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Open mike 29/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 29th, 2013 - 105 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…

105 comments on “Open mike 29/01/2013”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    Rather sad end to the Al Quada occupation of Timbuktu:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/28/mali-timbuktu-library-ancient-manuscripts

    • CV - Real Labour 1.1

      That’s just awful.

    • Pete 1.2

      As a heritage librarian, this deeply saddens me.Timbuktu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many of its treasures were destroyed when Al Qaida invaded last year. I see no purpose to this wanton act of destruction. Some of the manuscripts have been digitised, but it’s only a fraction.

    • muzza 1.3

      This is what happens, when you have *al qaeda fighters*, imported into an area, with the mission of kill and destroy.

      Have a look at the cultural destruction reeked by NATO forces around the ME/Africa, it is very likely that many of the *destroyed* artifacts, are in fact stolen, then sold/handed over to the *financiers*

      • McFlock 1.3.1

        Muzz, you have a unique ability to connect two arbitrary dots and call it “a nuanced reproduction of a lost Rembrandt, underneath all them other dots and lines and shit that were placed there by the powers that be to distract us”.

        • muzza 1.3.1.1

          Cultural destruction takes many forms McFlock, perhaps the manuscripts were destroyed, perhaps Hallé Ousmani Cissé and his cronies took backhanders to sell them, who really knows!

          The net loss amounts to the same thing so far as Mali, and its peoples are concerned, which is a real tragedy!

          Have a look at the cultural destruction during Gulf War 1/2 in Iraq, then consider that some of those artifacts, are stolen/destroyed/sold off, to order!

          • McFlock 1.3.1.1.1

            There’s a lot of difference between not planning for an occupation of an entire country and just burning down a library.

            • One Tāne Huna 1.3.1.1.1.1

              …and still more between either of the above and seeing everything through the distorting paranoid lens of Project Onan.

              This is the world in which “Al Quaeda” is a branch of the Illuminatii Special Ops Unit, remember, a waste of oxygen, bandwidth, and a perfectly good computer.

          • blue leopard 1.3.1.1.2

            I thought it was pretty standard information that the CIA have been actively interfering with countries for the last half century plus. William Blum wrote a book listing a lot of them. Am I understanding the comments here to be sneering at Muzza’s comment concerned over this fact?

            I find it very hard to watch international news now because I feel I am watching/listening to majorly distorted information, propaganda, I don’t know whether I am or not, however if there has been a book written listing many false flag style activities and describing them, (“researched from books, periodicals, newspapers and US Government publications” p12, W.Blum “The CIA a forgotten history”) and how it is not how it was reported at the time; then why would anyone believe that anything has changed now??

            Horrible to hear about those libraries. Hope that the manuscripts were taken and not destroyed.

            • McFlock 1.3.1.1.2.1

              Yes. The CIA wants to destroy a heritage site to blame AQ. Just like the CIA destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas. And flew 1/4 scale drones into the twin towers. /sarc

              The trouble is that the CIA really have been fucking with the rest of the planet, but muzz shooting from the hip with absolutely no evidence to back it up simply muddies the waters even further.

              But obviously be it a local small-town murder, large scale terrorist act or cultural vandalism half a world away, there is no incident Muzz won’t grasp with both hands to hawk their latest conspiracy allusions (never making an actual allegation, of course, just casting aspersions).

              • How would someone get proof?

                What would be an effective way of getting public support in a violent clash?
                What about:
                “Ooo, I know, lets destroy some historical manuscripts, we know that really gets people’s goat”

                I am seriously “over” the international news; its horrible not keeping myself informed, yet I’d rather that than be misinformed. It is horrible what is going on in the world and we must question what we hear.

                I’m not into conspiracies, (as in this is all being guided by a few very wealthy people), however I think it is without doubt that we are being fed a pack a crap and having our opinions massively manipulated, so that we simply do not stand up and demand “NO MORE”. This won’t occur until more people question what they are being told. Sneering at someone who does so, doesn’t come across as the most intelligent response; not these days.

                The threats against Syria, co-ordinated in Washington and London, scale new peaks of hypocrisy. Contrary to the raw propaganda presented as news, the investigative journalism of the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung identifies those responsible for the massacre in Houla as the ‘rebels’ backed by Obama and Cameron. The paper’s sources include the rebels themselves. This has not been completely ignored in Britain. Writing in his personal blog, ever so quietly, Jon Williams, the BBC world news editor, effectively dishes his own ‘coverage’, citing western officials who describe the ‘psy-ops’ operation against Syria as ‘brilliant’. As brilliant as the destruction of Libya, and Iraq, and Afghanistan. ~J. Pilger

                http://www.globalresearch.ca/history-is-the-enemy-as-brilliant-psy-ops-become-the-news/31528

                • McFlock

                  Yes, we can argue that incontrovertible proof in any circumstance is likely to be impossible to gather. But Muzz mouths off with no evidence – no journalists asking questions, no alt.nutbar.media rants, no nothing. Muzz sees an incident, and says “ooo, corporate thieves might well have stolen the manuscripts”. There’s a murder in the paper, and Muzz’ spidey sense says “looks like a police clean-up crew to cover something up”.

                  Shit. Can’t we just wait for the dust to settle before throwing accusations about who burned a library or killed a young mum, neither of which we’d heard of before it came through on the telly?

                  • I guessed there was history with Muzza.

                    However, no, I don’t think we can wait for the dust to settle. For one thing, it never does, haven’t you noticed?

                    Can you imagine what it would be like in places like Iraq or Afghanistan. I’ll bet they wish that; that the Yanks and Brits would just F* right off and let the dust settle, that the bullets would stop flying. I hate to think what they think of us Westerners, wanting the dust to settle before we absorb the truth of the situation; that our culture is responsible for a whole lot of these problems.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, we know pretty well who dropped the ball regarding Iraq’s historic monuments and museums, for example. Took a wee while though. Saddam was pretty crap to them, but the US assumption that post-invasion everything would be unicorns farting rainbows destroyed a large chunk of global history.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I dunno.

                      News has always been like this. Story breaks, truth emerges later.

                      It’s not a conspiracy, it’s hardwired in. Journos report what they see and are, more often, told.

                      So when you read a story quoting someone as saying ‘Y says X killed a bunch of people in war zone yesterday’. That’s what the news is: Y saying it.

                      Most of the confusion comes from readers thinking that journos ought to be omniscient and able to verify the truth of what Y is saying. But that’s not their job. That would more easily lead to people playing them in fact.

                      News orgs want to get teh story out as fast as they can, and that’s both important and valuable.the reason news is called the first draft of history, is that it collects data into a timeline so that the truth can be later interpreted. That’s a different job.

                    • Yes, good point Pascal’s bookie,

                      I did think that a journalists job used to be reporting the facts as accurately as possible, and this used to involve doing some research, not simply relaying what someone tells them, or tells them to say. One reason you gave that this is not done now, is the time factor, another is political/financial interests of the particular news outlet.

