Puts more time into his comments – lacking very much evidence from him, but keeps asking us to put our time into finding evidence than he ever does.

                    • weka

                      “The underlying values are as important as the evidence.”

                      +1 (in triplicate ;-) ) karol.

                      “And the evidence is often detailed and requires time to digest – and can’t fully be captured in some quick sound bites, or easily quotable stats.”

                      Very true. It’s not like Pete hasn’t seen all the discussion already about things like bene bashing. Now he uses the fact check thing as a shield for his own bullshit, which beggars belief given his role at Politicheck. Sometimes I think he is genuinely ignorant (cannabis), and other times I think he is just disingenuous in the extreme (bene bashing) and instead of stating up front his own ideas, he expects other people to provide evidence of proof for anything he doesn’t agree with.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      instead of stating up front his own ideas, he expects other people to provide evidence of proof for anything he doesn’t agree with.

                      And he’ll still disagree with it anyway. I suppose it comes with being a Sensible Centrist.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      That is a funny cartoon you linked to there DTB!

                      …he completely ignores any evidence provided and changes the subject….

                • captain hook

                  well what are you going to do about it then besides wasting yours and our time waffling on here. when are you going to do something pet e geroge?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.4.2

            It is when promoting trivial drivel as though it were substantive comment.

            • Paul 2.3.2.4.2.1

              I gave him evidence 6 and a half hours ago. He ignored it.
              Just got back and see he’s still wasting people’s time on this.

              • RedbaronCV

                Look what happens when I go out for the day!! Thank you to a large number supportive commentators, Nacts promoting welfare dependancy appears to hit a right wing nerve..
                As for the second bit about the DPB, Pete may be being a bit shallow here too, as demographics look like the answer here. As the baby boomers age and smaller generations come along the figure will drop just anyway. Like to fact check that Pete??
                The mind set change, one person is quoted, the rest probably too despeartely overworked to have time to think. Second fact check for Pete, -have you bought up children as a single parent?

        • greywarbler 2.3.2.5

          Once a group calling itself single parents trust would have been supporting single parents, helping them with their lives, not reducing them to numbers in paid work.
          It sounds as if its dedicated to getting them into some sort of job. Parents don’t talk to it much about anything else because it’s not their kaupapa.

  3. Tautoko Viper 3

    Claire Trevett has written an article about a simple question asked by Dr Prasad about the ruling allowing Nigella to visit NZ. The heading implies that this is a big issue with the Labour Party. This is all part of the plan to paint Labour as focussing on the irrelevant. The article in itself is trivial and the headline misleading. This is yet another example of poor and biased journalism.

    • Paul 3.1

      The Herald is a rag which acts as a propaganda outlet for the corporate elite.
      Claire Trevett is a puppet for the 1%.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        The article has been updated and from what I can tell included this paragraph:

        He [Prasad] assumed Immigration NZ gave it careful consideration and did not have a problem with Ms Lawson’s approval if that was the case.

        The headline says:

        Nigella’s visa clearance for new choc ad worries Labour

        The reality would appear to be the opposite.

    • cricklewood 3.2

      On the flipside I really don’t understand why he has bothered to comment on it. Imho its a trivial matter and immigration has made the right decision. He could have said as much rather than add his concerns about drug users et al.
      Its easy to moan about the herald bias but there comes a point where you shouldn’t give them the stick to hit you with.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.2

        Um, I’m not sure you understand how this works: right wing hack phones Labour MP and asks a question on some trivial matter of policy that happens to be their portfolio: reports comment as though it were unsolicited.

        Compare and contrast with the subjects of press-releases actually issued by the Labour Party: it’s not hard: you can find them over there to the right.

        • Sacha 3.2.2.1

          Unless Prasad somehow holds portfolios of drug policy and comparative morality, he should have shut his trap. What a fool.

