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Open mike 28/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 28th, 2012 - 93 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…

93 comments on “Open mike 28/08/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    Leftists around the world have been attacking the Arab spring and the overthrow of bloodthirsty dictators by the Arab peoples of the Middle East.

    To justify their support for butchers and torturers they have engaged in personal attacks slander and character assassination. But their main line of attack is to try and characterise the people’s revolts in the Middle East, as a “US and Western backed invasion”.

    It is well documented that during the cold war the US on a number of occasions on three continents supplied forces they supported, with the the ‘Stinger’ the highly effective shoulder launched anti-aircraft weapon. Ronald Reagan for instance supplied them to anti-communist Unita rebels in Angola.

    However, the first and best documented occasion was the war in Afghanistan.

    From Wikipedia:

    According to Crile, who includes information from Alexander Prokhanov, the Stinger was a “turning point”.[6] Milt Bearden saw it as a “force multiplier” and morale booster.[6] Charlie Wilson, the congressman behind US Operation Cyclone, described the first StingerMi-24 shootdowns in 1986 as one of the three crucial moments of his experience in the war, saying “we never really won a set piece battle before September 26, and then we never lost one afterwards”.[13][14] He was given the first spent Stinger tube as a gift and kept it on his office wall.

    Faster than any military jet with a speed of mach 5, heat seeking stinger missiles that zero in on jet and helicopter exhausts would clear the skies of Syria.

    The battlefield leveling effect of the stinger was the main reason for the investment in expensive counter measures like the stealth fighters and bombers.

    To back their claims that the US is behind the rebels, supporters of the Bashar Assad regime claim against all evidence, that the US through Turkey has also supplied the Free Syrian Army with stingers.

    http://www.scoopit.co.nz/story.php?title=syrian-opposition-gets-first-stingers

    If the above report carried by Scoop.co.nz wasn’t a lie, Then – As in the war against the Soviets in Aghanistan Western supplied ‘Stingers’ would be a game changer, allowing the rebels to shoot down jets and helicopters turning the tide of the war.

    It is only the regime’s air superiority that has kept their forces in the field allowing them to massacre at will even in the liberated areas.

    Quite possibly, just knowing that these very effective shoulder fired anti- aircraft weapons were in the hands of the rebels could ground the Syrian regime’s airforce.

    With the removal of air superiority the war would be over and the suffering of the Syrian people would be alleviated.

    Unfortunately this story carried on a major left website was a complete fabrication.

    Not a single Stinger has been delivered to the rebels leaving the civilian population vulnerable to merciless bombardment from the air and the rebels powerless to defend them.

    • muzza 1.1

      “civilian population vulnerable to merciless bombardment from the air and the rebels powerless to defend them”

      If only you understood how damaging your well intentioned, yet badly directed energy is for those you purport to be “defending”!

    • Rosie 1.2

      Hi Jenny,

      Hey, I’ve got to say your comments often leave me feeling baffled and I usually don’t respond. However your sense of outrage on Open Mike on Saturday regarding Anders Breivik being deemed not psychologically unwell was quite upsetting as you automatically assumed that monsters like him must be mentally unwell, therefore demonising all people who are suffering from mental illness. I don’t know if you read my responses. I hope you did because its important you learn about the reality of mental illness (in a clinical and social sense) Vs violent criminal activity.

      Now you are saying that lefties ‘have been attacking the Arab Spring and the overthrow of dictators………’ Are you familiar with the Occupy movement? The Arab Spring was the entire inspriration for the movement. It was the courage of the Arab people to stand up to dictators that encouraged people in NY and later all around the world to stand up against our western capitalist system, albeit different from systems in the East but damaging non the less. As the movement progressed the people of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt stood with the Occupy movement and gave talks about reclaiming democracy. There was a strong sense of solidarity between the Arab community and the entire Occupy Movement.
      Thats just one example but even so, how can you say Leftists would attack freedom form oppression when thats an aim that is close to many lefties hearts?

      • Jackal 1.2.1

        +1 You’ll note that Jenny won’t be able to supply any references to back up her grossly incorrect generalizations regarding leftists attacking the Arab spring. She/he is also likely wrong about the Syrian rebels having ground to air missiles.

        • grumpy 1.2.1.1

          Correct on both points.

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          Actually, from recollection of my uni foreign policy papers, the issue with the stingers was that it was a tacit admission of direct and strong US support against the soviets (stingers at the time being state of the art restricted weapons), a decision that went to Reagan. The stinger decision was basically a statement of “our wallet vs yours”.

        • Jenny 1.2.1.3

          …..You’ll note that Jenny won’t be able to supply any references to back up her grossly incorrect generalizations regarding leftists attacking the Arab spring. She/he is also likely wrong about the Syrian rebels having ground to air missiles.

          Jackal

          According to a Reuters report carried by Stuff.co.nz, the helicopter was brought down after hovering above the city for over an hour.

          “It was flying over the eastern part of the city and firing all morning,” an activist calling himself Abu Bakr told Reuters from near where the helicopter came down in the suburb of Qaboun. “The rebels had been trying to hit for about an hour,” he said. “Finally they did.”……

          Although rebel commanders have asked foreign allies for anti-aircraft missiles, Western nations are unwilling to supply such weapons for fear of them falling into hostile hands. There was no indication fighters in Damascus had used any missiles.

          Reuters

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/7559188/Syrian-helicopter-shot-down-in-Damascus

          Helicopters being relatively slow moving and flying at low altitudes are vulnerable to sustained small arms fire, and can be brought down if a bullet strikes a vulnerable spot.

          Which is probably what happened here.

          • Jackal 1.2.1.3.1

            There has been more than just one helicopter shot down Jenny, and multiple reports of the Syrian rebels having surface to air missiles. As far as I can tell, there’s no reason for them to lie about such a thing?