                      Whatever the reason for the poor level of reporting, there is no reason to read/listen/watch news and believe that what is going on is being reported verbatim; it is not.

                    • McFlock

                      Agreed, BL. But (in the complete absence of any opposing evidence at this early stage) nor should we necessarily assume that something completely different “very likely” happened. Which was Muzza’s initial reaction.

                    • With the consistently regular revelations that the CIA, American or British (French, Oil, Financial…) interests were involved in well less than scrupulous behaviour in such&such war, I think, is a pretty good reason to assume that it is unlikely what we are getting reported now is accurate to what is really going on.

                      I do not believe, however, it is beneficial to jump to conclusions about the details, i.e. who is behind it; this requires research. I do consider it rational to assume it is unlikely to be occurring, especially the given reasons, as it is reported.

                    • McFlock

                      The thing is that yeah, I can withhold judgement on whether the French involvement is out of the kindness of their hearts or simply because they want to put down a bit of a buffer against the Chinese global agricultural land grab. The latter involves plausible geopolitical motives consistent with neocolonial history.

                      But there’s no real benefit to burning down an ancient historic library and blaming it on AQ. It underlines the dickishness to people who value heritage libraries and ancient documents, but it’s not a significant selling point so much as, say, injured babies etc. Most people don’t give a shit about their local libraries, let alone ones in Africa. And looting the documents for financiers? Possible, but there’s a lot of risk involved for not much reward. If everyone’s looting, like post-invasion Iraq, then cool. But the French seem to have done their homework on this one.

                      So I don’t see any gain in fabricating or looting libraries as part of national policy.

                      But I do see it as consistent with previous (okay, apparent) AQ/fundy activities.

                      Sooner or later William of Occam has a shave.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I definitely don’t think you should take every quote in a paper as gospel.

                      But I do think it’s safe to take the fact that a quote was given as legit. If you don’t, you’ve got nothing.

                      The question I ask is not so much “Why is the paper telling me this?” but “Why is the person quoted saying this?” All the paper is doing is reporting that x said y. It’s up to readers to think about the truth of y given what they know about x.

                      And it’s also true that western govts muck about all over the world doing things. But that doesn’t mean I interpret every event through that lens. What is going on in Mali, or Iraq, or anywhere else is primarily about the locals. They too have agendas. I’m largely ignorant about those agendas, so it’s tempting to assume that what we are doing is more important than what is happening with the locals. It’s a temptation that’s way more important to fight, in my view, than trusting media reporting.

                      In Mali, you’ve got 90 odd percent of the country living in the south, of one ethnic group, and another bunch up in the North. The Northern folk basically live in the Sahara. The problem of western intervention starts there. Why is that one country? Who drew that border? The west, and it’s not one that makes sense.

                      I guess my point here is that every war is unique, and based on local conditions. Outsiders will try, ( often with some success) to interfere for their own ends, but the success they have will depend on the local truths. It’s the local stuff that really matters. You can’t start a war in a country that doesn’t in some way want one anyway. More often, the west is trying to shape a local war in their own favour.

                      We shouldn’t take it as read that the west is stirring shit up, or even suspect it.

                      classic example is Syria, which is an absolute clusterfuck as far as the west is concerned, because it’s not about us in anyway whatsoever, and yet due to it’s position ad capabilities the west has strong self perceived interests there. But that doesn’t mean that we are manipulating events. It’s more likely that events are out of out control, as they usually are, and we are panicking.

                      that’s the other lesson from histories of western intelligence antics; mots of it is blundering and panic driven from a position of ignorance and hubris.

                      I don’t give the intelligence agencies enough credit to suspect they could pull of too many conspiracies.

                  • @ McFlock,

                    Yeah, the conversation is heading toward who and what motivations might be creating the problem, and I am uncomfortable with that, however, I will mention that burning a library with ancient manuscripts in it is a whole lot different to burning down one of our local libraries! And I do understand there is a big market for manuscripts. I didn’t understand Muzza’s comment to be saying they burned the library “as part of National Policy” (lol), I understood Muzza’s comment to be indicating that “financiers” could benefit from the selling of these manuscripts.

                    Hopefully they have been looted prior to burning. It is clear that you don’t care much about ancient manuscripts, yet I find it very painful to hear they have been destroyed and I’m sure that many others, also, will too. Unsure whether it is common knowledge or not (so sorry if I am relaying something you already know)
                    We get the knowledge behind all our clever technology from the brilliant middle-eastern scholars who both translated and developed Greek knowledge, had they not done so, this knowledge would have been lost, due to our propensity for…burning knowledge…that didn’t fit in with the Christian paradigm of the time. Who knows what knowledge has been lost in these libraries that have been burned in Mali :(

                    Pascal’s bookie,
                    I agree with that approach, basically you are relaying ways to employ discernment with one’s intake of information.

                    To shape a war for one’s own purposes, is very manipulative and is really buggering things up for other countries, I sincerely wish that our Western culture would stop sticking its nose into other countries and get its own issues sorted. Best way to lead is by example, and “ours” is a shocking one.

                    Although I like the spirit of your comment of not giving intelligence agencies credit, I don’t agree. I was very swayed by “The Economic Hitman”, this was someone who was speaking about his personal experience and it sounded pretty damning. Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” and the William Blum book I mentioned earlier fairly well convince me that intelligence agencies are doing things that most wouldn’t believe and wouldn’t want to believe. And that, really, is the largest problem. Until people face what is going on, its unlikely to be improved upon.

                    • McFlock

                      but there are no reports it was looted. Just of fire.

                      So for muzz to say that “most likely” it was looted is just adding 1 and 1 together to get 8.

                    • @ McFlock,

                      Yes, fair enough. Having conversed with you, I can see that I have reached the end of actually believing what groups are labelled as on the news. Calling it the “crying wolf effect” may help you understand!

                      Perhaps in this case what has been reported has actually happened, or, perhaps, taking what PB noted, we may find out a different story in time to come. I just don’t see that Muzza’s comment was extraordinary in suggesting that the manuscripts could end up on the blackmarket.

                      Taking your & TRP’s comment below into account & also someone I was talking with, it does appear to be Al Qaeida’s M.O. to destroy heritage sites. And thus, yes, I concede, its a fair point. I continue, however, to get a very hollow feeling at any point I start feeling the remotest belief in what is being reported these days. I just smell a rat; view it as propaganda…oh dear, I’m turning into a cynic….

                    • McFlock

                      Perfectly possible that the manuscripts were stolen.

                      But based on one short report of a fire, it doesn’t follow to immediately assume that they were “most likely” stolen. The only hope we have of seeing through the bullshit is if we don’t make stuff up as we go along.

                      I have friends who are trying to find out what’s happening with their loved ones in Bundaberg. Apparently it’s quite difficult trying to find news through all the hollywood divorces and famous people feeling betrayed by Lance Armstrong. Most likely the powers that be made Lance confess to Oprah so that we’d not focus so closely on climate change. /sarc

                    • muzza

                      I said, very likely McFlock, and then linked to the time article below to illustrate how these things can play out.