        • cricklewood 3.2.2.2

          My point been if a right wing hack rings you for comment on a trivial matter like this you say im sure immigration officials have made a considered decision and leave it at that. No need for the worried about drug users et al that gets misconstrued and spun into a story.
          The Heralds reporting is bias and sensationalist better to not fall into the trap and give them a bone so to speak…

      • Once was Pete 3.2.3

        Agreed. Another very clumsy PR effort! For heavens sake don’t they get any coaching? Media bias doesn’t cut it. Some Labour politicians have been very good with the media.
        At the moment from Cunliffe down the performance has been very mediocre. Shane Jones has at least generated positive headlines even if he did get a rebuke for his efforts on the Greens!
        Time to dust off Brian Edwards retainer!

        • mickysavage 3.2.3.1

          Did Cameron send you with instructions on what to say? Honestly you guys are so predictable. You are like the borg. Can’t at least you think for yourself before you comment?

    • anker 3.3

      Claire Trevett is one of the worst offenders IMO. Fabulous National Party publicity hack. Picks up on trivialities all aimed at making Labour look bad. It’s all well and good saying Labour shouldn’t give them opportunities, but that would be impossible. Everyone gets it “wrong” at some point. Its inevitable. But there’s getting it wrong in a serious way and getting it wrong in a trivial way.
      CT brought us such fabulous pieces of journalism such as Key cracks a joke (in Hong Kong), dont we all love the Royals and who cares what they cost!

      • Paul 3.3.1

        The left parties must name and shame the bias in live interviews so the media’s put on the back foot.

  4. Te Reo Putake 4

    The former NSW Premier Neville Wran has died. I guess he wasn’t that well known this side of the Tasman, but he was a significant figure in the rebuilding of Labor after the constitutional coup in ’73. He was able to combine environmentalism and practicality in his approach to the job of growing the NSW economy and infrastructure in a way that should probably be replicated in NZ.

    http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/neville-wran-dead-aged-87-20140420-36ywh.html

    And, in the religious news, an Easter miracle for Mike Smith and the other Standard Kopites:

    https://vine.co/v/M1EAuBzMiuV

    • um..!..wran was as bent/corrupt as..

      ..his time in power was a time of endemic-corruption..

      ..his nickname in the criminal fraternity was ‘nifty neville’…

      ..as in ‘nifty’ll fix it!’…

      ..most things in wrans time could be ‘fixed’..

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1

        None of that is true, Phil, particularly the implication that he was responsible for the endemic corruption in NSW.

        For a start, the nickname was given to him by a fellow lawyer, decades before he entered politics (employment law, not criminal law, btw).

        As a polly he was accused of dodgy dealing with the Balmain league club, but cleared.

        Now, you don’t get to run the NSW Labor party without being a headkicker (to use his phrase), but he did a hell of a lot of good. The SMH has a good summary of his achievements:

        “However, he counted among his achievements the introduction of democratic elections to the upper house; ending systematic destruction of rainforests and giving them World Heritage protection; a $2 billion integrated transport system including the Eastern Suburbs rail line and electrification of the Newcastle and Wollongong lines; finishing what Mr Whitlam had started by ”creating a multicultural society in which all people are equal”; and revolutionising government administration.

        His government also claimed credit for extending parliamentary terms to four years; disclosure of MPs’ pecuniary interests and public funding of election campaigns; establishing a ministry of Aboriginal affairs; introducing anti-discrimination laws and the Equal Opportunities Tribunal; commissioning the Richmond report into mental health; introducing random breath testing; establishing an internal unit to investigate police corruption; liquor laws allowing Sunday trading.”

        Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/neville-wran-praise-controversy-and-balmain-boys-dont-cry-quote-marked-time-in-office-20140420-zqx46.html#ixzz2zTg6skR5

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.1

          “..particularly the implication that he was responsible for the endemic corruption in NSW..”..

          ..so..let me see if i’ve got this right..

          ..you admit the ‘endemic-corruption’ of those 12 yrs wran was in power..

          ..but he sat perched at the top..snowy-white and corruption-free…eh..?

          ..(psstt..!!..wanna buy a bridge..?..it’s still in good nick..!)

          ..i was in australia for some of those wran years..

          ..and knew people who knew just how corrupt the place was..

          ..(at one stage i lived opposite a drive-in liquor-store that was owned by one of sydneys’ most notorious gangsters..

