web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Open mike 21/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 21st, 2012 - 118 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

118 comments on “Open mike 21/08/2012”

  1. Bored 1

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/7513835/ERO-drops-decile-ratings-from-reports

    The latest sick message from Min Ed Spindoctors (Dept of Lying)….
    “Dont mention deciles, we dont want people to make the link between school “performance” and social disadvantage. Put the pressure on the teachers to achieve the unachievable…blame the poor for their failure to meet our cosy pampered private school standards….justify Charter schools”.

    • marsman 1.1

      The reason the ministry spokes-person gave on TV One news last night is that people misunderstand the numbers used for deciles! Children? What children?

  2. Did anyone read the interview with Anton Oliver in last weekend’s Sunday Star Times.  It does not appear to be online.

    In the article Oliver indicated that he was considering a political career.  I wonder which party he is thinking of.

    Conventionally you would expect an ex all black to go with National but Oliver is not conventional.  He is a deep thinker and is a committed environmentalist.

    Perhaps he is thinking of Labour or the Greens.  It would be great to see him run in Central Otago. 

    • Carol 2.1

      I don’t know. Oliver’s line on the environment doesn’t really match that of the Green Party either. And his currently the ambassador for Fonterra.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/columnists/7508709/Huge-gulf-divides-All-Black-captains

      Maybe a Blue-Green?

      Sunday Star Times, 19 August 2012: p1 – from Press Display:

      Now based in London – where he is completing an Executive MBA at Cambridge University – he said he would not be so hesitant to knock back future approaches. ‘‘ Perhaps, I wouldn’t say no to that,’’ Oliver told the Sunday StarTimes. ‘‘ It is an everchanging picture in New Zealand.’’
      While he rejected approaches to run at last year’s general election, he still made his presence felt in the lead-up to polling, fronting a campaign to retain MMP as our electoral system. ‘‘ I did stick my head up out of the parapet to support MMP. Any electoral system is flawed. I just think MMP is less flawed than the rest.’’
      Oliver supports reforming the electoral cycle, including increasing the present term from three years to four or even five, believing the country would benefit from a longer term. ‘‘A lot of the policies we see being put in place by national and local government are short- term focused because politicians and councillors have to get re-elected. We need to get some long- term thinking in place because at the moment it’s non-existent, everything is short- term profit- orientated and it’s not smart.’’

    • Rosie 2.2

      Hey Mickey,

      I did see the headline for that article about Anton Oliver on the cover of STT at the supermarket but thats it, I haven’t read it. I was vaguely interested because Anton Oliver does come across as a thinker, unlike his other rugby collegaues I dare say. He once spoke out, several years ago about their (AB’s) boozey violent culture which was impressive and brave.

      He was also once on the panel of the Roger awards, named after Roger Douglas, who handed out annual awards to the worst multi national corporates operating in NZ. That, I thought was interesting too. He’s deeply anti windfarms however and was involved in action to prevent a large scale wind farm going ahead in the South Island several years ago. Sorry, I don’t have references for that, its just from memory. Those living in the area of the proposed wind farm might be able to shed some light on that issue.

      I’d be surprised if his flavour was left, maybe it’s centrist, or like Carol suggests, maybe that odd group of Blue-Greens.

    • Vicky32 2.3

      Did anyone read the interview with Anton Oliver in last weekend’s Sunday Star Times.

      My first thought was ‘who’? Seriously, there’s something wrong in the fact that All Blacks have an ‘in’ because people (many people, not all!) know who they are.
      3 News banging on about the thugby career of one of the people killed in Afghanistan. As if it matters.
      Mike McNitwit then says ‘he was just x years old when the Taliban struck’. So now, TV3 reporters believe that the perpetrators of 9/11 were the Taliban?
      He was also a ‘boy’s boy, a man’s man’. lolwut?
      How American are we exactly?

    • Morrissey 2.4

      Conventionally you would expect an ex all black to go with National…

      Wrong. Chris Laidlaw and Ken Gray—-to name just two ex-All Black Labour MPs….

  3. burt 3

    from Stuff: ERO drops decile ratings from reports

    I’m not sure if I think this is a good thing in that we can review a schools performance without the decile information and focus primarily on the outcomes it produces or if I think this is a bit of a whitewash to hide the effect the socioeconomic environment has on schools.

    One thing is sure though, it masks information about the makeup of the school role and I think that’s a mistake. You can’t manage something if you can’t measure it.

    • millsy 3.1

      Yeah well, I dont know about you, but I like having an education system where people of all backgrounds go to the same schools, rather than rich/middle class parents sending their kids to private and intergrated god bothering schools across town because they might end up coming in contact with one of those messy poor kids that they talk about. God forbid that for their little darlings.

      • chris73 3.1.1

        I like people having choice about where to send their kids

        • millsy 3.1.1.1

          Choice is all good, but there is something wrong when you have the levels of socio-economic stratification that parents sending their kids to the rich schools across town get you…

          • chris73 3.1.1.1.1

            Don’t try to muddy the waters. If you don’t want to send your kids to charter school then don’t send them to a public school. If you think a charter school is best for your kid then send them there.

            One size does not fit all.

            • felix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              If you don’t want to send your kids to charter school then don’t send them to a public school.

              Eh?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I blame Chris’s teachers, felix. Any composition problems Chris has are clearly the responsibility of the public schools that so badly let him down. If only his parents had the option of sending him to remedial reading classes at a top notch charter school, these embarrasing blunders would not be blighting his adult life.

              • chris73

                “If you don’t want to send your kids to a charter school don’t, send them to a public school instead.”

                Hey I thought I did pretty well considering I’m trying to finish max payne 3 at the same time

                • RedBlooded

                  And if you want a charter school, use your own money, not public money. Sounds fair to me.

                  • Bored

                    Thanks RedB, with neo-libs and their acolytes it helps to turn their arguments back on them. You are “on the money”, C73 only understands life in terms of money and transactions. It’s sad how reduced this can make the world appear.

                  • chris73

                    Fair enough, can’t argue with that. So whos in charge of the public? Oh thats right, Nationals in charge of the money, not you or me.

                    Guess we’ll wait and see what happens.

                    • Bored

                      C73, I never commented on your honesty which definitely stands up to scrutiny.

                      As I said, it is a sad and reduced world view. Given it reduces us all to a measurable transactional status maybe calling yourself Chris73 is very appropriate.

  4. Carol 4

    I guess all is not well in Rodney Hide’s super-city – you know the one he claims as one of his greatest achievements. Senior staff have been leaking their views to the media about bullying in the organisation from a top level manager.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828341

    One IES manager yesterday said senior management were closing ranks and supporting Mr Dragicevich while asking staff to trust all was good.

