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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?

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