          ..and every friday i used to watch the top police/politicians rolling in and out of there.

          …(police in full-uniform..top-ranking..).

          ..and it came out later that that was where the envelopes of cash were handed over..

          ..and yes..a lawyer gave him that nickname..’cos he played straight..?..d’yareckon..?

          ..and all the crims knew him as nifty..

          ..and i’m sure i cd dig up some corruption-quotes for you..

          ..(and established ‘an internal unit’ to check corruption..?..eh..?..

          ..heh..!..that’s funny..!..)

          • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.1.1

            Everyone knew him as Nifty. It was his nickname. Now provide the evidence that he was responsible for the corruption. Or just quit while you’re behind.

            • phillip ure 4.1.1.1.1.1

              ok..he was snowy-white…

              ..so..just confirming yr claim..

              ..that wran headed a totally corrupt administration for twelve years..

              ..yet himself was corruption-free..?

              ….carry on..!

              • Te Reo Putake

                “.so..just confirming yr claim..

                ..that wran headed a totally corrupt administration for twelve years..

                ..yet himself was corruption-free..?”

                I didn’t make that claim, but I did point out that the one time he was accused of corrup behaviour he was exonerated. Now would be a good time for you to put up the evidence that he was corrupt.

                Oh dear, can’t do it?

                I smell a Phail Ure.

      • millsy 4.1.2

        Isn’t being corrupt a prerequisite to being the Premier of an Australian state?

        • phillip ure 4.1.2.1

          pretty much..

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1.2.2

          :lol:

        • RedLogix 4.1.2.3

          In my modest observation the Aussies are a lot more honest about the way they do politics than we are. At least in Aus you know politics is a hard-ball, in your face business.

          NZ likes to pretend we’re lily-white when it comes to corruption – but I’m beginning to think that behind closed doors and out of sight from the public we’re in many ways worse than Aus.

  5. Paul 5

    This is what happens when you privatise energy companies. Short term profits for the shareholders come first.

    Power prices are soaring “out of control” on the eve of winter, with some companies hiking prices up a “staggering” 9 per cent in one month, Labour says.

    Shearer based his assertions on data from the PowerSwitch website, which tracks national power prices.

    The latest PowerSwitch figures show significant price rises from March to April across the country.

    Christchurch appears to have been hit the hardest, with two companies, Nova and Powershop, recording price increases of more than 9 per cent for the month.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9961956/Shearer-slates-soaring-power-prices

    I guess Simon Bridges will pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
    Predictably, yes.

    “However, Bridges discredited Shearer’s claims as “scaremongering”.
    The majority of New Zealand’s power retailers increased their prices on April 1 every year and the Powerswitch data “captures that increase”, Bridges said.

    • bad12 5.1

      The inflation economy, every year the power companies, Generators, Lines, and Retailers increase the value of their assets in a little book keeping exercise,

      All three arms of electricity generation and supply then base the ‘price’ of electricity on the increased value of their assets,( 3% increased ‘value’ of assets across the 3 arms of generation and supply leads to a 9% increase in cost to the end user),

      i cannot though fathom how the proposed single desk buyer of wholesale electricity will stop either the lines companies or the retailers from continuing with this ‘abusive practice,

      My view is that the ‘single desk’ buyer model ‘assumes’ that there is ‘competition’ in either the lines companies and the retailers of electricity,

      This assumption is patently untrue as the whole system is being operated as a Cartel where ‘paper savings’ by the consumer are really only imaginary as the retailers play their little game of ‘leap-frog’ with pricing…

      • James Thrace 5.1.1

        You have to question why, when electricity companies put their not insubstantial mark up on the variable rates, why they have to mark up the daily rate as well.

        The Daily Rate is supposed to be the fixed rate cost that is levied by the local lines network company. In Wellington for most people this should be $.90 per day. Most retailers are charging around the $2/day mark. Before the line charges went up on 1 April, retailers were charging around $1.15, and the line network only charged $0.15c p/day. This will be the same story around most of the country – one of the few exceptions I can think of are those on a low user plan. People with a standard plan (with no fixed rates) will be the most impacted.