    “There has been lots of fob-off bull**** from management telling us we could have faith in the ‘process’ … and a lecture about not talking to media,” the manager said.

    A former council staff member said there was a strong division between senior management and other council staff, many of whom had taken stress leave after pressure from the top.

    “The Super City has brought some things together, but it has destroyed any positive working culture that the previous councils had,” the former staffer said.

  5. just saying 5

    A must-read from Giovani at Bat-Bean-Beam:
    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/

    I’m not going to get into the speech in any great detail, or restate the abundantly obvious, as it wouldn’t add anything to what’s already been said. What was surprising to me – and heartening – was in fact how many people voiced their anger. Entire networks that had up to that point either actively supported Shearer’s centrist line or maintained a degree of public discipline turned aggressively onto the leader. There were renunciations and denunciations, as well as much calm and dispassionate analysis. Most damningly of all, the speech was unanimously exposed as a cynical ploy: a dishonest attempt at triangulation from a leadership that, nine months into its tenure, has comprehensively failed to define itself or articulate an alternative and bold political vision for the nation. What this failure might suggest is to what extent Labour misjudged the political moment when it chose an inexperienced leader whose best, whose only idea seems to be to enact a soft version of Blairism, but also that third-way political strategy has become too transparent to be feasible. Nobody buys the stuff anymore. So in this instance, whilst there may be a broad support in the country for the odious welfare reforms enacted by National, the Labour Party finds itself unable to plug into that sentiment without coming unstuck at its core.

    What remains is a disconnect whose depth is truly difficult to measure. After linking to one of the harshest responses to the speech, I had the following brief exchange with deputy leader Grant Robertson:….

    Embolding mine.

    He’s talking about Bill’s post here. I waiting for a reply from my (Labour) MP to whom I sent a copy with a letter.

    Whether Salmond et al like it or not – this has become a line in the sand.

    • deuto 5.1

      Thanks for that link – I agree it is a Must Read. A very well thoughtout blog by Giovanni.

      The comments also led me to a related opinion article by Deborah Russell on Stuff this morning, which is also well worth reading

      https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7512486/People-who-need-a-benefit-should-get-it&sa=U&ei=G8AyUOi9CqPi2gXBsIH4BA&ved=0CA4QFjAD&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNF1q6Q5kPMp56a_eLsUcGpsNKTEsQ

      … Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to pay taxes have a straightforward reason to support the welfare state: it’s simple prudence. One day, it may be our turn to depend on the state.

      But when we criticise people who receive welfare, we are not just imprudent. We also undermine the security of our friends and family members and fellow citizens who depend on the welfare system.

      If we complain about teenage mothers, and insist that someone ought to control their income and make them stop having babies, we make every sole mother worry about interference. If we mutter about a person on the dole who spends time working on his house instead of looking for a job, we tell unemployed people that their every action is subject to scrutiny. We become a surveillance society, rather than a civil society. We are ever ready to pop our heads over the back fence, and complain about the neighbours. We turn everyone who receives a welfare benefit into an object of suspicion. That creates a society where no- one trusts each other, and where each person must always act with an eye to staying on the right side of those in power.

      Our health and welfare systems are based on need, not some notion of worthiness. If we are in need, we are entitled to assistance, and that means that we may live as free citizens. It means that we are secure from economic fear, secure from absolute want, and secure from the interference of our neighbours. That freedom and security makes all of us beneficiaries of the welfare system.

      The disclosure at the end states that Deborah Russell is a lecturer in taxation at Massey University and has recently joined the Labour Party and that Richard Long is currently on leave. Hope it is a long leave and that they continue to use Deborah in his place!

  6. Carol 6

    Otago Daily Times have an article today on the changes to Youth Benefits that came in yesterday. No other paper seems to have covered it. It involves a significant amount of privatisation through contracting out the services to ticket-clippers that can surely only add to the costs of provisions?

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/222477/welfare-reforms-affect-17000

    The first stage of the Government’s welfare reforms came into force yesterday, with a shake-up to youth benefits, as services were contracted out to 43 different local providers.

    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said the changes introduced yesterday would affect about 17,000 youths and targeted those between 16 and 18 who were either on benefits or not in education or employment, and parents under the age of 19 on benefits.

    As part of the changes more than $148 million was being invested in support services aimed at helping young people become independent and not reliant on benefits, Ms Bennett said.

    The changes also saw the introduction of 43 different “youth service” providers, selected through a tendering process.

    The main provider mentioned is an organisation with charity status, called Community Colleges NZ:

    http://www.comcol.ac.nz/

    I’ve never heard of them before, but the name is one that echoes the US community college system (in the UK and Aussie when I worked in the equivalent state provided tertiary sector it was referred to as “further education” and targeted students over 16 years who had failed at school and/or did not have qualifications to go to uni).

    I’m glad that the new provisions put a focus on education and training for beneficiaries, but I’m not happy that it’s been contracted out to a little known organisation that operates largely in only one of NZ’s two main islands.

    Yesterday I commented that the new provisions also include promotion of long term contraceptives for young women:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-20082012/comment-page-1/#comment-510397

    https://provider.midlandshn.health.nz/news/financial-assistance-for-female-beneficiaries-contraception

    rosy also commented that
    So they’ll give teens a controversial long-acting contraception with significant side-effects, including osteoporosis, delayed return to fertility and an increased risk of STDs … but nothing to protect against STDs and HIV infection.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-20082012/comment-page-1/#comment-510778

    She provided this link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depo-Provera

    Why is this not getting wider media coverage and comments from left wing MPs?

    • millsy 6.1

      Another important thing is that these NGO’s have now been brought into the system. Previously, a WINZ ‘client’ could go to these organizations and get help with dealing with the likes of WINZ ie, a youth worker would come to someone’s appointment with WINZ as a support person, etc. Now they are dishing out the money on behalf of the government, they become embedded into the system.

      • Carol 6.1.1

        Stuff has an article (out of Hamilton) and comments section on the changes (nothing about contraception though):
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7513942/Rules-hard-on-jobless-teens-who-want-work

        The thing grabbing attention is something manager Leigh Finlay says and some of the teens confirm off their own bat.

        It’s that a third of them are prepared to tear up their benefit card, shrug off the support of family, friends and Government and wing it to Australia.

        The latest changes to the dole will bring hardship, no question, but it’s really peripheral to any kind of life plan going on in this city basement. They don’t want it, they want the work they can’t find.

        On a Waikato day beaten up with rainstorms, serving in Perth or digging mines in the desert seems way better.

    • Pete 6.2

      Gordon Campbell has a great article on public-private partnerships in this month’s Werewolf.