                      Of course it’s conclusive, as shown by TRP’s link to a bbc article in todays (30/1) open mike.

                      The story keeps changing, the articles are more or less worthless in terms of credibility, which is generally what I am pointing out.

                      Blue Leopard/P’s B seems to understand, and I enjoyed reading their sensible comments, followed by what reads as a concession of sorts, from you!

                    • muzza

                      My comment above should read

                      Of course it’s NOT conclusive, as shown by TRP’s link to a bbc article in todays (30/1) open mike.

                    • McFlock

                      Firstly, okay, “very likely” rather than “most likely”. Not sure where I got the most from, fair enough.

                      But then you still have no basis for assuming that it is very likely that many of the *destroyed* artifacts, are in fact stolen, then sold/handed over to the *financiers*.

              • muzza

                Criminal activity thrives in chaos, and the theft of antiquities for a rapacious international black market is no exception

                Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan have all fallen victim to looters during previous wars, and Libya and Egypt, rich in archaeological sites, witnessed several attempts at looting during their more recent uprisings. In the case of Syria, however, the full-blown civil war may do more harm than simply the plundering of its culture. The burgeoning market for this ancient land’s priceless treasures could actually prolong and intensify the conflict, providing a ready supply of goods to be traded for weapons. Furthermore, the ongoing devastation inflicted on the country’s stunning archaeological sites—bullet holes lodged in walls of its ancient Roman cities, the debris of Byzantine churches, early mosques and crusader fortresses—rob Syria of its best chance for a post-conflict economic boom based on tourism, which, until the conflict started 18 months ago, contributed 12% to the national income.

                In case McFlock has forgotten recent history

                While the Nazis were in power, they plundered cultural property from every territory they occupied.

                Same crew reeking war upon the planet, same techniques employed to destroy/plunder nations, same techniques to fool the naive!

                • McFlock

                  So what reports of looting of Mali’s treasures have there been, muzz? Do you have anything from reality upon which to base your logical leap?

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Muzza, they burned the library and destroyed mosques because they believe that they are idolatrous or or in some way denying their version of the Mohammadan story. The taliban did similar shit in Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia bulldozed flat anything that wasn’t Wahhabi. AQIM didn’t steal the books and manuscripts, they burned them as a final act of twisted piety before abandoning Timbuktu.

                  By the way, is your google broken? This stuff isn’t hard to find.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabi

                  Excerpt:

                  The Wahhabi teachings disapprove of veneration of the historical sites associated with early Islam, on the grounds that only God should be worshipped and that veneration of sites associated with mortals leads to idolatry.[61] Many buildings associated with early Islam, including mazaar, mausoleums and other artifacts have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia by Wahhabis from early 19th century through the present day.[62][63] This practice has proved controversial and has received considerable criticism from Sunni and Shia Muslims and in the non-Muslim World.

                  Edit: snap joe90 below

    • joe90 1.4

      There’s a sectarian bent to this with most of the vandalism carried out by Sunni Wahhabis.

      The Bamiyan Buddahs were destroyed by the Wahhabi backed Taliban and the rebels in Mali who destroyed ancient shrines, with many more under threat, were most probably Wahhabi backed.

      There’s also an Egyptian extremist calling for the destruction of idols, the Sphinx and Pyramids.

  2. tracey 2

    Next time a politician or developer talks about building in Auckland or Christchurch, can someone ask them WHY the developers don’t have a ten year personal liability obligation as designers and builders do under the new regulations? Afterall it’s developers who take the biggest profit from building projects and drive the amount of money spent on a home of development, and if the leaky home saga is anything to go by they have cut and run and almost to a man have escaped any financial liability for those homes by dissolving their companies. I shudder to think what the landscape may look like in ten years if these guys lead the “build” and cut corners for greater profit as they did between 1990 and 2005.

    I heard Mr Carver of Jennian home sthis morning whinging and yet he has franchised his business and so HQ and he personally dont actually have to stand behind anything they build.

    This govt is heading us back down a building deregulation road, different to 1990′s but will have disastrous consequences… but not for non liable developers of course…

    • vto 2.1

      Simplistic and incorrect on several fronts there Tracey.

      Simplistic in retutn …. go ask your local politician those questions. It is they who changed the laws and regs which led directly to this disaster.

      Much exactly like Pike River.

      edit: and if every person in the process is required to have a personal guarantee then while you’re with your local pollie suggest that he/she also provide such a personal guarantee

      • tracey 2.1.1

        I have asked those questions.

        Can you explain to me vto how it is that a builder and designer can give (are forced to by regulation) such a guarantee but not the developer?? Please further explain how holding the developer liable for ten years post construction is simplistic? Surely the same logic applies to them as to the builders and designers, namely if they are personally liable they will do better work. As for the councils/territorial authorities, yes Govt has legislated immunity to them for any fuck ups they make… at least on one level it makes sense because it is the ratepayers who pay the price, but that doesn’t apply to the developers. I await your explanation of why it is simplistic to hold developers to account in this way. Can you also be specific about the area sin my post which are incorrect?

        The govt has already singled out builders and designers, I suggest opening it up to developers who drive these projects. Your last (edit) comment is a straw man argument and doesn’t actually address what I wrote.

        I look forward to your more detailed response.

        • CV - Real Labour 2.1.1.1

          Hammurabi’s Rule. Looks like ancient Babylon had it sorted.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/video/78071828-nassim-taleb-on-wall-street-protest-banking.html

        • MrSmith 2.1.1.2

          Tracey: The builders, developers and owners will build to the rules set by the government and councils or to put it another way if you make the speed limit 100km an hour people will drive to or about the limit but if you get caught breaking the limit you will then be breaking the rules/law and fined accordingly.

          Now some people started traveling at 110km and know-one stopped them, then they pushed it out to 120km and still nothing was done, then some people just started going any speed they wanted and of course things started to go wrong.

          You seem to have brought into the witch hunt this government have facilitated, the blame for this lays squarely at the foot of the National government of the day that deregulated the building industry and the councils for not enforcing what rules there where at the planing stage, and later during inspections.

          This in no way excuses the dodgy builders or the dodgy developers who by the way take all the risks and property developing is a very risky business. Yes people or companies declare bankruptcy and walk away, but very few set out with this in mind, all the people I know that have gone tits up have lost almost everything along with the reputation. The National government of the day are to blame so the National government of today should be fixing it! But knowing them they will be waiting of the market to sort it out, yeah right!

          Of course the aftermath of this and the CHCH earthquake will see more regulations, with that more expensive houses, basically the housing industry had been keeping prices down through cutting costs and corners for years now.

          • tracey 2.1.1.2.1

            again you dodge my question. Given that builders and designers (rightly or wrongly) have had personal liability placed on them for ten years, why not developers.