            • mike e 1.2.1.3.1.1

              According to news reports sryrian rebels have adapted a long range artillary gun into an anti aircraft gun.

            • Jenny 1.2.1.3.1.2

              There has been more than just one helicopter shot down Jenny, and multiple reports of the Syrian rebels having surface to air missiles.

              Jackal

              I call you on this bullshit, Jackal. How about some evidence? Do you have any, or do you just make this stuff up out of spite.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        Are you familiar with the Occupy movement? The Arab Spring was the entire inspriration for the movement. It was the courage of the Arab people to stand up to dictators that encouraged people in NY and later all around the world to stand up against our western capitalist system, albeit different from systems in the East but damaging non the less. As the movement progressed the people of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt stood with the Occupy movement…..

        Rosie

        Hi Rosie, I notice that you didn’t include Syria in your list of countries involved in the Arab Spring. Would you like to explain why?

        • Rosie 1.2.2.1

          Lordy Jenny, this is really getting out of hand.

          You ask why Syria wasn’t included in my list of countries involved in the Arab spring.

          Ok. I was talking about the Occupy movement and their solidarity with the Arab communitites inside America and in the middle east. I wasn’t talking about Syria as such. I was going by memory of the talks I listened to, live online and I remember speakers respresenting Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. My memory is going back to September, October 2011. Given that the civil uprising in Syria gained steam around mid March 2011 it is quite possible that there were Syrian people represented at the Occupy camp and actions. Amazingly, I can’t remember every detail from that time. I wasn’t watching the livestream 24 – 7 either. I was trying to illustrate to you that the Left is about freedom from oppression, using the Occupy movement as one recent example of left solidarity with the Arab spring. And I certianly don’t want a fight with you.

          However you are welcome to trawl through archive footage here if you want to find out if Occupy stood alongside Syria.

          http://occupywallst.org/

          • weka 1.2.2.1.1

            “Lordy Jenny, this is really getting out of hand.”

            You can say that again.

          • Jenny 1.2.2.1.2

            Hi Rosie, I think we may be talking at cross purposes here.

            I see that you agree that the occupy movement is modeled on the Arab Spring. Which is the case.

            From this I take it that you agree that the Arab spring was one of the greatest popular democratic social movements in history.

            But do you agree that the Syrian people’s initially peaceful protests were an extension of the Arab Spring?

            Do you know that the protesters initial demands were for democratic reforms not for the overthrow of the regime?

            Do you agree that Bashar Assad cognisant at what had happened to the dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya decided very early on to try and drown this movement in blood?

            Do you agree that to defend themselves against mass detention and torture and mass murder that the Syrian people had no choice but to rise up and attempt to overthrow the dictator?

            Rosie, imagine if you can, that instead of just arresting and fining the Occupy protesters, the New Zealand government had ordered the police and the army to shoot them down. Detaining and torturing and murdering the families of soldiers and police who refused to carry out these orders and instead deserted.

            Who would you support? The protesters and the deserters or the government?

            When people are being killed there is no middle ground.

    • vto 1.3

      Bit difficult to understand exactly what you are saying through your discussion of stingers. Are you saying that the US is right to interfere in all of those middle east countries? That the US invasions and incursions are justified? That the British, Italian and Frenh invasions are justified?

      That the US is justified in killing more people every year than any other nation, but that others are bloodthirsty?

      • Jenny 1.3.1

        Bit difficult to understand exactly what you are saying through your discussion of stingers.

        vto

        Hi vto. What I am saying is that Western leftists who support Bashar Assad are not above lying to back up their treacherous depiction of the people’s revolt in Syria as a Western/US backed “invasion”.

    • grumpy 1.4

      The success of the rebels in Syria would only begin a new round of “suffering” for the Syrian people.

      • Jenny 1.4.1

        “Which side are you on?
        Which side are you on?
        One’s right and one’s wrong
        Which side are you on?

        Blogger dies calling for world wide protests against the regime

        Blogger Rami al-Saidr pays the ultimate price for Freedom

        http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/bloggers-lament-the-ultimate-sacrifice-for-freedom/

        Rami al-Said was reporting from the Syrian city of Homs – which as most of us know by now – is being pounded to rubble by a mad dictator’s army. Rami al-Said refused to leave, and instead chose to report on the genocide that was taking place.

        One of Rami al-Said’s last posts on his Facebook page stated,

        ”Baba Amro [a suburb of Homs] is being wiped out now, complete genocide, I don’t want you to tell us our hearts are with you because I know that, I want projects everywhere inside and outside I want everyone to go out in front of the embassies in al…l countries everywhere because we are soon to be nothing, there will be no more Baba Amr – I expect this is a final letter to you and we will not forgive you.”

        • Jenny 1.4.1.1

          Civilian correspondents with no diplomatic immunity, armed with nothing more than cameras are bravely trying to document what is happening in Syria.

          While the UN observers with State of the art body armour and diplomatic status, with access to the authorities and entitled to carry arms for personal protection, ans presumably, with far more freedom of movement than any civilian correspondent, have left Syria. Leaving the regime to it’s own devices.

          So much for Western support for the rebels.

          Immediately after the UN and our New Zealand troops departure, the regime began staging a nazi style pogrom in Damascus. Conducting house to house raids, dragging men and boys out of their homes and executing them in the street.

          http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-army-batters-parts-damascus-40-killed-115056556.html

          In tactics reminiscent of the Nazi assault on the Warsaw ghetto, columns of soldiers hiding behind tanks entered Damascus suburbs raiding houses and summarily executing those they capture.

          If the the UN observers had remained they could demand the right to investigate this war crime, instead, they have high tailed it.

          Unconfirmed reports claim a prominent Syrian journalist Mohamad Saeed al Odeh who had expressed sympathy for the anti-Assad revolt has been executed in the round up.