  7. Te Reo Putake 7

    Dunno if this has been picked up elsewhere, but one of the soldiers killed yesterday had this to say on facebook a few days ago about the PM bunking off to the States instead of doing his job:
     
    “If I was a leader of a country I would attend the funerals of our fallen soldiers….. I wouldn’t be at a f****** baseball game!!”
     
    Ironic that Key will have the last laugh at Corporal Luke Tamatea’s funeral, eh?

    • Carol 7.1

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828343

      One of the three soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Sunday had criticised the Prime Minister for not attending the funerals of two soldiers killed earlier this month.

      Just days before he was killed, Corporal Tamatea voiced his belief that the Prime Minister should have stayed in New Zealand to honour the slain soldiers.

      “If I was a leader of a country I would attend the funerals of our fallen soldiers….. I wouldn’t be at a f****** baseball game!!” he posted on Facebook on August 9.

      • chris73 7.1.1

        http://www.3news.co.nz/Three-Kiwi-soldiers-dead-in-Afghanistan/tabid/423/articleID/265979/Default.aspx#ixzz243uTzRS5

        Heres another viewpoint:

        R.D wrote:

        As a former NZ infantry soldier and having deployed to Afghanistan I believe I can comment on this thread. This year alone I have lost 4 friends in Afghanistan, having served closely with 3 of them, most recently Corporal Tamatea. As sad as the situation is the consensus among all my mates still serving is that the last thing they want is to be withdrawn from theatre. As far as they’re concerned they have a job to do and a duty to uphold which they haven’t fulfilled. To them, 2013 is to soon to come out. All this talk about John Key having no respect? He went to the homes of my friends(Durrer and Malone) and offered his personal condolences then, remember he also has a family and an obligation to them. Ask anybody serving now and they’ll tell you that’s how they feel. On backing Labour because they would prefer that our troops were withdrawn sooner rather than later. We were sent in by labour in the first place, I served in Afghanistan under a Labour government. In summary, as soldiers they know the risks of deploying to such environments as Afghanistan, they know there is a chance they could pay the ultimate price. As a former infantryman I know that Luke would be happy that he died doing what he loved to do- soldiering. He was an excellent operator, with exceptional “soldier skills”. Today there are a lot of heavy hearts in the NZDF because of this tragedy. Mourn for them and their families, and pray that nothing else happens to the rest of our brave men and women serving there but know that they would all rather be there making a difference than here. All my currently serving friends want to deploy to do there part(some again).

        • Ant 7.1.1.1

          or perhaps:

          “If I was a leader of a country I would attend the funerals of our fallen soldiers….. I wouldn’t be at a f****** baseball game!!” he posted on Facebook on August 9.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828343

          • chris73 7.1.1.1.1

            Shock, horror! A large group of people have different views…oh the humanity

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Distraction.

              Its the values the view represents which is important. As you well know. Sorry Mr Key, sometimes you have to be PM first, not Father first.

              I’m glad that Key has already said that nothing will keep him away from the latest funerals. Not rugby, not baseball, not league, not snowboarding, nothing. Good on you for expressing your values as PM.

              • aerobubble

                The question of Key’s non attendance was irrelevant to begin with, a media ‘hot’ issue, not worthy of comment, since that what deputy PMs are for as its understood stopping
                government would be a victory for terrorists.

                The problem with Key is his tendency to popup on TV and smother an issue to breathless boredom, which came across for me, as highly inappropriate give the deaths.

                I suspect soldiers, in theater, all have a good inappropriate rant, again not news.

            • Morrissey 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Shock, horror! A large group of people have different views…oh the humanity

              Polls in the United States show that most Americans believe the U.S. should leave Afghanistan immediately.

              Polls show that an overwhelming percentage of another group of people believes that the foreign troops must leave Afghanistan immediately. That group? The people of Afghanistan.

              Oh, the inhumanity.

              Not that you would care, of course, with your smug right wing certainties.

        • Dr Terry 7.1.1.2

          If Key has such a big obligation to his family, why does he not pull out of his job and give them his full attention? After all, he can afford to!

          • chris73 7.1.1.2.1

            I don’t think hes doing this job for the money.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Agredd.
              Ego, hobby, favours for big business, gongs, meeting celebrities and international players, a nice DPS entourage . . . anything else?

              • Colonial Viper

                Yeah his next level promotion up the Goldman Sachs/JP Morgue/Citi Bankster hierarchy.

        • Fortran 7.1.1.3

          Chris73

          Proud of your comments.
          Thanks, could not have said better.
          I have military family too.

          • chris73 7.1.1.3.1

            Cheers.

            I re-posted it because it’s something I would have like to written myself (I’m not the wordsmith I’d like to be) but I think its important to provide a balance to the (sometimes) OTP reactions of people on here.

          • Morrissey 7.1.1.3.2

            I have military family too.

            Was any of them bullied into handing over Afghani captives to possible torture and summary execution?

    • Blue 7.2

      Well, that disposes of the myth that Key’s fan club were putting about that all the soldiers in Afghanistan were totally supportive of Key’s decision to skip the funerals.

    • RedBlooded 7.3

      Yeah but come hell or high water he’s gonna attend these three funerals, even flagging the Asia Pacific Conference (so work can be missed for a funeral but not baseball) That is, of course, unless Max-a-million’s Tiddle-wink competition clashes. Moveable principles are so hard to keep up with.

  8. Bored 8

    A question: I seem to recall Pollywog was going to sail the ocean on a waka? I saw the waka returning from an epic round Pacific voyage on the News recently. Polly, are you out there? Anybody heard anything?

    • joe90 8.1

      Been wondering about that myself B. Here’s his post about the proposed 2012 voyage and a follow up post but the last activity on his blog was Christmas day last year.

      Mr PW, are you out there?.

    • deuto 8.2

      Great minds and all that …. Having probably heard the same news item yesterday as you, I too was wondering about Pollywog and the journey.

      I have just spent a fascinating half hour on the website for the journey which I found through Joe90′s first link. Seems that the journey has not yet concluded but has been inspirational for all involved. I certainly came away from the link feeling that the world was a much better place and there is hope for the future after all.

      http://www.pacificvoyagers.org/

      Really recommend people go there . Pollywog was/is on the Samoan vessel – Gaualofa.

  9. All welcome – this meeting is open to the public.

    SPEAKING RIGHTS CONFIRMED!
    COME ALONG AND HEAR WHY THE AUCKLAND COUNCIL CEO IS NOT ‘FIT FOR DUTY’.

    Wed 22 August 2012
    10am
    Auckland Town Hall

    _____________________________________________________

    21 August 2012

    Good morning Penny
    Thanks for your request to speak for 5 minutes during the Public Input section of the CEO Review Subcommittee.

    The Committee meets in the Council Chamber on the Ground Floor of the Town Hall at 10.00 am Wednesday, 22 August 2012.