        The Variable Rate is a bit different as retailers claim this rate includes their own costs – and where they should add on their charges. In Wellington the variable rate from the lines company is .0875. Retailers charge anywhere between .22 – 29c

        Why then are retailers allowed to add on hefty amounts to the daily rates when theoretically this charge is levied for the exclusive benefit of lines companies. If the fixed daily rate was passed on at cost this would save consumers around $300 – $400 per year.

        Note: for simplicity I refer only to those charges for consumers on a standard user plan that isn’t a fixed deal.

        • RedBaronCV 5.1.1.1

          And if you look at the Wellington Regional council’s annual plan they look like they want to aggregate water assets. So here comes the next one. submissions still open.

      • Herodotus 5.1.2

        Don’t limit such activities to only those within the power industry, have a look at other utility providers such as water . Eg waterways or before that manukau water with water increasing by 100% when the billing period was compressed from twice yearly to quarterly , and then again doubled when watercare then reverted to monthly billing. All legit and based on revaluation of the asset base.

    • Naki Man 5.2

      “This is what happens when you privatise energy companies. Short term profits for the shareholders come first.”

      The government is the majority share holder you idiot,
      you are either deliberately telling lies or you are more stupid than I thought.

      • Paul 5.2.1

        No longer fully owned by the state, so now beholden to corporate interests.
        When 100% owned by the state! shareholders were the government so long term planning possible.
        Now minority shareholders want good dividends.
        Let’s try debating mr naki without resorting to personal insults.

        • Naki Man 5.2.1.1

          Have you ever been a minority shareholder ?
          They have no say at all,
          you are talking rubbish

          • Paul 5.2.1.1.1

            Let’s agree to disagree then Naki Man.
            And let’s try to keep some courtesy in the conversation.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.1.2

            No say at all apart from certain legal obligations that the company must meet. I’m sure Naki Man was just about to mention those, weren’t you Naki Man?

  6. bad12 6

    From the ‘economics’ pages of the Herald online:

    ”US taxpayers would need to pay and average of $1259 more a year to make up for Federal and State taxes lost to Corporations and Individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens according to a report”,

    ”Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law– all supported in onme way or another by tax dollars– but they avoid paying for these benefits”, Us public interest research group said in a report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes,

    Who would have thunk it, the total amount of tax fraud is estimated to be nearly $200 million dollars annually which is around 5% of the total US tax take,

    Sounds remarkably like the New Zealand tax rort, not surprising as we operate our businesses in a mimic of the US system to a certain extent and with the latest figures showing a ”slow” tax take here in New Zealand for the current financial year of around a billion dollars i would suggest tx fraud here mirrors the US experience of 5% of the total tax take being fraudulently withheld by those with the ability to defraud the system…

  7. adam 7

    Love this – this is so classic. Also have a look at the link from this great artical. https://www.tytnetwork.com/2014/04/17/exposed-right-wing-radio-big-trouble/

  8. Poission 8

    On earthday there will be a release of evidence collected by the CTBTO’s infrasound network on the risk of large asteroids hitting earth.

    The scale of Chelyabinsk type meteors since 2001 is 26,3-10 times what is thought to be expected.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-8ij80vs1E

    http://phys.org/news/2014-04-astronauts-reveal-sobering-asteroid-impacts.html

  9. Populuxe1 9

    Will someone please remove Prasad’s foot from his mouth:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Labour-questions-Lawson-visa/tabid/1607/articleID/340858/Default.aspx

    Someone please explain to him that he’s just said he wants to punish a woman who hasn’t got any convictions but has had the misfortune of having her past private life dragged through the media by a vindictive ex-husband who was abusing her.

    Honestly if Labour were a person this repeated self-harming would be seen as a cry for help.

    • amirite 9.1

      Have you actually read the article properly? Because I agree with every word Prasad says. It seems to be different treatment by the state services according to one’s wealth or celebrity status, we already see a lot of it in courts and now with immigration too.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 9.1.1

        Actually, Prasad essentially says “it is terrible that celebrities are given different preferential status, which I’m sure didn’t happen here, but when it does, and it didn’t here, it is terrible.”