          Journalists are a particular threat to the regime because they expose the false narrative that the revolt is Western and/or Al Qaida plot.

          A Reuters report directly links the latest attacks to the exit of the UN observer mission.

          The army has this week used tanks and helicopter gunships in an offensive around Damascus that coincided with the departure of U.N. military observers….

          Activists in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya said Assad’s forces had killed 86 people there since Monday, half of them by execution. It was not possible to verify that report….

          ….One of the dead was named as Mohammad Saeed al Odeh, a journalist employed at a state-run newspaper who was sympathetic to the anti-Assad revolt. Activists said he had been executed in Nahr Eisha….

          While the UN observers and our troops, have scuttled off…..

          Civilian correspondents with no diplomatic immunity, armed with nothing more than cameras, have remained, to bravely document what is happening in Syria.

          Before they left the United Nations had estimated that;

          …more than 18,000 people have been killed in what has become a civil war after the state’s violent response to peaceful street protests triggered an armed rebellion in the pivotal Arab country.

          If apologists for the Assad regime like Colonial Viper had their way this latest massacre would be carried out right across Syria and not just the small area that Assad controls at present.

          • Jenny 1.4.1.1.1

            From a country listed as the most dangerous place on earth for reporters, with more than 13 reporters killed by the regime.

            More reports from indominatable Kiwi reporter Anita McNaught risking her life inside Syria.

            http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/aleppo-rebels-retreat-from-the-bigger-bombs-dropped-by-jets/

            Well away from the extra judicial killings and torture and mass murder and detention that characterise this regime, Assad apologist Colonial Viper attacks McNaught.

            In making excuses for torturers and mass murder Colonial Viper, goes to great lengths to discredit Anita McNaught’s reporting of events. Trying to throw mud on her reputation, Colonial Viper ganging up with another Assad apologist Bad 12 suggests that McNaught could have remotely set off a bomb to make it appear that she was in danger.

            bad12…
            7 August 2012 at 1:14 am

            the fact tho that the propagandarists can arrange a huge explosion as the punctuation to McNaughts emotive bullshit, shows they do have some organizational ability,

            Since when is such emotive bullshit Journalism???…

            Reply

            Jenny…
            7 August 2012 at 1:46 am

            I might remind you bad, that, that was a real tank shell that landed near McNaught.

            If you think something like that can be scripted, then you are deeply into the conspiracy theory alternate nut-job universe.

            Reply

            Colonial Viper…
            7 August 2012 at 1:52 am

            place a shell 200m away and when you need it, set it off with a small charge.

            Indulging in character assassination, Colonial Viper also suggests that McNaught has surrendered her journalistic integrity to her employers.

            http://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/al-jazeera-speaks-to-captured-secret-police-in-northern-syria/

            Jenny1.3.1
            6 August 2012 at 10:42 pm

            Kiwi reporter Anita McNaught interview of captured Syrian Secret Police officers responsible for the shooting of unarmed protesters and responsible for over a hundred ‘disappeared’ civilian detainees.

            Reply

            Colonial Viper1.3.1.1
            6 August 2012 at 11:22 pm

            Frak off Jenny. You’re a pro-war activist.

            Reply

            Jenny1.3.1.1.1
            7 August 2012 at 1:29 am

            And you are a supporter of mass murder and torturer, terribly offended that those long victimised by your hero are hitting back.

            Reply

            Colonial Viper1.3.2
            6 August 2012 at 11:26 pm

            Al Jazeera is owned and funded by Qatari royalty. Who happen to be major American allies in the region, as well as hosting a major US military base on their soil.

            Reply

            Jenny1.3.2.1
            6 August 2012 at 11:45 pm

            CV, does your smear that Al Jazeera is bought and sold, also apply to Anita McNaught?

            Reply

            Colonial Viper1.3.2.1.1
            6 August 2012 at 11:47 pm

            is she being paid by them?

            Who do you believe the people of Syria as interviewed by Anita McNaught or the dictator of Syria and his Western apologists like Colonial Viper?

            Who do you believe an aggressive foul mouthed anonymous nobody with no experience of Syria or the Middle East, or Anita McNaught risking her life to uncover the truth?

  2. Carol 3

    Today the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) report will be released, apparently. In anticipation of this Tim Watkin and Bomber have posts on the poverty issue:

    http://www.tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/the-death-of-nz-egalitarianism.html

    Figures released on Thursday show 21% of children now living in poverty, median household incomes fell 3% while the richest amongst us had their salaries soar leading us to having the highest levels of inequality on record.

    How much did the wealthy gain? The average increase in 2011 for executives was $28, 311. That pay rise is more than a minimum wage worker earns in a year, and it get’s better for CEO’s. In 2011 our richest bosses earned on average 22.5 times more than the workers working for them.

    Borrowed tax cuts for the wealthy, forcing beneficiaries back to work when there are no jobs, higher unemployment, weaker unions, cut backs to public services and higher GST all have social consequences and we are now seeing the terrible harvest from those social consequences.

    This indicates the scale of the problem and the raft of changes that need to be made to provide any significant improvement for NZ’s children.

    Watkin offers some possible actions that he guesses might be in the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group report.

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/solutions-to-child-poverty-easy-as-123#comments

    First, the group will call for a Warrant of Fitness for landlords.

    Second, it’ll call for meals to be provided more widely in schools.
    …Third, the EAG is expected to call for some form of long-term and universal state assistance for kids – maybe a Universal Child Benefit, or some money every week for every child born. Until 1991 we had such a thing – a Family Benefit. That went in the Bolger/Richardson years.

    I think the first (rental property WOFs) would be hardest to implement. But this and the other two would go some way to alleviating the immediate dire situation. The UCB would have the longest, most far reaching impact, followed by the meals at school.