    Regards
    …………| Committee Secretary
    Democracy Services
    ____________________________________________________

    Subject: OPEN LETTER: Request for speaking rights at Auckland Council CEO Review Subcommittee 22 August 2012, 10am Auckland Town Hall.

    17 August 2012

    REQUEST FOR SPEAKING RIGHTS AT THE CEO REVIEW SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING
    to be held on Wednesday 22 August 2012, 10am,
    Council Chambers, Auckland Town Hall, 301-305 Queen Street, Auckland

    SUBJECT MATTER:

    1) The failure of the Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay to meet his statutory duties under s.42 2(e) of the Local Government Act 2002 re:

    “maintaining systems to enable effective planning and accurate reporting of the financial and service performance of the local authority; ”

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0084/latest/DLM171859.html

    LGOIMA REPLY 21 November 2011 from Darryl Griffin (Manager for Democracy Services)

    “The Auckland Council Annual Report:

    1) Is the Auckland Council, in a truly ‘open,transparent and democratically-accountable’ way, going to ensure that citizens and ratepayers of the Auckland region are going to be given the ‘devilish’ detail, so we can see exactly where out rate monies are being spent on private sector consultants and contractors?

    a) Are the names of the consultants/contractors; the scope,term and value of these contracts going to be published in the Auckland Council Annual Report so that they’re available for public scrutiny?

    b) If not – why not?
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    (ANSWER) Not at this stage. There are 5,000 contracts related to 12,500 suppliers.
    To collate and publish these would be a major exercise logistically and cost-wise. ”
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    2) The alleged ‘conflict of interest’ of CEO Doug McKay in being a member of the unelected private lobby group – the Committee for Auckland, in his capacity as CEO of Auckland Council.

    IE: Is the CEO of Auckland Council primarily working in the interests of the public majority of citizens and ratepayers or a private minority of big business /corporate interests?

    http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership/member-organisations

    Doug McKay Chief Executive Officer Auckland Council http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

    (Is this the reason why Auckland Council rates keep going up?

    Because the primary reason for the establishment of the Auckland SUPERCITY was to ensure bigger contracts – for (fewer) but bigger private contractors, an unknown number of which have been awarded to member companies of the Committee for Auckland?)

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    [lprent: Off topic. Moved to OpenMike. ]

  10. freedom 10

    Daises and puppies and marshmallow rainbows
    (will all be explained soon)

    • re above 10.1

      I was sent an FB post this a.m. regarding a bizarre registration at the NZ Registrar of Companies Office. Three attempts to post the following information from my phone resulted in a force close of my browser each time. This has never happened on any page, on any blog, email, comment box, or other net service in the seven months I have had the phone.

      I contacted some people I know who had shared the info and they also had experienced some odd behaviour on their phones, but things seemed ok on their machines. Despite the repeated apparent failure to post from my phone, the miraculous success of the above test, followed by another two failures, I decided that the information would be of enough interest to others that i would walk the six km to my nearest Public Internet connection and try again to share it. Odd thing is, it is obviously a prank registration but how it happened does surely need some explanation;

      search : 3238729 Limited
      or simply: NZ Police Limited

  11. Arthur 11

    Isn’t SERCO lucky not to be on a 90 day trial period.

  12. chris73 12

    This is a really good idea

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/shearer-outsourcing-war.pdf

    Hat tip to whaleoil

    Why has the international community continued to persist with negotiated settlements and even-handedness in cases where one side was clearly at fault? The reason, for the most part, is self interest. Such an approach avoids direct intervention and the subsequent political risks.

    GIVE WAR A CHANCE

    Outright victories, rather than negotiated peace settlements, have ended the greater part of the twentieth century’s internal conflicts.

    The private military sector can allow policymakers to achieve their foreign-policy goals free from the need to secure public approval and safe in the knowledge that should the situation deteriorate, official participation can be fudged.”

    As the political and economic costs of peacekeeping continue to escalate, it may increasingly make sense for multilateral organizations and Western governments to consider outsourcing some aspects of these interventions to the private sector.

    Western countries are more reluctant to intervene militarily in weak states, and their politicians are disinclined to explain casualties to their electorates. Furthermore, Western armies, designed primarily to fight the sophisticated international conflicts envisaged by Cold War strategists, are ill equipped to tackle low-intensity civil wars, with their complicated ethnic agendas, blurred boundaries between combatants and civilians, and loose military hierarchies.

    UN peacekeeping efforts have fallen victim to Western governments’ fears of sustaining casualties, becoming entangled in expanding conflicts, and incurring escalating costs.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      So, you and other RWNJs are saying that governments should just hire mercenaries and tell them to win no matter what and that they should do it this was because the public won’t get to have a say get so upset.

      • chris73 12.1.1

        I’m saying its an idea worth looking into. I’m just surprised that it was David Shearer that came up with it.

        • bad12 12.1.1.1

          Dave reminds me of those who have fried their brains with one too many acid trips, the little ‘private armies thesis’ just adds proof to the assertion,

          it should have been titled, ‘Back to the future with Dave as seen through a multi-coloured prism of light,

          Perhaps subtitled, ‘the acid years, how i went from Mango skins to high public office’…

          • Bored 12.1.1.1.1

            All a rather amusing and ill informed concept. The Italian condotierri experience in the fourteenth century is more than adequate proof that mercenaries are just that, mercenary. They fight for the highest bidder, no moral authority required or practiced. No holds barred if you are paying, and open to any counter bid. It is a sad commentary upon how much we have become subservient to the concept that money can sanction whatever we want, in this case lets “buy” expendable mercenaries rather than risk death for our own people. “Outsource”, make the provision of deadly force contractual.

            • chris73 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Takes a PPE to a whole new level

            • bad12 12.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s an extremely dangerous concept, an army of such a size to be able to pacify something like the ongoing conflict in Somalia still has to be paid for by someone,

              One must assume that Dave sees the UN in the roll of paymaster in this instance,

              However, it would become a lottery if such a force would, after having fulfilled it’s mission be happy just to disband and quietly go home,

              Such a rouge army would simply see a far more profitable future in ‘owning’ which-ever ‘weak’ country it was let loose into…

              • chris73

                I dunno, theres a difference between winning a war and running a country (look at the middle east) far easier to bank the cheque and move on to the next one

                • bad12

                  My point being, what happens to such an army once there is no ‘next one’ to bank the check from???

                  Should that army,(company), decide it need a ‘retirement complex’ while not ‘on contract’ what’s to stop them becoming like the present mercenary army presently masquerading as ‘freedom fighters’ in Syria…

                  • chris73

                    Much easier for a western democratic govt to blitzkrieg a mercenary ruling force I would suspect.