            “Of course the aftermath of this and the CHCH earthquake will see more regulations,” Really, so far the intent of this government is the opposite, less regulations already and intended, especially around developments (as opposed to single dwellings).

            I am well aware that builders on the whole are unfairly having 80% liability sheeted tot hem in leaky building claims. This is why I point to developer liability as well. They will, and have in the past, made much more money than the builders on each home built.

            As for intent, I dont think you have met many career developers because they absolutely, in consultation with their lawyer and accountant set up companies for a particular development, take the profit and then shut them down. Precisely to avoid any future liability on their work. Now back to your supposition that if caught breaking rules they will be fined… and how will they pay given without a legal entity to sue no one is liable?

            • CV - Real Labour 2.1.1.2.1.1

              You have to make the accountability of directors (former directors) in law, outlive the existence of the company.

  3. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3

    The rise of Islamic activists may be unstoppable. The genie has come out of the bottle after being aroused by the west, USA and Russia (west?) mainly. The USA has to stop going to war as a means of getting their business indices trending upwards.

    In the meantime Genghis Khan type policies are arising from both sides of the battle. Things will be likely to get worse if people with integrity and clever practical minds don’t get hold of the decision making and budget. We need another Churchill type. Not perfect but with clear understanding of the threats ahead.

    • CV - Real Labour 3.1

      And if we don’t get a Churchill type, we may get someone far worse, from the other side of history.

  4. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 4

    Good chant? Out, out, out. John Key is too low key. Give us a Cheshire cat smile John.
    Repeat! (Cheshire cat’s smile faded away to nothing – Alice through the Looking Glass I think.)

  5. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5

    This government can’t do its governing effectively to ensure the best for the whole country. So what do they do? Interfere with local government, such as Christchurch and now to disdain the information given on housing by the Auckland Council instead quoting the opinions of business as if it was necessarily correct. Anything that is working is likely to be rejigged and end up replaced with some shonky stuff.

    This also applies to Picton which needs to be on people’s agenda. That town is going to be hollowed out so that the government can cosy up to Chinese investors with bulging bank balances. Picton is a jewel, the interislander trip is a jewel, we are a poor country and can’t afford to adopt the throwaway society attitude to viable, effective, modern and good earning businesses. Mostly owned by NZs. With the profit remaining as a credit in NZ. If foreigners invest and leave money invested here, it is always a debt, a liability to us, that can be taken out at their will.

    • tc 5.1

      The interislander move is a slap in the face for kiwi small business and another win for their trucking lobby backers, like they haven’t been rewarded enough already with RONS, larger load sizes etc etc

      I find this encapsulates the NACT in a nutshell and the MSM sucked it up without as much as a ‘hang on wait a minute…’ during the slow news season.

      Can’t wait for 7 sharp to keep us all informed and invigorate debate. TVNZ falling behind Joyce’s lines to keep follks amused not informed while they go about their business. Can his mates at skycity have some of your studio in akl, you will not be needing it with production shifting to sky.

    • muzza 5.2

      I took the words of Bill English in regards to land etc, aimed at the AKL Council, as a future forecast, veiled as a threat!

      You need to gauge the reaction of the media/public when broadcasting, that central govt *might* look at taking over due process of an elected local govt.

      And the bad played on!

  6. vto 6

    This government is losing it in Christchurch.

    People wanting to retail or build or develop or invest or live in teh CBD have been frightened off by the great overlord and his ways. Go to it Brownlee, the CBD is all yours. Let us know once you’ve finished and we’ll all come see how you’ve done.

    Christchurch east is forgotten. Drive deep into the east and you will see what the stories are all about.

    People are forgotten. People are still living in squalor http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/8233403/Quake-hit-Christchurch-families-still-living-in-squalor Well done Brownlee, well done.

    At the last election there was a swing in favour of Brownlee, but this was disaster politics at the time whereby the incumbent is always favoured as people want stability at all costs. Next time around in 2014? I predict a spectacular hiding to nothing. Even the true Nats are agin this government, e.g. the government approach to buying their CBD properties.

    And then of course, once this government is tossed out the city will be left with some other new government which will no doubt move things around, change the goalposts and struggle to finish off Brownlee’s grand plan. Pessimism is just below the surface with many even today saying that they are still in two minds about the city and may well move yet.

    • bad12 6.1

      Am just about willing to put money on the fact that National this far out from November 2014 are pretty much history,

      A swing away from National in the Christchurch area as big as the swing that went toward them in that are in 2011 will all but finish them,

      As will a further swing away from the Maori Party who’s voters gave them(except for Te Tai Tonga)the benefit of the doubt vote in 2011, it has taken a couple of election cycles for the Maori Party voters to realize that the crumbs off of the table they can expect to gain with an application to the ‘Whanau Ora’ program cannot make up for their loss as Paula cuts a swathe through benefit numbers…

    • the Al1en 6.2

      Perhaps if more of them had voted Burns and Cosgrove, the government wouldn’t have a majority.
      And perhaps if they’d voted for JA instead of parker.
      Well, you get the gist.

      Better luck next election, Christchurch.

    • geoff 6.3

      Hey vto it’s not all bad news coming out of CHCH. Fletcher’s shareholders are do quite nicely, thank you very much
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8233237/Fletcher-hot-property-as-payouts-exceed-1b

      nice to see a silver lining eh

  7. McFlock 7

    So apparently Israel has been administering contraceptives to Ethiopian Jews without their consent. And not, like, ages ago. They’ve only just issued an order to stop.

    That state just loves heaping on the irony, doesn’t it?

  8. gobsmacked 8

    Advice for David Shearer: ifyoudon’t
    knowhow
    todotherhythmof
    convincingcommu
    nication
    thenyouneedto
    markyourspeech
    withprettycolouredpens
    or
    some
    thing
    otherwiseitspain
    fultolistento
    andthepointsdon’thavemuchim
    pact

    I don’t know which is worse, the woeful comedy routine of Key’s performance or Shearer’s fifth-form delivery. The latter is lost without a script, the former should just get lost.

    • ad 8.1

      That’s and have some actual policy to launch the year with. None in that speech.

      If Shearer’s housing policy is the only thing pushing blood through Labour’s veins, then we’d better have a defibrilator ready. It’s a nasty risk to run to have it placed on that single hit to keep both hands on the ribcage, pressing.

    • xtasy 8.2

      With both anticipation and FEAR did I await the re-opening of Parliament this year, and today, my fears were confirmed yet again.

      For heaven’s sake, Labourites, get meetings called, at base level, prepare for a take-over of the party, a kind of “reclaiming” of what Labour traditionally once stood for, and what a “real” opposition party in Parliament should stand for right now!

      Start a bloody revolution, and once and for all, get RID of DEAD WOOD!

      Shearer’s speech was less than mediocre, an embarrassment, even though he tried hard.