    But, until the vast levels of inequality are reduced,Watkin’s steps will just be a life raft, not a sustainable destination.

  3. just saying 4

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/

    Maybe not for everyone at a political blog, a book review from Giovani Tiso:

    David Peace, James Kelman, Kerstin Hensel, Pat Barker, Maurice Gee: these are the authors in Dougal’s meticulous catalogue, whose works allow him to explore what Raymond Williams has called the ‘working class fiction of fully developed class relations’; the challenges of representing the neoliberal city; the new guise of the realist historical novel; and finally what realism in the age of globalisation might mean and look like. The picture that emerges throughout these close readings is by necessity not one of a hegemonic genre, as realism was when the bourgeoisie went through its revolutionary phase, or by fiat under Stalinism; but rather of an ‘embattled, residual-emergent, ‘minor’ oppositional form.’ A realism that lurks through the fissures and cracks of late capitalism and yet is capable of producing useful, working models for thought and political action…

    Hell, I’m a bit of a Pat Barker and a Maurice Gee groupie. Will definitely read the book when it reaches the library!

    .

  4. weka 5

    Is anyone else having trouble getting TS to load? Could be my crappy broadband but I’m not having trouble with other websites.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      I’ve had spotty problems, often in the evenings, for the last week or so.

    • lprent 5.2

      It is back on cloudflare (now that the moving is finished). Seems to be alternating between loading from sydney and from somewhere near wichita kansas.

      But I’m not getting any particular* problems on any of my linux systems using Chrome and firefox, on my ipad using chrome and safari, on my laptop reluctantly booted into vista using IE8, safari, firefox and chrome, and sneaking a peek on Lyn’s mac laptop for safari.

      Try clearing the cache (fastest way for any page is to hold the Shift key down while pressing Refresh http://lifehacker.com/5574852/shift%252Brefresh-is-like-the-restart-button-for-web-sites) first because you may have some of the junk CSS/javascript cached from when the site was having problems.

      * The one intermittent problem I am getting has been with the page loading “stopping” before displaying the Comments/Opinions/Online sidebar on the odd occasion. So the page is present except for the sidebar, but the page displays as if it is still loading. On chrome it shows on the bottom left that ones of the ad servers isn’t responding. I’m going to reorder the loading so that our site content comes first or set the ad code so it is async..

      • felix 5.2.1

        “Seems to be alternating between loading from sydney and from somewhere near wichita kansas. “

        Does that make you the Wichita lineman? :D

      • Lanthanide 5.2.2

        Have you tried sternly telling the server that it’s not in Kansas anymore?

        • lprent 5.2.2.1

          Yes. It’s reply was that the cloud IS Oz and that tracking it was tantamount to trying to kill it with collapsing it into Kansas when it could have been on bondi beach (ie Schroedinger’s cat).

      • weka 5.2.3

        Thanks Lynn. I’ve switched from Firefox to Safari and that seems better.

        I have had other slow loading webpages today, although there does seem to be something particular about TS.

        • weka 5.2.3.1

          hmm, for some reason my posts are going into moderation.

          Anyway, just found out that command +shift +R in Safari doesn’t refresh, but on TS it opens a slide up window with a very nice text only version of the post for that page (no comments or headers or sidebars) and the option to increase/decrease text size, or email or print the post. Cool.

          • weka 5.2.3.1.1

            That appears to be specific to WordPress (so far, doesn’t work on blogger, or general websites)

  5. Rosie 6

    It’s great that Richard Long has buggered off from the Opinion peice in the Dominion Post for the time being. Deborah Russell, in his place, has written another interesting peice. This time regarding abortion law in NZ:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7557998/Abortion-a-womans-moral-choice-not-a-crime

    • weka 6.1

      I’m glad to see Deborah writing in the DomPost too. However this made me cringe:
       

      Bizarrely, we have decided that if a person needs to get a moral signoff for a decision, then the people who are capable of giving it are medical doctors.


      That might have been appropriate in the 1970s when doctors were often the most highly educated people in a community. But our levels of education have increased dramatically, and more people have the training to think through difficult decisions for themselves, and to help other people make decisions.
       

      Not sure what she means by educated there, but the implication is that you need some kind of academic education to be able to think and make moral decisions. Which is a ridiculous notion.

      • Bored 6.1.1

        Nice summary Weka, education and wisdom are disparate bedfellows.

      • vto 6.1.2

        You’re right Weka that intelligence and brains are two different things. They overlap a great deal of course but so often they get confused. Methinks the confusion arises more often with those with intelligence as they find their logic and thinking processes so convincing to themselves, and they are clearly more intelligent than others, that they must be right. They cannot understand how someone with less intelligence could have a different and possibly superior conclusion.

        Those with mere brains often do themselves the opposite injustice whereby they will think through something and then doubt their conclusion due to their acknowledged lack of intelligence, and then fail to follow through with their concluded necessary action. A real shame.

        On the other hand however, academic training of certain types without doubt assists in evaluating situations and providing ways in which to think through things and come up with answers. There is definitely a pratice of evaluation and consideration that imo assists with decisions.

  6. yeshe 7

    Taxpayer funded (!), this is potentially the most dangerous thing Key could change in NZ …. and the Monsantos of the world will be covered under the secrets of TPP .. BEWARE please, this has the worst possible consequences for us all … GMO agricultural conference upcoming …

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10829898

    Why hold it at all unless you were intent upon changing GMO status in this protected little land ?? And I bet in conjunction with it, they choose to release the secret study on what it supposedly costs NZ not to be growing GMO crops …

    Guvmint by Crosby Textor …. oh dear, oh dear. What is become of us ?

    • tc 7.1

      Yes be very afraid of what Monsanto etc are up to here, they’ve got form already in the US.