        Cheers for that, Prasad.

      • Populuxe1 9.1.2

        Actually I’m pretty sure that anyone regardless of weath or status can have their situation reviewed by NZ officials. Seems? Do you work for Customs? Immigration? What makes you the expert?
        Basically Nigella has obviously been red flagged because the Yanks are puritan hypocrites, she has asked for a review of her case, and an exemption has been granted because she doesn’t have any criminal convictions (unlike, say, Dotcom, who has convictions but effectively bribed the feckless National government). Labour getting involved at all is counterproductive and really not a good look in the final approach to an election.

  10. Paul 10

    The Herald acts as a shill for the ACT Party.
    No investigative skills shown by journalist Sophie Ryan, no questions posed of a crime policy that has already failed the west. Just an appeal to redneck opinion. Repeating ACT policy is not journalism
    What a rag.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    HOW CORRUPT IS NEW ZEALAND?

    Try this for size ……..

    Did you know that the NZ Auditor-General Lyn Provost is a shareholder in Sky City, but she failed to disclose this when I asked her do an inquiry into why the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of NZ (OFCANZ) had failed to do any due diligence on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the NZ International Convention Centre Bill?

    I’ve petitioned Parliament for an inquiry:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1404/S00334/select-committees-for-14-april-to-17-april-2014.htm
    Finance and Expenditure

    The committee met on 16 April when it further considered the 2012/13 financial review of the Earthquake Commission, and the petitions of Deidre Kent and 877 others and of Penelope Bright and 13 others.
    ………………………………..
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/presented/petitions/50DBHOH_PET3196_1/petition-of-penelope-mary-bright-and-13-others-that-the

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 13 others

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into why New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost did not disclose that she was a shareholder in Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd at the time she declined to conduct an urgent investigation into the failure of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand to carry out ‘due diligence’ on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (Bill) 2013.

    Petition number: 2011/101
    Presented by: Denis O’Rourke
    Date presented: 12 March 2014
    Referred to: Finance and Expenditure Committee

    Quite a BIGGIE don’t you think?

    Particularly when the Office of the Auditor General is the ‘Platinum’ sponsor of Transparency International New Zealand?

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/Partners-and-Sponsors

    “Partners and Sponsors
    Cornerstone Platinum
    The Office of the Auditor General ”

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/docs/2013/Integrity-Plus-2013-New-Zealand-National-Integrity-System-Assessment-Executive-Summary.pdf

    “Overall conclusions of the report 

    New Zealand’s national integrity system remains fundamentally strong, and New Zealand is
    rated highly against a broad range of cross-country transparency and good governance
    indicators. Since the first NIS assessment of New Zealand in 2003, a welcome strengthening
    of transparency and accountability has occurred in some areas.

    The assessment found that the strongest pillars in the NIS are the Office of the Auditor General, the judiciary, the Electoral Commission, and the Ombudsman. …..”

    Oh dear ….

    Have yet to see any public comment from Transparency International NZ (TINZ) on this
    above-mentioned petition for an Inquiry into the NZ Auditor General – their “CORNERSTONE PLATINUM SPONSOR” …..

    Penny Bright

  12. Penny Bright 12

    Who is on the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/mpp/mps/current/?pf=committeeshortname&sf=finance+and+expenditure&lgc=0

    Finance and Expenditure Chairperson Goldsmith, Paul National Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Deputy-Chairperson Barry,Maggie National Party, North Shore
    Finance and Expenditure Member Bennett, David National Party, Hamilton East
    Finance and Expenditure Member Clark, David Labour Party, Dunedin North
    Finance and Expenditure Member Hayes, John National Party, Wairarapa
    Finance and Expenditure Member Jones, Shane Labour Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Norman, Russel Green Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Parker, David Labour Party, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Peters, Winston NZ First, List
    Finance and Expenditure Member Ross, Jami-Lee National Party, Botany
    Finance and Expenditure Member Wilkinson, Kate National Party, Waimakariri

    Penny Bright

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    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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