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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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    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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