      Key took off with attacking, blaming and slamming Labour and Shearer, then served up more of what the Nats have been preaching to us for the last few years, talked like an over-ambitious, half – intoxicated used car salesman, to hammer home to the public and Parliament, that they will push through their ideology driven agenda relentlessly.

      It was just more rehashed stuff of what we have heard before, and in that “State of the Nation Speech” from Key.

      Shearer was stumbling again, losing track, mis-spelling, mumbling and fumbling with his words, then at times seemed to get on track again, clearly wanted to present a message, but did anything but to convince. It was disappointing, and he is trying to act as one “leader” that he is not.

      Brian Edwards is right in his analysis:
      http://brianedwardsmedia.co.nz/2013/01/why-david-shearer-should-give-up-acting-hes-just-no-good-at-it/

      This is becoming such an embarrasment, and the whole party will suffer endlessly, if he is not forced to resign in the coming weeks. A challenge must be made, or this will be yet another lost political year. More defensive “selling” of the same housing policy, of youth apprenticeships for the dole, of a bit vague this and the other, that is NOT, what is needed now.

      Endless criticism of the same of National is not enough, it is not policy, does not deliver enough of an alternative.

      Good on Metiria Turei, she held a good, smart, balanced and promising speech, but the real OPPOSITION spokesperson and convincing debater today was Winston Peters!

      Those that still cannot see the problem with Shearer, you will never learn and get it!

      • Benghazi 8.2.1

        We don’t need a challenger Xtasy. Just 13 MPs brave enough to vote no confidence, to give us a vote.

        The process then invites candidates plus the incumbent to step forward to campaign. Show us what they’ve got, their ideas, their style.

        I really would like to hear from Robertson, Adern and Little. I don’t know enough about their potential as Leaders and want to see them strut their stuff.

        What I don’t want is King/Mallard making any more Leadership decisions for us. It is not their right to decide when to knife Shearer and replace him with Robertson.

        Let’s have an honest process now when we’ve time to pull it together and win well in 2014.

        • xtasy 8.2.1.1

          Yeah, those that are equally concerned, phone, email and talk to your MP, secretaries, tell them your concerns, put the clear message accross, that enough is enough.

          It would be insanity to take further risks with the status quo. But then, who am I to talk.

          I saw and heard much of Shearers speech once more in the evening, and it was maybe not quite as bad (less getting stuck and losing the thread of his speech than before), but he just does not come across well, lacks fire, is too wooden, insecure and tries to appear as a kind of person that he is not, and who he never will be able to be.

          Please, please, end this nightmare, Labourites.

  9. Pete 9

    John Key announces more working prisons

    I don’t think slave labour camps are really the direction we want this country going in. Nor do we want prison labour undercutting the wages of free people in this country.

    • bad12 9.1

      Slippery the Prime Minister re-invents the wheel making it square so it sits on the road better, back befor the Neo-liberals decided that there were grand ‘savings’ to be made by canning them there were all sorts of working arrangements for prison inmates, mostly these work initiatives were centered on the needs of the prisons infrastructure from painting and building gangs to full on commercial gardens and farming operations,

      The empty suitcase of intellectual rigor who is masquerading as the New Zealand Prime Minister would better serve the employment in the economy of released prisoners by restricting access to those who have criminal convictions records except where the occupation is sensitive such as hospitals,schools, care positions etc etc etc,

      Most employers these days conduct criminal history checks upon proposed employees including those who only offer day by day labour positions and wont employ anyone with a conviction that is less than ten years old,

      There are a few tho that with deliberation who with deliberation employ ex prison inmates and are mostly rewarded with workers committed to their jobs who work hard and behave in a manner that is a credit to the particular company that hired them…

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        Yes, i know many close to home who remain unemployed casualties of the no risk employment environment and / or unforgiving moral culture (whats a little overt rebellion compared to white collar fraud?)

        • bad12 9.1.1.1

          Indeed, whats a little white collar crime, the sum total of the fraudulent induced losses coming from the non-banking financial sector in the past 5 years makes the monetary loss of all the crimes committed by those incarcerated over that same 5 year period look insignificant, and, the only thing that comes remotely close to the cost of those fraudulent money transactions in the equation is the cost to the state of locking up the crims,

          The minor ones that is, to coin a phrase, jail is where the big crims send the little crims to get rid of the competition…

    • CV - Real Labour 9.2

      Transparent play to the law and order crowd. Hey lets learn from the US, we can fire local council staff and have prisoners doing the rubbish collection and mowing lawns instead.

      • Murray Olsen 9.2.1

        Maybe prisoners could milk Garth McVicar’s cows. That’d please the anti-immigration crowd as well.

        • bad12 9.2.1.1

          Seriously tho,”as Prime minister my one goal for the year is to get the crims to do a bit of graft”, i often comment on the Prime Ministers empty suitcase of intellectual rigor,

          I think some crim must have run off with it, even for Slippery that was one bizaarely stupid speech…

        • Rogue Trooper 9.2.1.2

          that’s Busting some slapstick humour there Murray

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    its a monarch day here in the bay and they play play the Silk tree way
    so some (bad kesy) Second-Hand News to keep us amused (won’t ya lay down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff…)
    another 2.5 Billion people at the Arrival gate before 2050, dum dum diddle to be your fiddle , to be so near ya and not just hear ya…
    Obesity an expanding “global pandemic” (Staple that to the fridge)
    antibiotic resistant pathogens a threat “equivalent” to the GFC
    Ak real estate brochures delivered to the living rooms of wealthy Chinese at home; how now
    Brown cow?
    Back to school (1B5′s 30c; $3.00 the remainder of the year);NOvopay, League of Tables do not do Justice, NActional Standards, Christchurch rationalization and the flesh eating scaly one.
    the educational IT divides escalating costs of campus technology integration, software / application licenses multiplying technology scrabbling mathematical illiteracy.
    sadly, North Korean peasants eating their own as Kim continues to swear by the Enema tool of colonialist oppression while kiwis serve as social media guineas.Fine. John Steinbeck-The Pearl
    admire it some time. Oh Joy! c’e st ill cheery picking manufacturing success stories.Press them out.
    Consumption consumption consumption : wuyu- objectless desire.
    WINZ overwhelmed; annual leave, sick leave, vacancies: it’s the dole or 6-6 6 days a week stacking apples for exports down in the Dec quarter; a drop in o / seas Dairy sales of 11.7% (may be churning market though) You choose.
    Crop irrigation diverted to Throwing Copper above ground (Mister 13 tucks his patch under arm, bypassing the third long queue in an hour to front his case manager man (t#@lls better Knock on Wood; don’t get the wrong door though, “Sarge” might growl) Like water.Off a bucks back.

    husband and cultivate the world to ones proclivities and context-

    Vata-wind Ditta- bile Kapha-phlegm
    as the inspirational myriad future is over-run by the phasic powerful present past devoted belonging

    Exploitative hoarding marketing : Receptive?
    Hedonistic respectable ingenious : Authentic?
    Cynical here fatalistic yesterdays relativistic intervals : Believable pathways tomorrow?