                    Let the mercenary force know exactly what they can do and what would happen if they don’t play ball

                    • bad12

                      Which is simply ridiculous, negating any ‘profit’ from having such a mercenary force in the first place,

                      Exactly the answer you were meant to give of course…

              • gobsmacked

                Yawn. This was dug up 3 years ago by the Nats, to chuck at Shearer in the Mt Albert by-election. Melissa Lee had other plans …

                Next – Chris discovers re-runs of Friends.

    • Mark 12.2

      Isn’t a certain ex Labour MP over there being paid by Herr Klark to corrupt young Afghani boys? Wonder how many “refugees” he will sponsor into West Auckland.

  13. Sadly Kate Wilkinson is doing what many National Ministers do, reinterpreting the law and ensuring the “facts” are shaped to suit their agenda. Considering the amount of stress and anxiety she is causing amongst those of us who care about preserving our natural heritage within our conservation parks I think she should be called the Minister of Consternation.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/kate-wilkinson-minister-of-consternation.html

  14. Carol 14

    Peters has just staged a kind of protest by using a point of order to continually question the truth of John Key’s reply with regard to the Minister of (Overseas Development?) on his explanation to the House on the Wang affair.

    So Peters has been slung out of the House.

    • Carol 14.1

      eh? That’s not the issue Peters was ordered to leave the House over – total mis-representation by Stuff.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7519333/Peters-ejected-as-soldier-tribute-marred

      • deuto 14.1.1

        Agreed, Carol. That is a complete distortion of what happened by Tracey Watkins, who should know better.

        • Carol 14.1.1.1

          The Herald’s report on it is closer to the truth, but omits the questioning of ministerial veracity – the main point Peters was taking issue with:

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828456

          He repeatedly used points of order to question Mr Key’s answers on whether he had confidence in Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson.

          Mr Smith said Mr Peters was incorrectly “litigating” answers using points of order.

          “This is parliament and we’ve just had a serious debate about New Zealanders losing their lives overseas and we carry on like spoiled brats,” Mr Smith said.

          When Mr Peters kept interjecting, he was ordered to leave the house.

          PS: I don’t think peters was acting like a spoilt brat, but, think Peters is just gettin POed with the way Key and co to get away with slippery and untruthful statements, and with the way Lockwood -Smith sometimes protects Key and co from having to answer truthfully.

      • gobsmacked 14.1.2

        That is a disgraceful headline and report by Stuff/Watkins.

        I’m not defending Winston, only the simple facts. It was a row during Question Time, after – and nothing to do with – the tribute to the soldiers.

        Then Steven Joyce was forced to withdraw and apologise by Lockwood. So … “Minister mars tribute to fallen, apologises”. Why not?

        • Carol 14.1.2.1

          OK, It’s been updated – maybe because Peters called a press conference on it. So it now includes Peters criticisms of the government, ….and of Lockwood-Smith:

          The exchange occurred during normal parliamentary business and question time after MPs delivered speeches honouring the dead soldiers. Mr Peters was disputing the way Prime Minister John Key had answered a question.

          Mr Peters called a press conference following his ejection from the House.

          “The New Zealand public, I think, is entitled to answers,” he said.

          NZ First was seeking clarification about the Crafar Farms issue.

          Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson should admit that he misled Parliament, Mr Peters said.

          “We don’t stand around excusing incompetent behaviour in this business, surely?”

          Williamson last week had to correct himself after earlier telling Parliament legal action against Crafar farm bidders Jack Chen and May Wang was over.

          It is not.

          Peters said Prime Minister John Key should consider sacking a minister who could not answer “basic questions” like Williamson.

          And Speaker Lockwood Smith’s behaviour today was “appalling”.

          Peters said his own behaviour was not inappropriate.

          “I’ve been pursuing this issue now for considerable time.”

          He said Smith was being pedantic.

          • Carol 14.1.2.1.1

            And Peters is also critical of Tracy Watkins reporting of the issue:

            http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/fairfax-reporter-gets-it-seriously-wrong

            New Zealand First says Fairfax reporter Tracey Watkins latest diatribe on events in Parliament today is a disgraceful piece of journalism

            He also mentions the tributes to the dead soldiers that he attended, and that he didn’t see Watkins at any of them.

            • gobsmacked 14.1.2.1.1.1

              Instant rebuttal.

              See how it’s done, Labour? Not six meetings and a bland statement tomorrow.

              • Carol

                Yes, and Peters press conference and response seems to confirm my view that Peters wasn’t being a brat, but was staging a bit of a protest aimed at media attention for a government minister misleading the House…. because it was being masked by Key’s slippery response.

  15. joe90 15

    Pussy Riot’s new single: Putin Lights Up the Fires.

    This state may be stronger than time in jail.

    The more arrests, the happier it is.
    Every arrest is carried out with love for the sexist

    Who botoxed his cheeks and pumped his chest and abs.

    But you can’t nail us in the coffin.
    Throw off the yoke of former KGB!

    Putin is lighting the fires of revolution
    He’s bored and scared of sharing silence with the people
    With every execution: the stench of rotten ash
    With every long sentence: a wet dream

    The country is going, the country is going into the streets boldly
    The country is going, the country is going to bid farewell to the regime
    The country is going, the country is going, like a feminist wedge
    And Putin is going, Putin is going to say goodbye like a sheep

    Arrest the whole city for May 6th
    Seven years isn’t enough, give us 18!
    Forbid us to scream, walk and curse!
    Go and marry Father Lukashenko

  16. oh dear, mora is going to have an exCIA on the program talking about lying – as james said they will learn from the torture inflicted on others – that seems morally wrong to me – come on morrissey we need one of your excellent posts on this.

  17. joe90 17

    Theists, revolting people, the whole fucking lot.

    The Theological Roots of Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” Comment.

    • Vicky32 17.1

      Theists, revolting people, the whole fucking lot.

      I was going to fix your sweeping statement, but it’s so extreme as to be unfixable.
      I assume you’re actually bright enough to know that this American Idiot (think Green Day, I am) – doesn’t come close to representing the billions of theists in the world…
      As soon as I saw the word ‘Calvinist’ in that woman’s article, I felt ill – which is how Calvinism makes me feel… but I don’t know if you can even grasp that there is a difference, let alone what it is.