      Shows how Shonkey etc don’t give a F about anything other than their own bank accounts, to spanner our argriculture by allowing the likes of Monsanto to GM the industry and not allow us to have that ‘clean green’ point of difference with some genetic diversity, which the world would pay for, shows just how hollow that ‘Brighter future’ slogan was.

    • prism 7.2

      yeshe 7 and Rosie 8
      More on government action that affects our precious and highly celebrated (by government particularly) food production capacity and earnings. I have been looking into Federated Farmers recently and one of their reports in the arable section which brings up a biosecurity risk. It says that the government has lowered standards for importing grains which the Fed Farmers would have vetoed if they had been given a look-in. There are certain weeds that must be kept out because of other more scrupulous countries firm decision to exclude them.

      Every day our products feed 6 million dairy cows and 30 million sheep. Currently, a Southland farmer holds the world record for wheat production and we also have the highest maize yields in the world.
      One of arable farmers’ key concerns is biosecurity. The fact we are able to be world leaders in seed multiplication is mainly due to our weed, pest and disease free status. It is of paramount importance we maintain a biosecurity system that ensures harmful pests and diseases are kept out of New Zealand.
      A biosecurity breach of significant magnitude in the arable industry would seriously impede our ability to remain a productive part of the New Zealand economy. Market access could be lost if just one significant weed is found in our seed exports. The recent change to the Importation of Grains/Seeds for Consumption, Feed or Processing Import Health Standard,allowing a tolerance level for contaminant grains/seeds of up to 0.1 percent in weight is something we did not support and do not want repeated.

      We have been overtaken by a jelly like consistency that plays with possibilities of damage on an acceptable risk basis. Our standard of living is being gambled with by these money-mercenary creeps. http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/n3228.html

      • Rosie 7.2.1

        Prism. yes, its curious that we’ve been lowering our biosecurity standards in a time of increasing threat from evolving organisms and globe trotting organisms. The PSA virus in kiwifruit was one example.
        Will there come a time again when a farmer drives his/her tractor up the steps of parliament – but this time in protest against being exposed to biosecurity risks?

        • prism 7.2.1.1

          Rosie
          Oh yes. Shane Ardern, what a funny guy. We will have to have a serious clean out of smug dickheads and ideologues before we get anything eminently appropriate.

  7. Rosie 8

    That IS freaking frightening yeshe. Gone are the days of the vision of the 2020 organic nation. There was a movement back in the 90′s that correctly predicted world food shortages being upon us soon and the idea was not only for NZ to be completely self sufficient in food production for local consumption but to be a world class exporter of organically produced food, to countries eagar for clean GE free food. Perfect idea for an island nation like ours.
    But like other great visions it died when it was trampled over by the influence of Agri business. Our path could have been so different. GE isn’t about feeding the poor, its about lining the pockets of multi nationals.

    • Bored 8.1

      Rosie, frightening as it sounds it fits in as a central concepts of industrial agriculture, based upon petro chem energy and fertilisers, massive mechanisation, huge economies of scale…ownership of entire supply chains etc. The environment, in particular the ecosystemic biology comes a distant second to corporate dollars. Our nice cosy picture of the farmer on his plot is a distant memory.

      • Rosie 8.1.1

        Yes, sad but true Bored. Just the last two decades in NZ we have seen quite alarming increases in industrial dairying, (within the agri business sector) and the resulting harmful consequences for our environment, mainly our waterways. We have a population of 6 million dairy cows now and Fonterror want to more than triple that amount over the next few years. I don’t know how our islands, and our environment can sustain that level of mono culture. Once again, only one example of industrial farming. Cropping is another issue……

        There has been a great public response in reclaiming ownership of food production in the form of community gardens, local produce markets, fair trading and if you have flash cash, artisan farmers markets. But these actions are a drop in the ocean compared to the actions of Fonterror, dow, monsanto and all their cronies. Our rights to life’s essentials bought and sold.

      • prism 8.1.2

        For anyone keen to know more about GMOs and nz biosecurity approach here is a FAQ link which might offer something new. http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/node/1479/related_faqs?page=2&expand=3396

        And I was looking for the date when new tolerances for imported grain came in and it appears to be sometime in October 2011, reported in Fed Farmers periodical 1 November 2011 as being recent. It appears that it is hard to obtain historical information on this biosecurity government website which just updates the information as it changes. I didn;t see a notice about the change and details and reasons. Though they may have been there. This Federated Farmers comment shows the difficulties we are having in running the country’s agricultural policy with out-of-control policies and change agents, private or government- appointed bureaucrats.

        The recent change to the Importation of Grains/Seeds for Consumption, Feed or Processing Import Health Standard,allowing a tolerance level for contaminant grains/seeds of up to 0.1 percent in weightis something we did not support and do not want repeated.

  8. Bored 9

    Rosie above reading the Dom commented upon a better commentary than is provided by Richard Long…thank bejasus is all I can say.

    For my sins I read the Listener last night (I used to subscribe but fired them when they became the voice of neo liberalism, courtesy of their owners, promoting lots of middle class angst stories to guide us all to the Right). Two stories stood out:

    First the loathsome Pagani lady had a column in which (reading between the lines) she justified the Shearer position on welfare by stating the Left were not hard enough on those on welfare, and that it came with a “responsibility”. All I could hear (between the lines) was “kill the poor if it gets me middle class votes”..

    Josie then went on to take a swipe at greater luminaries than her (Tariq Ali, Naomi Wolf etc) for their support of the Assange position (read to me like “he’s a rapist until proven otherwise, and the Empire is so benign he is not at risk”)…then a further swipe at the good folks of Whanganui for their opposition to the presence of the Beast…her argument on justice was very sound BUT she certainly did not connect with the local fears.