    -Kale (Shoot To Thrill: did you know that playing aforementioned track was one attempt at “enhanced interrogation technique” by the screws at Guantanamo? Home on The Range may have been more effective)

    p.s the opposition has NO confidence in lynda Carter Speaking wonderfully for the Family. Hey, for Variety, sponsor a local child in need; kiwi kids are milk bix kids.(in Isolation we may soon only see the Mailman for 1/2 days. Thirteen Monkeys?)

    C.C. yes RL, imagine society without our social conscience (community meals start back soon); it would all be skeptical relativistic intersections (I want my MP3)

    A Song For GeoffC; Topic? What is Collective Anarchism? :)

  11. Tim 11

    OMG (as they say amongst the truly connected). That bloody band of lefties at Radio NZ are at it again! John Quiggin has just been on spouting his bloody communist shite – but NOW there’s some specimen that sounds like a muppet called David Peter Farrar – just to be “fair and balanced” of course.
    Roll on 5pm!

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      for some balance, can somebody please release me from moderation (i used the “t” word) when will i learn :(

      • Tim 11.1.1

        I understand your plight. I too sometimes go over the top. I just justify things by telling myself “There Is/Was No Alternative”. When that doesn’t work – I just watch Parliament.

  12. Tim 12

    Hey…..just btw (as they say in the truly connected world)……. now I know where some Slippery Dick comes by his dikshun. Yeee-oooh = “You know” Yearsnaturntiv = “There is no alterative”; RrrrAltee is = “The reality is”
    I’m reverting to Parliament on Chenill Noitnyforwah;

    It’s no wonder a Sikh mate of mine has such duffkilty with Unglish (over and above anywhere esse in the whurrl).

    In any event (Rogue), we can be assured of the muppet status I’ve assigned and plead guilty to

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      wellll, that sounds like some pretty damn fine Adobe Flash (there is always an alternative to the Somme) ;)

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    John Key’s pointless, wandering 2013 opening speech was the straw that finally made my camel lose its shit.

    http://www.ben.geek.nz/2013/01/getting-active/

    lol

  14. Rogue Trooper 14

    Some (bad kesy) Second-Hand News ;) ;
    another 2.5 billion people at the Arrival gateway before 2050 (dum dum diddle to be your fiddle, to be so near ya and not just hear ya)
    Obesity a “global pandemic”; the 1.6 billion overweight and obese now outnumber the mal-nourished 2-1; The World is Fat-Barry Popkin, meanwhile Mozza’s ill with a bleeding ulcer
    anti-biotic resistant pathogens are a threat equivalent to the GFC
    Ak real estate being marketed to wealthy Chinese at home in their living rooms; how now Brown cow? or year of the snake?
    Back to School- NOvopay, League tables not Justice from the NActional Standards alongside Christchurch rationalization by flesh-eating scaly ones the costs of integrating technology into campuses, software application licenses teacher IT student mathematical illiteracy

    North Korean peasants literally eating their own as Kim swears by the imperialist enema
    kiwis social media guineas.John Steinbeck-The Pearl, give it a whirl.

  15. Dr Terry 15

    Well, we have enjoyed a nice holiday from the ranting John Key but already he is back at it. Very little talk about positive Government proposals of course. Certainly his usual loss of dignity (if ever he had that). Sneering and leering at opposition members (they must be getting under his skin so soon! Good sign!) This is a speech by “a decent bloke”? Spare me!

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    Oh Joy c’est ill cheerily picking manufacturer anecdotes,
    Consumption consumption consumption : wuyi= objectless desire
    locally WINZ overwhelmed; annual leave, sick leave, vacancies; it’s the dole or 6-6 6 days a week stacking apples. You choose.
    (Mister 13 tucked his patch under his arm and bypassed the third long queue that hour to front his case manager man) Better knock, knock Knock on Wood; don’t get the wrong door now though, “Sarge” might growl.Like Water; off a bucks back.

    Crop irrigation diverted to Throwing Copper above ground.

    husband and cultivate and tailor world to ones proclivities and context

    Vatta-Wind Ditta-Bile Kapha-Phlegm
    inspirational myriad future over-run by the phasic powerful present past devoted belonging

    Exploitative hoarding marketing : Receptive?
    Hedonistic respectable ingenious : Authentic?

    cynicalhere fatalistic yesterdays relativistic intervals : Believable pathways Tommorow?

  17. xtasy 17

    Hooton labeling Standardistas as “fanatics” and “wreckers” of Labour’s November conference:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/labour-heading-another-meltdown-set-go-weekend-review-lf-134941

    “Internal fanaticism
    This sort of internal fanaticism has been seen before, including when Don Brash’s supporters were undermining Bill English and when Paul Keating took out Bob Hawke. The strategy can work because, as Mr Hawke observed, it has a terrifying logic.

    If a challenger’s faction, even a minority, is utterly determined to make life impossible for the incumbent, then eventually the leadership or even prime ministership ceases to be worth holding.

    Labour’s new rules make the strategy even more likely to succeed and have created a risk of chronic instability. With members and unions now having the power to choose the leader, whichever faction happens to be in the minority will spend its time not taking the fight to the dreaded Tories, but signing up new members and manipulating union personnel.

    The new rules put Labour at constant risk of old-fashioned Leninist entrism. Already, party bosses report infiltration by former members of the Alliance who have no interest in being part of a modern social democratic party but want to recreate Labour as a replica of their old far-left ideal.”

    Well, one has to be mindful and alert about that man, making his odd appearance here.

    So that is what he summarises comments made on TS like!?

    He is an expert manipulator, that is for sure.

  18. Rogue Trooper 18

    feck! (less. sorry ’bout the place taken; Time and Space p-brane difficulties,or maybe some superstring)
    anyway,
    God Defend (foreign investment in) New Zealand; that’s the Key!

    Do(o)m;
    -in the letters; Housing Unaffordability-Banks and Boomers (they said it, not me)
    -China is likely to reinforce the Fijian position with navy vessels, arms and vehicles, yet, were those Israeli jets seen around Fordow? while the NZX50 continues to Aspire 8.

    Pr 11:18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages yet he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward
    11:25 A generous person will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

    Alternatively,
    the person who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what they have heard, yet doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.(Religion that God accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself free from being Polluted by the world)

    -JJ (1:25 & 27; After Midnight, we gonna let it all hang out…for where we find envy and selfish ambition, there you find Disorder and every evil practice)

    • Rogue Trooper 19.1

      True? where do you find these articles joe? ;)

      • joe90 19.1.1

        l

        True? where do you find these articles joe?

        Link farms, Reddit, Metafilter, BoingBoing etc, a voracious appetite and the attention span of a sand fly with a low boredom threshold.

