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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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    Tertiary Education Union | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s “NoahR...
    An Heretical Work: Darren Aronofsky's Noah is an attempt to reconstruct from the ill-fitting fragments of the much older and more finely textured myth of the Great Flood, a religious homily about human power, human guilt, and human redemption. That he...
    Bowalley Road | 29-10
  • World News Brief, Thursday October 30
    Top of the AgendaIraqi Kurdish Fighters Enter Syria...
    Pundit | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    frogblog | 29-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the links between bad labour laws and poor safety practi...
    By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-10
  • How Labour’s ballot paper works
    Some weeks ago, I promised not to post about the Labour leadership election. I am going to break that promise today, but only because some of the people I have talked with appear a bit confused about Labour’s preferential ballot....
    Polity | 29-10
  • UKIP’s apostrophe fail
    The venerable institution that is the United Kingdom Independence Party wanted a hoodie for young patriots, so they can proudly declare how great Britain remains. For UKIP, the sun has never set on the British Empire of Awesomeness. Until this...
    Polity | 29-10
  • Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps
    The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-10
  • Random thoughts on the Labour Party leadership contest
    Some thoughts on the leadership contest, and a puzzling mystery at the end....
    Imperator Fish | 29-10
  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Questions For Oral Answer October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    Press Release – GE Free NZ The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed.Trade...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • The latest poverty excuses
    Today, the National Government managed to out produce Fonterra in its production of hot air and manure, with their explanations to justify the figures released in the latest (UNICEF) report documenting how little John Key’s administration has done to reduce...
    Closing the Gap | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Press Release – Joint Press Release Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    CTU | 29-10
  • Why my money’s on David Parker. And why Labour’s should be as well!
    OK, eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is. So who, of the four declared contestants – Nanaia Mahuta, Grant Robertson, Andrew Little and David Parker –  should, in my opinion, win the Labour leadership contest? And...
    Brian Edwards | 29-10
  • Arming police: evidence based policy or populist wishlist?
    At a time when people are questioning whether police forces in the United States have become too militarized, the president of New Zealand’s police association (NZPA) is calling for our police to be “fully armed”. He claims that incidents that...
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Flags > Poverty
    Today in parliament we saw both Kelvin Davis and Annette King make important and useful requests, both of which were denied. Annette King drew attention to the UNICEF report that shows that child poverty has not improved in New Zealand,...
    Fundamental | 29-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • 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
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • 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
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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