    I was left with no illusions of the position of Labour under the influence of these neo lib apologists.

    Then further reading…has Guyon Espiner had a Damascene moment? He interviewed Das, a Sydney based economist on the end of “growth”….appeared he was listening but was probably dumbstruck in the manner of a rabbit in the headlights…recommended reading for the benighted denizens of middle NZ, seismic shock material for the uninitiated. Let the middle classes worry, more angst.

    • Rosie 9.1

      Bored. You said it. Middle class angst sums up the Listener these days. I have read it occasionally over the last couple of years, just to give it a go and I often find myself having a “Are you serious?” moment.

      Interesting what you say about the Pagani column. (and others) Just confirms it doesn’t it, as if we needed convincing that Labours stance is in the middle. It’s funny because Republican Presidential hopeful, Mittens Romney has this slogan “Romney – for a better middle class”. So now our once working persons party and architects of our welfare system really is no different to the American nutty right wing Republican party?

      *Mittens: John Stewarts’ nick name for Mitt Romney. I like it.

      • Bored 9.1.1

        Yes Rosie, Labour a la Pagani / Shearer is very middle class…if you flick through NZ House and Garden this month (another middle class keeping up with the Jones mag) you will find lovely pictures of David Shearer at home, very bourgeois in Point Chev.

        The only upside is that he does not reside in a multi million dollar Parnell security complex with electric gates.

        I suspect the article was very carefully placed by Labour (Pagani?)for maximum middle class impact, got to win the centre you know, and the lovely brown faces in Otara don’t read this mag……

        • North 9.1.1.1

          ‘Cos to spend $8.95 to buy and read that wannabee mag’ means that at least three of their kids are sent from the table tonight. “No dinner for yous guys sorry, unless you share with your brothers.”

          “Don’t cry now……..being ‘aspirational’ will pay off in the end. And Mr Key/Shearer is coming to school tomorrow. Isn’t that exciting ?”

          Then Key/Shearer (politicians) use those same kids for bastard photo ops. Key more relentlessly than any of them.

          MSM wanks and I puke.

          How far away is uprising ?

      • prism 9.1.2

        Rosie
        Re the Listener. Is it surprising that Joanne Black their previous Features Editor with her own page on middle class angst, has gone to work for Bill English.

        • Rosie 9.1.2.1

          Joanne Black did my head in. She is on another planet. Planet Thordon I think.. No wonder she has gone to work for Bill English.. Lol.

  9. prism 10

    There was a report on 9tonoon this morning about the Correspondence School’s woes with their new computer. It started to be worked on in 2009. This year the students have not been receiving their work, or the wrong work. It is not compatible with the old system and there is a lack of confidence that all the records have been transferred correctly. The children and their supervisors have waited for ten weeks for their initial work, so will have to try and make up that time if they are to succeed. The teachers have had to source from somewhere some material to keep them going. This is a great way to bring up our achievement standards in education.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon – Audio will go up soon.
    09:20 Computer botch up at the Correspondence School
    A computer botch up at the country’s biggest school – the Correspondence School – has seen its 24,000 students unable to receive school work for up to 10 weeks.

    And this reliance on technology, the promise of it to be so quick, so reliable, so all-embracing.
    So costly and bloody when it doesn’t work or does but intermittently and partially. We have poured money into computer systems in NZ. Remember the grand and expensive police INCIS, which fell over in the end because more and more requirements had been added onto the original specification.

    We have the poorest people in the most difficult circumstances being dumped on by Housing NZ. Unable to get help direct face to face at some designated spot, but having to have a phone and pay more than a bus fare to keep it in credit and so have access. The service they get may be slow, or vague, and the credit can run out before they have got a reliable response. The trend is to faceless inhuman government. I don’t like it. Kafkaesque.

    And the bad news about Australia’s treatment of us over there. An in depth piece talking to supporters and charity workers there, residents, and a NZ living there who is trying to fight this discrimination against us. Introduced in 2001.
    Sunday, 26 August 2012: NZers in Oz – the trouble with jumping the ditch
    Listen to this programme Insight for 26 August 2012 – New Zealanders in Australia
    duration: 27′54″ Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight

    The flow of New Zealanders moving to Australia is showing no sign of slowing down, with latest figures revealing a record equalling 54 thousand left in the last year.
    But some New Zealanders claim they are being discriminated against as the list of federal and state payments they are excluded from grows.
    Some would now like a visa introduced so that those planning to live in Australia understand the support on offer isn’t the same as that available at home.

    • mike e 10.1

      Scottish education system better than Tory goves mess.
      Scotland is keeping education out of the free market aproach.
      with very good results .Guardian!
      Hik town pariahna.Take note!

    • lprent 10.2

      The usual problem is with people wanting to write bespoke systems from the ground up whilst letting feature creep into the system before the version 1.0 framework is running.

      I’m of the general opinion that these days that for any net based system you just get an off the shelf-system (preferably open-source) written in a widespread language like php, python, or even ruby and put that in immediately.

      Adapt the organisation to it and after that then look at smaller bespoke modules written by different organisations, contractors or even your staff for parts of the system that actually need adaptation.

      If you can’t do that, then just use what someone else is doing. In this case grab the system that works used by a local university as it already exists.

      Most of the problem with software and organisations is the common delusion that what they are doing is unique and requires special software. Virtually all of the time that is incorrect when you are looking at sourcing the software from anywhere in the world. Even where there isn’t something that is unique in the business process, it is usually such a small part of the system that they’d be better off putting in an off-the-shelf and getting the ‘unique’ bit written and integrated as a data source/sink. The past masters of this approach are banks who typically have amazing kludges of software accumulated over generations and whose only compatibility appears that they share a monitor.

      But you can just about guarantee that they got sucked into having someone to write them a integrated system from ground up or had lots and lots of those “special” requirements that corporate bespoke provider coders like so much (it is like having your own bank when you get to maintain “special” code).

      As a programmer, the process tends to be repetitive, as boring as hell and is why I try not to work for companies focused internally. I have been export focused since 1995 and I really don’t bother keeping track of local coding any more.

      • prism 10.2.1

        lprent
        That’s interesting. There seems to be a lot of money available that isn’t spent wisely on tech.
        And people who don’t know what they want, what they are getting, and whether the software firm has done its job. One job I heard of had a specific request for something that the software firm didn’t put in. The managers at each end should have been spanked but probably got a wage rise.

        When you’re a cleaner and you don’t empty out someone’s paper bin you get spoken to. But expensive confusing systems designers and users can get away with their faults. Cleaning bins is something simple and obvious that anybody can understand. And the blame lies here?

        • tc 10.2.1.1

          Insys….who got sacked from within NZ police over that ?
          KR has spent 4 years integrating 2 very expensive off the shelf products and still not live.
          Ah the consultants spell you are feeling very very satisfied, just sign off this bill, everything will be all right, we have the connections, the kids, the schtick and mates in all the right places.

          • prism 10.2.1.1.1

            tc 10 2 1 1 On Incis -
            Here’s interesting stuff about one of the police guys from wikipedia.
            Barry Matthews (born 1946)…. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Law Professional examinations, a Bachelor of Laws Degree and a Diploma of Criminology.[1]
            Matthews was in the New Zealand Police from 1965 to 1999. He was District Commander, Auckland Services District from 1992 to 1993, then Assistant Commissioner Planning and Finance, Police National Headquarters from 1993 to 1995.[1] In 1995 he became the Deputy Commissioner of Police. He was the project manager of the INCIS computer system when it was abandoned in 1999.[2] Four years later he left to take up appointment as Commissioner of the Western Australia Police.[1]
            Department of Corrections

            Matthews replaced Mark G. Byers as chief executive of the New Zealand Department of Corrections in February 2005. He served in the role until December 2010 when he resigned and was replaced by Ray Smith.
            On his resignation, he listed the installation of cell phone blocking technology at prisons throughout the country as one of his three greatest achievements as head of the Department. The system was budgeted to cost $6 million and another $200,000 a year to maintain. But in the two years it has been operating, repairs and upgrades have blown the budget to nearly $11 million. An investigation by the Dominion Post newspaper found it will cost another $2 million just “to fully jam Rimutaka”

            So a pretty comfortable fast moving life from one well paid job to another. And technology has used up a lot of our country’s capital for a non-cost benefit finish. And it’s not his fault he is Midas’ poor brother who turns everything to dross.

            More detailed information on the problems, the tech methods and Te Money in this link.
            http://www.adventurer.org.nz/?page=writing/mis/1999-06-01_Incis.html

            Two other people who were involved – Police Commissioner Peter Doone and IT manager Jeffrey Soar. Police Commissioner took a sideways promotion and worked within Helen Clark’s Prime Minister;s Department if my memory serves me.

            • bad12 10.2.1.1.1.1

              For a really good view of how to install a computer system that’s only going to cost X you will only have to wait a while until the new Inland Revenue one gets going,

              X is bound to blow out big time to XXX, should be a jolly little laugh to watch,(something to take our minds of child poverty reports)…

  10. prism 11

    I remember there was a book written about early days in Labour in NZ called I think
    ‘Keep left – no right turn’. If anyone knows of this, even the right title or author, it would be a help. It was written by someone well known in NZ.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Could be “No Left Turn” by Chris Trotter?

      Nicky Hager reviews it here:

      http://www.nickyhager.info/no-left-turn-by-chris-trotter/

      • prism 11.1.1

        Thanks PB
        I thought this one was written in the 1950-70s and is possibly out of print. But it’s just a nagging memory which I can’t pin down. Will read Chris Trotter though and another on I must is Tony Simpson’s The Sugarbag Years.

        • Bored 11.1.1.1

          Its quite rare to get literature among’st our recent crop of “creative writing course grads” that reflects our social and political history. I have read Trotter and Simpsons nonfiction tomes, but to make a personal impact I reckon fiction like Maurice Gees Plumb trilogy is far more powerful. As is Lee’s autobiographicals (Children of the Poor, Simple on a Soap Box), or Mulgans portrayal of depression NZ in Man Alone. Makes it more visceral. Only Duff has got that raw in recent years.

          I often wonder how many of our recent politicians ever read these works?

          • Rosie 11.1.1.1.1

            Remember, when asked about his reading material during the 08 campaign John key said (with that goofy grin that was wider than it is now days) “Aw, I don’t know. I just read the odd John Grisham (sp?) at Christmas time”………..Not a reader then………..he probably doesn’t get much further than reading menu’s.

            One book he should read is “The Night Book” by Charlotte Grimshaw. The joke is on him! Well, he’s not the main character but he is central to the story, as is his house in Parnell, his lifestyle and the characters (both real and imagined) and fundraisers behind the 08 campaign. It is a fiction book and Grimshaw has simply given the political characters in the story fictional names but its clear who they are. It ‘s not written as a comment on the political situation in NZ at that time, it is a story about the main character. Non the less, Grimshaws observations of Key and the National party machine are spot on. Quite funny too.

            • prism 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Rosie 11 1 1 1 1
              and Bored
              Did you read the trilogy of John Mortimer on the political progress of a working class boy to conservative wheeler and dealer, Leslie Titmuss? Paradise Postponed, etc.

          • fnjckg 11.1.1.1.2

            “Plumb” is a great novel (imo)

    • Herodotus 11.2

      For a days read there is “The Denial of Democracy” by Robin Gwynn
      Love to see this updated to cover the last 12 years. As the decline appears to have quickened.

      • prism 11.2.1

        Herodotus
        I hadn’t heard of The Denial of Democracy 1998. Not available on Trademe and hasn’t been for some time. google advises about his Massey lecture – A valedictory lecture by a departing history professor, by Robin Gwynn. Christchurch City Libraries list the book as being at Store2. As it’s some years old now that might be what other libraries call the Stack.

        He stood in 2010 local elections for Napier. They had 6 Councillors at Large of which he nearly was elected, also a number of wards. See http://www.elections2010.co.nz/2010/candidates/robin-gwynn Sounds like a man with integrity.

  11. National’s economic mismanagement and favoring of the rich has seen some terrible social consequences: http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/shocking-unemployment-figures-revealed.html

  12. I thought the David Cuncliffe interview on Sunday’s Nation was excellent and indicated a move towards Scandinavian Social Democracy. for the Labour Party. This should be compulsory viewing for all the political Left

  13. just saying 14

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/steve-braunias/7543036/The-Secret-Diary-of-David-Shearer

    The secret diary of David Shearer – for the real story of the roof painting beneficiary and a good laugh!

    A teaser:

    …I’d waited till it was dark, went to his house, crept up the ladder, tipped him out of his wheelchair, and gave him the bash. By the time I finished with him he was lying in a bloody, coughing heap, legless.

    But there he was today, sitting in his wheelchair, painting his roof as though he didn’t have a care in the world.

    The neighbour came out to the letterbox.

    “Would you look at that,” he said, and spat at the ground.

    I said, “I still don’t know how he manages to get up the ladder in his wheelchair.”

    He said, “No, not him. Him.” He pointed at a man walking along the street.

    I said, “Is he a sickness beneficiary, too?” He said, “Probably. The point is that he’s a Maori youth. What are you going to do about it?”

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Finnsih Lessons

    On the same European tour that saw her impressed by the Finnish education system, Diane Ravitch went to an international education conference in Germany.

    She wrote that researchers from Europe, Asia and Latin America were alarmed by the education “reform” movement in the US, and were “fearful that the same trends — the same overemphasis of standardized testing, the same push for privatization and markets, and the same pressure to lower standards for entry into teaching — might come to their own countries”.

    Is this sounding familiar?

    This government is doing it all wrong.

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    What Greece’s motorways mean for NZ

    While National MPs and business lobby groups may ardently believe that a few higher standard highways are worth $12 billion (75% of the spending on new infrastructure over the next decade), the international evidence from transport planning suggests that new motorways are the least effective way (PDF) to achieve the critical aim of moving more people and freight at lower cost. There are steeply diminishing returns from duplicating or replacing an existing link in a road network.

    But when has NACT ever considered facts when considering policy that they want to put in place?

  16. North 17

    In parliament today:

    Metiria Turei asks Key what money he will make available for kids in poverty.

    Key answers telling her it’s a “dopey idea” to pay money to children not in poverty. (??????)

    Give that answer to a bunch of hard-out Ngapuhi ladies of my acquaintance up here in the North.

    Just try it punk. Check out what you’d get.

    It wouldn’t be “Usain”. It’d be “Ooooh…….pain.” They’d smack you in your punk mouth.

    Suck it up New Zealand.

    Key doesn’t give a fuck !

  17. captain hook 18

    the complete book on keys modus operandi is contained in a nifty thesis set out by Anne Wilson Shaeff in ” When Society Becomes An Addict”, where all the tricks used to isolate and trash people are exposed.
    q.e.d.

  18. North 19

    I’m just watching The Walrus Everyman Sainsbury joshing with Mr Once Again In Cabinet Heatley about healthy houses.

    For Christ’s Sake ! What have we come to ?

    Now Walrus is saying “sorry gotta go, run out of time blah blah blah”.

    And him and Heatley and the well remunerated lady guest (not Rebstock Thank Christ) are all chortling on about Heatley having the Prime Minister’s ear.

    What’s the PM doing with the other ear ?

    Getting the feed from Wall Street/City of London I guess.

  19. Logie97 20

    Seems the SST has now infiltrated TVNZ and is influencing the editorial slant of the news .

    Wendy advised us tonight “…we have exclusive footage of Dixon’s last moments alive in his prison cell.” I suppose TVNZ, at least, gave us warning of what was to follow so we could switch channels.

    Welcome to Redneck NZ folks – the closest thing to those halcyon days of watching public humiliation and executions.

    (oh and why would you ask McVicar’s views on the marriage equality bill?

    • millsy 20.1

      I take it that he opposes?

      (The re-criminalization of homosexuality is a goal of the SST)

  20. millsy 21

    I now have in possesion of a list of hospital closures over the past 25 years, broken down by the period that each major party was in power.

    It will be published on ‘The Standard’ shortly.

    We shall then see the effect of tax cuts on public services.

  21. Israel court rules that Rachel Corrie was accidentally killed by Israeli Army bulldozer.
    Apparently it was her fault for being in a terrorist zone. Perhaps she should have been at home cooking some “damn eggs woman”.

    • prism 22.1

      William Joyce 22
      I didn’t realise that Rachel Corrie was wearing a high visibility red jacket very obvious in daylight. And she had been standing away from the bulldozer’s path so her presence was visible to the driver and she had a loudspeaker, which presumably was operating properly. I understand that the bulldozer paused when she was in front, but the driver was under orders no doubt, and moved forward and ran her over.

      I think Israel lost its soul some time ago after getting to its land, after its trauma, its terrible distress. The military have taken over since and those who want a real democracy are small voices, but the large voice large voice is in the fertile religious fundamentalist group whose cause I think aligns with those of the military. Poor Israel, never free, never honestly willing to negotiate a peace with their neighbours, in a prison of their own making.

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    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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