  18. Rosie 18

    Last week Bill wrote an article on the reality of living on a sickness benefit, in response to Shearer’s inappropriate and ill considered remark regarding the sickness beneficiary painting his roof. In the following comments some one asked Bill for his permission to post his article on Red Alert, which he gave, and hence it was posted. Today’s online Dom Post has published an article counterting beneficiary bashing. It’s written by a Labour Party member and tax lecturer at Massey

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7512486/People-who-need-a-benefit-should-get-it

    I wonder if the author has been reading Red Alert……………………

    • chris73 18.1

      More likely to have been reading the standard…

    • aerobubble 18.2

      Bennett claims poverty is alright since kids just drop back over the line into non-poverty.
      so that’s okay right. What did they get a job, any chimneys to sweep gov???
      Or did they get a benefit stand down, and were without food….
      Bennett ‘out’ as best I can peg it, is that she did not breach privacy because she
      just hazarded the guess about the two beneficiaries entitlements she exposed,
      doing so however required her to count the children, which means invading their
      privacy, but even that, since using the wrong information is still a breach as we
      can’t check the figures, their private damnit. which means that citizens rightly
      fear the MSD exposing their information, as they have no way to remedy the
      matter, Key and Bennett both are happy that no breach occurred.
      Its a sad day for parliament that such obvious misleading goes on there., I mean
      how seriously can we believe it, that the privacy took such a long time to
      declare nothing untoward occurred, that they released their report the same
      day a gold medalist was found guilt of cheapening the Olympics by having taken
      drugs. When even a impartial commissioner knows how weaselly Keys government
      is, and need to frame the timing of the release, leaving poor Bennett hanging for
      months. And don’t get me started on Joyce, what a numbskull, his prescription
      to weather a rain storm is to strip off and do a dance for more rain.

    • deuto 18.3

      Hi Rosie

      Just saying at 5 above provided a link to a blog by Giovanni Tiso which I think you would appreciate. Deborah Russell, the author of the Stuff opinion piece which you refer to, is one of the commentors on Giovanni’s blog which led me to read her article which I thought was well written and thought out IMO. Also hope that she will replace Richard Long, currently on leave, for a very long time!

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    I’ve seen pretty diagrams like this before, now where was it it? Oh, I know, it was here.

    • QoT 19.1

      Draco! How dare you question the Holy Septagram of Innovation! At least they managed not to embed any highlighted spelling errors in this one. But then, that’s because Innovation has nothing to do with any pesky second official languages we may have …

  20. gobsmacked 20

    I’d tried to debate this on several threads, but people (hello BM, DJ, Steve W, etc) just disappear when asked.

    So, once more –

    Is an early withdrawal from Afghanistan “cut and run”?

    Why is it “running away from terrorists” if proposed by the opposition, but “managed redeployment” (or other euphemism) if decided by Key? Why aren’t the troops staying until 2014? Or late 2013?

    If you want them to stay, please say so, and why. Then e-mail the PM.

  21. Ianmac from Vietnam 21

    Noticed on BBC News last night that Australia have introduced a “world first” beneficiary debit card. Only certain shops may be used to purchase certain goods. Alcohol is not allowed. Some cash is also given.
    Wise use of taxpayers money or an insult to beneficiaries?

    • chris73 21.1

      A good start but will probably require some tweaking

    • muzza 21.2

      Its a slippery slope that one….

    • Vicky32 21.3

      Noticed on BBC News last night that Australia have introduced a “world first” beneficiary debit card.

      I had heard that on BBC WS radio yesterday.. Isn’t that what the youth benefit card is? The same thing?

      • Ianmac from Vietnam 21.3.1

        Same principle Vicky but in Australia it seems that all Beneficiaries are on it, not just youth. As for “world first’ ???

  22. aerobubble 22

    I worried about the Wellington lawn, all those evil protestors destroying the place….
    …but wait, if only they’d driven madly around wellington sticking their bums out the
    window. Seriously though, when does a gathering become a riot? when the participates
    use their cars threatening, to disturb, to raise all hell? Yes, I fed up with being harassed,
    this time a car at around 3.30am this morning, I recorded myself sleeping and a car was way
    louder than my snoring – which can be beached whale loud. These boring people who
    rework their cars to mimic v8 motors are really creepy, they push the pedal to the
    metal and then you hear of kids being hit in driveways, as some dick needed to make
    his point about their lack of virility by slamming on the speed… my 2 cents.

    • Rosie 22.1

      Feel for you there aerobubble. My new neighbourhood has FWits with dancefloor speakers installed in their BMW 4WD’s and Mercs that make it sound like an earthquake is coming. The chorus usually builds between 7-9am and 5-10pm weekdays and peaks all weekend long but also occurs at random hours post midnight – 6am. Are they boy racers? The odd one is but mainly they are brattish wealthy ill mannered ‘people’ from the flash end of the hood. There may be a recession but some are profiting, and they’re showing off their toys in the tackiest and most annoying way possible. Like JK’s lot from the 80′s.

      • aerobubble 22.1.1

        Its worse than tacky, its anger, its leads to aggressive vehicular behavior, kids run over in
        driveways, kid run over, kids driving into power polls and trees. Its happen before, they were
        called I believe, Dandies. People who need attention but unlike Mods and rockers have no
        actual artists ability, but unlike Dandies their street ballet culture leads to vehicles being
        used as toys rather than the actual weapon they are. Laws in this country do not reflect
        the harm a vehicle even at low speed can do, if people went around wield a hammer to
        get attention (without actually harming anyone, just waving it), Police who lock them up.
        Yet do the same with a car, and its a lifestyle choice. Humbug,

  23. Draco T Bastard 23

    So an OIA request was made to see where John Key got his costings of how much the looter bonus would cost. The reply was, paraphrasing, John Key made up unrealistic figures to show that the MSM were being unrealistic.

  24. lprent 24

    Fixing a problem with some of the caching. Hopefully the odd effects from today are now gone.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      Definitely gone batty. My reply to Carol had FireFox asking for a security certificate (The address was showing https:) and clicking reply to do this message has the comments all over the place (Picture worth a thousand words).

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        And the edit function seems broken as well.

        This is the message I’m getting with the security cert request:

        thestandard.org.nz uses an invalid security certificate.

        The certificate is only valid for the following names:
        ssl2137.cloudflare.com , todaperfeita.com.br , *.bestchromerims.com , *.boxpn.com , *.cakinberk.com , *.flipviewer.com , *.hosthorde.com , *.mbx.com , *.mikro.com , *.staskulesh.com , *.techhounds.net , *.todaperfeita.com.br , bestchromerims.com , boxpn.com , cakinberk.com , flipviewer.com , hosthorde.com , mbx.com , mikro.com , staskulesh.com , techhounds.net

        (Error code: ssl_error_bad_cert_domain)

        • David H 24.1.1.1

          Yeah I am getting the same problem also the site loading is a bit of a lottery as well as to what I will get and thats between pages and I too have the same security cert problem as well..

      • lprent 24.1.2

        Ok. That should fix it. Turned all SSL off (and I have no idea how it got turned on).

        The cache was getting severely mucked up earlier today on mobiles so I killed all of the caches. Seems to be taking some time to get operational. That SSL option has a strange set of effects when on. In particular the SSL between cloudflare and the main server

  25. Anne 25

    No. It’s gone batts.