        • Rogue Trooper 19.1.1.1

          “boredom” was a researched topic discussed on RNZ theeuva day; apparently it’s a combination of appropriate stimulation unavailable and, a perceived absence of, and desire for similar. (not my problem; i find this site an adjunct though and it is an alternative meeting of the complete range of human motivations, for a change, particularly curiosity, and there is something healthy about a little idle collective creativity, i think, anyway)
          NOW,
          another topic of research i read recently was contrasting the “happiness” of the financially comfortable and those less so. (of course, a situational / extraneous variable that was Not addressed in the article, MSM, was the cultural context in which “happiness” factors were evaluated). Soooo, not surprisingly, people were “happier” in the Western culture studied if they had more dough.
          Interestingly, Half of New Zealand exists on below the median income, and therefore may be considered (within the premises of the article) to be “less so”. Interesting, but then what would i know, I’m only a mad low-income gardener of Allsorts.

      • Huginn 19.1.2

        Sad but true, Rogue. Welcome to Mega City.

        • Rogue Trooper 19.1.2.1

          I have been invited to write lyrics for, and attempt vocals in a Garage Band, and my mates’ influences, amongst other things? Free Jazz and CrAss (you could not make some of the stuff that happens in our connected / collective lives up! (Unrestful Movements for both of us; just listen for once, just listen to Anti-Trend)
          anyway, from another chapter, was amongst a group of formerly Very bad “perps” last night, who also have seen the “light”, and turning their lives away from The Island /Carousel
          so there is hope.

          -Rem (imagine being on The Radio!)

          • Rogue Trooper 19.1.2.2.1

            you know, and I know, my clone sleeps alone

            -Barker (why dontcha come up and shee me sometime Moneypenny?; in fact, where I reside is another menage a trois of “connections” (never been that greedy, or lucky, in the literal sense, yet regrettably got a little too greedy one-to-one, but that too, is another story)

  19. bad12 20

    The real question to be asked of the Slippery Prime Minister after today’s ‘State of the Nation’ speech in the Parliament today is did He change His diapers befor or after the childish harangue of the Opposition Party’s,

    The opening speech in the Parliamentary Year is a traditional opportunity for the Prime Minister to outline His or Her plans for the year and yet in what i detect as a display of fear our current one Slippery, chose instead at the last minute to drop the prepared speech notes in favor of a torrent of abuse directed at that opposition,

    Don’t let the apparent confidence of the Prime Minister fool you for an instant, any Prime Minister who allows one simple opposition policy, in this case the twin housing policies of the Green/Labour portion of that opposition, to derail a prepared speech has definitely not only lost the political initiative ‘going forward’ but has also lost the ‘plot’ bigtime,

    In another severely bizaare move by the Prime Minister,(possibly sniffing a knife in the back on the breeze), is the inclusion in the National MP’s ranks of a 3rd ‘party whip’, larger politicla party’s usually have two of these whips to organize their MP’s around their duties to the Select Committees and their duties in the House along with any other business the particular Party requires them to attend to,

    Why have 3 whips tho, simple , there has since Slippery the Prime Minister took over the leadership of that National Party been a simmering but unreported tension within the Caucus between two basic camps,(the Slippery’s and the Other’s), over the Leadership of National, there’s a few schisms within these camps over who will get to plunge the knife into the back of the current Prime Minister at the appropriate time and such a boiling tension in the ranks is simply the moving of the pawns in the quest for Power as opposed to the tensions within the Labour Opposition Party which center more on direction and policy,

    The extra whip??? in the political trade-offs between the two National Party factions the Cabinet make-up has largely become a finely balanced one for me and one for the Other’s juggling by the Prime Minister doling out the positions of power so as to delay that inevitable knifing from within His own ranks,

    Having miscalculated in the sacking of 2 Cabinet Ministers,( it aint Merril Lynch Slippery, they still get to hang around after you’ve crapped all over them from a great height), Slippery the prime Minister has belatedly He has handed the Other’s a surprise advantage and tipped the delicate balance of power that exists in that National Party Caucus hence the hastily arranged 3rd ‘whips’ job dragging yet another Slippery-ite into the already bulging power structure who’s very position now depends upon His support of the current Prime Minister, balance is restored,

    What tho to make of the theatrics of a clearly fearful Prime Minister in the chamber today lashing out at the opposition on a day that should have had Him proudly trumpeting the National Governments successes so far and outlining it’s ongoing plan for success, ( yes ha ha ha i am of course being facetious), what of a Government that according to the Prime Minister has a plan to push a few of the 8000 crims currently languishing in our jails into a bit of graft,

    Thats it???? apparently so if the words of the Prime Minister are anything to go by, everything is just so hunky dory according to this particular Prime Minister, there is no crisis in affordable housing that need be urgently addressed, no crisis of unemployment that cannot wait until November 2014 when someone else can address it, neither a last quarter export data report that shows that instead of growing the country’s exports in the last quarter were the worst since 2009,

    Nothing, not an iota of any pressing economic concern expressed, nary a care in the world shown for pressing societal issues while well meaning middle class New Zealanders set up Save the Children type websites so that the average New Zealander can sponsor Kiwi-kids an effort worthy of the third world,

    Bluntly, all that was contained in this the 4th ‘State of the Nation’ speech by this Slippery Prime Minister of this FAILURE of a National Government was a silent admission that They havn’t got a clue, don’t really give a s**t anyway, and the face as the Head of this unholy mess is quite frankly more worried about being knifed in the back by His colleagues than anything else going on at the moment,

    Wonder if His diapers are of the disposable variety, i just can’t imagine the abject horror inflicted upon the poor serf having to wash out the stench of such fear…

    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      better than a bad Stuff. carry on weeding, I find it therapeutic, and then, then, productive plants can grow.

    • Jackal 20.2

      I’m not too sure about your 3rd whip theory but there’s certainly some truth to Key completely changing the script to focus on insulting the opposition parties for daring to have some solutions while National looks totally dead in the water.

      Not only does the fact that Key let his emotions get the better of him look entirely pathetic, he threw some in the press gallery right off their stride and their usual towing of the party line. Some even went ahead and published their pre-written articles based on Key’s script that of course didn’t include any of Keys venomous diatribe, which just goes to show how stupid some right wing journalists can be.

      Clearly National is bereft of ideas, and we have only just begun the 2013 cycle. If attack politics is all that the venal John Key is going to offer the public while the country slides ever further into economic and social decline, let’s just cut to the chase now and declare the 2014 election won for the left… Because if Key doesn’t show some actual leadership on some very pressing issues very soon, National is done and dusted.

      Of course the right wing propagandists are declaring Keys pathetic display of juvenile taunts a huge success, all the while knowing full well that their jabbering fool of a “leader” simply doesn’t have what it takes to rally the troops behind him, and what a sad pathetic lot of sycophantic troops they are… You would find more cheer on a chain gang.

  20. I have read Brian Edwards take on Shearer and i agree with his opinion.
    There was a jump in the polls when Shearer sent Cunliffe to the backbenches, there must
    be some very blood thirsty voters out there who are happy to see someone publicly denounced
    in such a fashion and without merit or sound reason.
    Is this what we have come down to? are these the levels that some find some comfort in, within
    the wider Labour electorate ? a party that prided itself on being inclusive,caring,respectable,
    apparantley those traits no longer exsist, perhaps.
    If so many don’t see Shearer as the leader of labour,then why is that feeling not put to the
    test, members of caucus should think long and hard whether they endorse Shearer
    or not in the secret ballot and put their personal aspriations aside and vote in accordance with many in the wider electorate that consider Shearer is not the right person for the job.
    To ignore the electorate and members is a folly and irresponsible, the ball is in the mp’s
    court.

  21. Draco T Bastard 22

    CEO: An over-paid bureaucrat, usually in the private sector, working against the good of society.

  22. Rogue Trooper 23

    Afewknowmanytruths
    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blacksabbath/afterforever.html
    just foolin’ around
    night (it’s another day tomorrow) :)

    p.s thanks for the “bread” D.

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    Transport Blog | 27-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    Press Release – iPredict The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealands online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus...
    Its our future | 27-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Its our future | 27-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Press Release – Public Good Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy....
    Its our future | 27-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #30
    SkS Highlights Dana's Climate models accurately predicted global warming when reflecting natural ocean cycles examined a new paper by James Risbey et al that takes a clever approach to evaluating how accurate climate model temperature predictions have been while getting around the noise caused by...
    Skeptical Science | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping....
    MUNZ | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to protect workers from exploitation and abuse....
    MUNZ | 27-07
  • Womensfest at UOA
    Apologies for lateness!...
    The Hand Mirror | 27-07
  • Update on the Downtown Shopping Centre
    There’s a good article up on the Herald website today, with an update on what’s happening with the Downtown Shopping Centre. I’d suggest heading over there and checking it out. The article notes that “Precinct [Properties] expects to release images...
    Transport Blog | 27-07
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 27-07
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 27-07
  • I am still waiting for my cheque
    I have often said I wonder how some of the anti-science propagandists sleep straight in their beds at night. Lately this refers to various members of the local anti-fluoridation movement and their claims. Pity I am not the litigious sort – there...
    Open Parachute | 26-07
  • Yet Another National MP Spending Tens of Thousands of Tax Payers Money…
    The list of National MP’s whose arrogance is beyond measure, grows … “National list MP Paul Foster-Bell is defending a huge spike in his taxpayer-funded expenses as he campaigned for a seat selection. Wellington-based Foster-Bell’s spending increased from $7459 between...
    An average kiwi | 26-07
  • National Party Plans on Near-Starving Hospital Patients to Save Money
    Yes, the National Party continues destroying the Health system and now it’s patients with it! Article below from the ODT Warning over hospital food cutbacks Nutrition experts have warned a government cost-cutting team that patients could suffer malnutrition or even...
    An average kiwi | 26-07
  • Northcote Walking and Cycling improvements
    Auckland Transport are starting consultation tomorrow for a series of walking and cycling improvements to Northcote. All up there will be 5.2km of improvements from the intersection of Taharoto Road and Northcote Road through to the Northcote Ferry Terminal. Along with improving cycling facilities...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • Thankfully, Tories are ALWAYS wrong
    Back in 2008, 2009 and 2010, were we not assured, absolutely assured, that debt rising above 90% of GDP would send the economy into a deathly death spiral and lead to death?Indeed, ladies and gentlement, you had better hope the...
    Left hand palm | 26-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30B
    14 concepts that will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change Abrupt climate shifts in the past offer warning for future Changing human behavior is major factor in selling cleaner cars, curbing congestion China’s energy plans will worsen climate change, Greenpeace...
    Skeptical Science | 26-07
  • French Lessons
    Aux Armes Citoyens! Exacerbating Labour's current difficulties is the unfinished character of the rank-and-file's 2012 revolution. It was as if the revolutionary crowds of Paris, having torn down the Bastille, then decided to build it back up again!“APRÈS MOI, LE...
    Bowalley Road | 26-07
  • Most politicians don’t care about elderly
    Back at the end of June the New Zealand Aged Care Association ran a full paged advert in the NZ Herald concerning a number of questions they wanted politicians to answer. They also sent each party a letter outlining their...
    The Jackal | 26-07
  • I wish you all solidarity
    On Thursday night was my valedictory speech in Parliament – the last official word of my nearly nine years as a Labour MP. Valedictories are rites of passage.  Some of us will be remembered.  Most of us won’t, until we...
    Red Alert | 26-07
  • Billboards
    We drove out to Porirua today and back through the Wellington commuter suburbs: Johnsonville, Ngaio etc. There was a scattering of billboards around, almost all of which were TeamKey/National billboards. Here’s a picture of the cluster near to where I live on...
    DimPost | 26-07
  • Reconcile this, please, Mr Coleman
    National’s Jonathan Coleman has some explaining to do. He has stated that: “Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation.” The NZ Herald reports that Immigration NZ received a detailed briefing regarding the FBI’s interest in Kim Dotcom, ahead...
    Occasionally erudite | 26-07
  • Much to fight for in the Maori seats
    We all know it could be a fight to the death in the Maori seats this election, but it's startling to think that some candidates are borrowing money off their mortgages just to be able to stand at this election.It seems...
    Pundit | 26-07
  • A plea to all Labour Party activists
    Let's focus on being unfocused. Hey, maybe it will work....
    Imperator Fish | 26-07
  • Hosking hits back
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I’m broadcaster and National Party stalwart Mike Hosking and I just wanted to take a bit of time out of my busy Saturday eating Gruyère cheese and supping trim latte’s to speak on a...
    My Thinks | 26-07
  • The CRL and City Centre Office Shortages
    When the government finally announced they would support the CRL – but starting in 2020 – they listed two targets that would need to be on track to being met to bring construction forward. Rail Patronage to double to 20...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • A tale of two meetings…continued
    Last week I pointed out the marked difference between how many people are attending National's campaign meetings compared to the Internet Mana party's and thought a follow-up on how things are going is in order. Unfortunately for National thing's aren't...
    The Jackal | 25-07
  • We Are Not Anti Dairy
    A common reaction to our clean rivers initiative is that we are anti-dairy farming. This is completely untrue. The truth is that many dairy farmers, with a little cajoling from Fonterra and Dairy NZ, are doing a lot to improve...
    Gareth’s World | 25-07
  • Why the Super-Rich need Governments. (from Social Europe Journal)
     WHY THE SUPER-RICH NEED GOVERNMENTSDani RodrikThe very rich, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, “are different from you and me.” Their wealth makes them “cynical where we are trustful,” and makes them think “they are better than we are.” If these words...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 25-07
  • Four sackable offences
    We all know the National party is riding high in the opinion polls at the moment with old Teflon John seemingly untouched by any number of scandals that have plagued the government over the last six years. Much of this...
    The Jackal | 25-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
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