    I’m a pc dummy so can’t tell you what’s wrong. All I can say is: there’s a heading ‘OUT NOW’ followed by ‘CD/DVD/DIGITAL’ and a thing that says ‘FLY MY PRETTIES’. From there it’s all over the place -hard to follow. :shock:

  26. captain hook 26

    anyway how is the PM’s carbon fotprint after jettingoff to the US last wekend.
    how many trips has he made to the US this year?

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Stuart’s 100: #2 Whitcoulls Queen Street
    Urban designer Stuart Houghton has set himself a personal project of coming up with 100 ideas for improving Auckland at the rate of one a day. He is Tweeting them here: @HoughtonSd  Discussing this project with Stuart he said that “I see the city is...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • The OIA and the Statutes Amendment Bill
    Back in February the government introduced a Statutes Amendment Bill to make numerous "technical, short, and non-controversial" amendments to legislation. The bill included several amendments to the OIA and LGOIMA which I thought fell into that category. The bill was...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How We Solve The Income Inequality Problem
    click here for some very good ideas from the New Economics Foundation...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • How to make farmers clean up their act
    Order them to stop milking until they've fixed their effluent problems:A Thames farming company has been hit with a $47,000 fine and ordered to stop milking until it fixed the overflowing effluent system at its Kopu farm. The order came...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • The Truth About What Keeps People In Poverty From Those Who Live It
    Click here to read this report from the Family 100 Research Project July 2014...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Eye Candy, Window Dressing and Deep Pockets.
    I came back from six weeks abroad to see the beginning of the Internet Party’s “party party” launches. It leaves me with some questions. It seems that what the Internet Party has done is this. Using Kim Dotcom’s wallet as...
    Kiwipolitico | 29-07
  • Wealth, Income and Inequality in Australia.
    worth a read click here...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • World News Brief, Tuesday July 29
    Top of the AgendaLull in Gaza as Pressure for Cease-Fire Mounts...
    Pundit | 29-07
  • National’s roads are pure pork
    Last month the government announced it would be spending $212 million on regional roads. Every single one of the priority projects (and eight of nine lower priority projects) is in a National-held electorate, which suggested immediately that this was pre-election...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
    Declan Waugh is a self-proclaimed “scientist and fluoride researcher” who seems to spend all his time misrepresenting and distorting  scientific literature and health data to promote his anti-fluoride cause. Waugh has an avid following, among fellow anti-fluoride activists and propagandists. The...
    Open Parachute | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • New Fisk
    It's not just radicalised Islamists - what about foreign fighters who flock to the other side?...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How we should deal with rorting MPs
    Prosecute them for theft:Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries. But three...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • July 14 AT Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport Board is meeting today and as usual I’ve had a look through the papers to see if there is anything interesting. Below is the collection of items or comments that caught my eye. The rest of this...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • Powerful and Cold-hearted
    click here to read this compelling article ...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Wilkinson and Picket Lectures in New Zealand
    Click here to get these lectures. Folks who missed the Douglas Robb lectures last month can view them here l...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • The Changing Priorities Of Protest
    The Changing Face Of Protest: In marked contrast to the theologically- and ideologically-driven protest movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contemporary protest, like this demonstration against the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, tends to be led by those whose stake in...
    Bowalley Road | 29-07
  • Why Voters Aren’t Angrier About Economic Inequality
    This is the USA but there are strong parallels here in New zealand ...
    Closing the Gap | 28-07
  • Goodbye Nick Smith
    On the back of recently trying to silence DOC over their concerns about the impact of the Ruataniwha irrigation project on water quality in central Hawke's Bay, Nick Smith is once again bullying a statuary body with threats that clearly...
    The Jackal | 28-07
  • Minister for Conservation of What?
    Attendees at the Fish and Game council’s hui earlier this month raised concerns over Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s attempt to reduce their ability to advocate for freshwater quality. The Minister is said to have implied that he would restructure the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 28-07
  • New Zealand’s Southern Alps have lost a third of their ice
    This article by Jim Salinger, University of Auckland; Blair Fitzharris, University of Otago, and Trevor Chinn, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was first published at The Conversation. The photo at left shows the calving face of the Tasman...
    Hot Topic | 28-07
  • Speaker: Jim’s Festival
    As he did last year, Jimmy Rae Brown has been ushering and assisting at the New Zealand International Film Festival. This means he gets to see quite a few films -- the ones he works at and the ones he...
    Public Address | 28-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . .   .   References Radio NZ:  Deals show contempt,...
    Frankly Speaking | 28-07
  • Hard News: Media Take: In the Eye of the Storm
    I'm flying solo on this week's Media Take -- for a very good reason. My colleague and co-host Toi Iti had an engagement in the Urewera on Sunday. He was present when Police Commissioner Mike Bush visited six whanau --...
    Public Address | 28-07
  • COLOURFUL PROTEST CAPTURES DISGUST AT ISRAEL GOVT
    Gaza Massacre draws thousands to protest in Auckland, New Zealand. Snoopman, July 29 2014 Spirited DissentBetween 3000-5000 humans blocked Auckland’s Queen St on Saturday July 26 to protest the Zionist Israeli government’s bombing of Gaza. Organizers called for an end...
    Snoopman News | 28-07
  • Clash of opinion
    Here's Andrea Vance talking sensibly about the Conservative no-deal yesterday: Prime Minister John Key used his own code yesterday to kill off the Conservatives' chances of getting into Parliament. There will be no cup-of-tea deal for Colin Craig in East...
    Polity | 28-07
  • A musical interlude
    Every couple of months a bunch of my friends meet up for an ‘under-appreciated music appreciation society’ in which we play each other songs based on a theme. On Sunday we covered ‘covers that are better than the original’ and...
    DimPost | 28-07
  • A musical interlude
    Every couple of months a bunch of my friends meet up for an ‘under-appreciated music appreciation society’ in which we play each other songs based on a theme. On Sunday we covered ‘covers that are better than the original’ and...
    DimPost | 28-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    Frankly Speaking | 28-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    Frankly Speaking | 28-07
  • Environmental effects of an Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing
    The additional Waitemata Harbour crossing is a crazy project for a variety of reasons. The blog has noted before that the project is both completely unaffordable and totally unnecessary because of the lack of the actual benefits when you look...
    Transport Blog | 28-07
  • Finding the right door to catch a flight
    Why must the Minister of Transport go through airport security? Do we seriously think he will storm the cockpit and knife the pilots? Will he blow the plane up? It’s a matter of form. First, as the boss of air...
    Colin James | 28-07
  • ASEAN and America: Partners for the Future
    Speech – US Department Of State Remarks Daniel R. Russel Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Commonwealth Club San Francisco, CA As Prepared for DeliveryASEAN and America: Partners for the Future July 28, 2014 RemarksDaniel R. Russel...
    Its our future | 28-07
  • Podesta Leads U.S. Delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum
    Press Release – US Department Of State Counselor to the President John Podesta will lead a high-level U.S. Government delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum Post Forum Dialogue (PIF PFD) on August 1 in Koror, Palau, to highlight and build...
    Its our future | 28-07
  • Fiji: Five year climate change project reviewed
    Press Release – SPREP Regional five year climate change adaptation project reviewed in Fiji this week 28 July 2014, Nadi, Fiji – The wide-ranging impact of the Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change Project was highlighted this morning at the opening...
    Its our future | 28-07
  • Podesta Leads U.S. Delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum
    Press Release – US Department Of State Counselor to the President John Podesta will lead a high-level U.S. Government delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum Post Forum Dialogue (PIF PFD) on August 1 in Koror, Palau, to highlight and build...
    Its our future | 28-07
  • Making the past strange: Justine Fletcher’s ’607′
    It begins with a list of 607 names, and you might not know who they are and what it means. So perhaps the point of the exercise is how to restore that meaning. Because each one of the names, taken...
    Bat bean beam | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game
    Intimidator-in-Chief: For eight years Dr Nick Smith has attempting to convince voters that he is the National Party's chief point of environmental resistance; the one brave voice raised in opposition to the milk-before-water lobbyists of Fonterra and Federated Farmers. Now we...
    Bowalley Road | 28-07
  • Regional roading omnishambles
    As soon as I saw the details on National’s $212 million regional roads package, I knew something was amiss. National has a history of funding economically dodgy road projects because, well, because they just love the smell of bitumen in...
    Polity | 28-07
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s electorate deals
    Column – Gordon Campbell For all the talk yesterday from Prime Minister John Key about National being transparent about its electorate deals in Epsom and Ohariu, that transparency is entirely front-loaded. Yes, we know a lot about how Act and...
    Gordon Campbell | 28-07
  • Capture: Te Arai – The Veil
    Capture is pleased to present a selection of the work of Tia Huia Ranginui, a photographic artist from Whanganui. "'Te Arai' (The Veil) is a series of photographs of my daughter on our journey home from the Coromandel peninsula.Our journey...
    Public Address | 28-07
  • Adventures in the Anthropocene
    Science journalist Gaia Vince left her desk at Nature and spent two years visiting places around the world, some of them very isolated, where people were grappling with the conditions of what is sometimes described as a new epoch, the...
    Hot Topic | 28-07
  • The inflationary impact of road spend-ups
    It’s time for a quick round of everyone’s favourite game, Ask An Economist. Today’s question is: What happens when the government decides to spend up large in a growing economy? If you guessed that the answer is that it will...
    Transport Blog | 28-07
  • I did not order this – again
    I originally posted this back in September 2013. The passage of time is relentless, but some things, and people, don't ever seem to change....
    Imperator Fish | 28-07
  • Nigel Lawson suggests he’s not a skeptic, proceeds to deny global war...
    Nigel Lawson is the chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation; a political group that regularly releases selective scientific reports about climate change. The organization consistently tries to argue that concerns about global warming – concerns that are based on...
    Skeptical Science | 28-07
  • Another 1945?
    Steve Richards (The Guardian, 28 July) is right to say (and Ed Miliband obviously agrees with him) that next year’s election will not, and should not, be decided by personality politics. So what is it that will determine the voters’...
    Bryan Gould | 28-07
  • Stuart’s 100: #1 Transforming the Motorway Ring
    Urban designer Stuart Houghton has set himself a personal project of coming up with 100 ideas for improving Auckland at the rate of one a day. He is Tweeting them here: @HoughtonSd  Discussing this project with Stuart he said that “I see the city...
    Transport Blog | 28-07
  • No deal
    Its official: National won't be cutting an electorate deal with the Conservatives this election. I guess they figured out that a Colin Craig - Winston Peters deathmatch in East Coast Bays might not go their way - or that snuggling...
    No Right Turn | 28-07
  • Earning that reputation XIV
    Another year, and the Remuneration Commission proposes another increase in MP's expenses. But the MPs don't think its enough: A review of expenses by the Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs' pay, is proposing the amount they are allowed to claim...
    No Right Turn | 28-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 | Press Release Like New Zealand chose to go nuclear free, we can add to our national...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville
    Harré: It’s Game on in Helensville Internet Party Leader Laila Harré will stand in John Key’s Helensville electorate because “the Prime Minister has some explaining to do”. Ms Harré wants to debate Mr Key at candidate meetings in his own...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Ministers condemned for failing to meet Papuan journalist
    West Papua Action Auckland is shocked that that Ministers Coleman and Tolley have decided against giving even a brief time to meet with visiting Papuan journalist Victor Mambor (Chair of the Papua Chapter of the Association of Independent Journalists...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Cliff Curtis Apolitical
    While I respect my cousin Annette Sykes commitment in engaging in the political process, I do not endorse or support any political party. I respect all candidates who make the commitment to stand for political office. It requires and takes...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • National getting students into science
    National Party Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop today supported the government’s launch of A Nation of Curious Minds: He Whenua Hirihi I te Mahara, a programme to boost community involvement in the science sector....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • NZ NGOs respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
    NZ NGOs are responding to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip with news today of an upsurge in violence and an increasing number of civilian casualties....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement
    ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement David Seymour, ACT Candidate for Epsom 29/07/2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Colin Craig (sic) Launches New Website
    Colin Craig today advised that his web presence was not large enough, especially when compared to similarly polling parties such as the Internet/Mana Party. “After extensive discussion and advice from my full time legal team, and my IT part timer...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Spat between Minister Smith and Fish and Game overdue – ACT
    With the latest spat between Minister Nick Smith and Fish and Games Bryce Johnston hitting fever pitch, ACT Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson says a review of the Fish and Game legislation will be an ACT ambition in the next...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Maori King challenges Ngapuhi leader to front up
    Following his strong condemnation of the Maori King, Tuheitia yesterday, Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has received a challenge this afternoon from prominent Kingitanga [King Movement] supporter Mamae Takerei....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Speech to Waikato Conference: Race has no place in law
    David Cunliffe recently apologised to a Women’s Refuge symposium: “I don't often say it – I'm sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.” The Prime Minister accused Cunliffe of being insincere....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Greg Campbell Chief Executive of Wellington Regional Council
    Chair of Wellington Regional Council, Fran Wilde today announced the appointment of Greg Campbell as Chief Executive of the Council. Greg Campbell will take up the role in September following the departure of outgoing Chief Executive David Benham...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
Images of the election
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere