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Open mike 29/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 29th, 2012 - 200 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…

200 comments on “Open mike 29/08/2012”

  1. Bored 1

    When is Paula going to announce drug testing for corporate execs or the rest of us?

  2. Tigger 2

    Someone is having his cake and eating it…

    ‘Another Labour MP, Damien O’Connor, broke ranks with most of his caucus colleagues yesterday, suggesting Parliament should be focused on “far bigger issues” – and ACT leader John Banks made a U-turn on historical anti-gay comments to back the bill.

    Other MPs ducked for cover, refusing any comment on how they would vote.

    “We need to uphold marriage as a structure, as a construct around family life as a best intent,” Mr O’Connor said.’

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566858/Lobbyists-gather-before-marriage-vote

    Facetious remark about how we should be worried about ‘bigger stuff’. Check. Remark that straight people should be the only ones who can marry. Check.

    Gay people have families too and we’re just as affected by life. Possibly more affected since, you know, we don’t have equal rights. And will you run that ‘bigger issues’ test over everything you want to do? Thought not.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.1

      I wonder when the West Coast is gong to decide they don’t want to be represented by an asshole.

      • Nick 2.1.1

        You might want to look at OConnors electorate and its people: they are those old socially conservative working Kiwis, he represents them well. The arrogance of the rest of the liberal left is that they tell these people how to think (as opposed to persuading them). And they are more interested in jobs than gay marriage, they call it priorities.

        • Carol 2.1.1.1

          Arrogance? Does that include Damien O’Connor’s daughter, too?

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7454234/MP-and-daughter-split-over-gay-marriage

          The daughter of one of the bill’s opponents, West Coast Tasman MP Damien O’Connor, has taken to Facebook to urge him to change his mind and back Labour MP Louisa Wall’s member’s bill with his conscience vote.

          In a post on her father’s Facebook page, Bridgette O’Connor said people did not choose to be gay.

          “I hope he does vote for gay marriage as society needs to wake up and realise these are normal people who deserve the same treatment and rights as everyone else,” she said.

          “It is who they are. They cannot change this and are people like you and I. Why should they be denied the same human right everyone else is entitled to just because they love someone the same sex?”

          Mr O’Connor posted in reply that he was proud of his daughter “who thinks for herself and has a strong sense of social justice”.

          And, this is indicative of the shift towards support of marriage and sexual equality by younger generations. And here we see a glimmer of evidence that this shift is occurring even amongst young people born and bred on the West Coast.

          • Bored 2.1.1.1.1

            Lets just hope that the gay marriage bill gets passed, then we can have the rainbow faction of the Labour party get on and represent people with “musts” (such as jobs, food, housing) as opposed to “nice to haves”. I fekkin sick of factional interest groups who have “identities” hijacking the agenda away from those in real need.

            • Carol 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Really? I am a lesbian who will continue to speak out for sexual inequalities, and gender inequalities whenever there is a need.

              Do you see me spending more time on these issues than those of income/wealth inequalities, racial/ethnic inequalities etc?

              When I see comments like yours, Bored, it just feels like a continuation of the prejudices I’ve been dealing with most of my life – telling us to shut up and not mention damaging discrimination. Others (especially white males) are always more important.

              Fortunately such prejudices have eased in recent years. Unfortunately they haven’t totally disappeared.

              • Bored

                You may feel however you feel about what I said: my life experience has been one of long support for all persuasions, I have many times been arrested protesting for minority positions. Personally I don’t care if you are lesbian, martian, straight, what fekkin ever, I will come out in favour of your right to do anything which has no impact on another person. So don’t sit high and mighty just because you happen to declare you are a lesbian.

                My entire point is that I am hopping mad at factional interests groups placing priority on themselves first as opposed to those in real need. We can pass gay marriage etc in the background (and we should), children coming to school hungry is far more top of my priority.

                • Lanthanide

                  “We can pass gay marriage etc in the background (and we should), children coming to school hungry is far more top of my priority.”

                  Well Labour has had several member’s bills drawn that would help with children coming to school hungry that were voted down by the government. I’m not really sure what more you can expect them to achieve from opposition.

                • Carol

                  You can claim your egalitarian principles and activism all you want, Bored. But your final paragraph exposes an underlying belief/distortion. I am just sick of this BS line:

                  My entire point is that I am hopping mad at factional interests groups placing priority on themselves first as opposed to those in real need. We can pass gay marriage etc in the background (and we should), children coming to school hungry is far more top of my priority.

                  I’ve tried to argue it carefully many times and still people keep peddling it. If you want it to pass, why protest about it and take a slam at those of us in “identity” categories? It’s a very grudging way of saying “you can have your marriage bill.”

                  I see NO evidence that we are prioritising marriage equality over poverty, hunger, etc.

                  We can do more than one thing at once. And I do spend more time on issues of poverty, education etc.

                  And I don’t even see marriage equality getting more attention in the MSM at the moment than asset sales, poverty etc.

                  The biggest distractions in the MSM are celebrity “news”, crime stories, PM dance videos, etc. And if marriage equality was such a distraction, why did Paula Benefit and her boss feel such a need to re-hash the drug testing of beneficiaries story, to distract from the Children’s Commissioner report?

                  • Bored

                    Carol, as I said I hope to hell the bill passes (because in my “simple” world view this should not be a sectoral political issue per se, to me its basic rights of a citizen, which is why I am very much pro). I also get hopping mad when I get accused of being “against” interest groups because I happen to propose that we have bigger and more immediate fish to fry. Perhaps I am a grumpy white middle aged male who gets a little sick of being wrong to have any opinion because I am not female / gay / ethnic etc etc. At a gut level it feels to me like a lot of take and no give.

                    Coming back to OConnor at the start of the thread. There is a delicious historic irony in this for Labour: the party was born on the West Coast in the mining community, and their current MP seems to reflect the blue collar social conservatism of the area. A century later the party has morphed into a middle class dominated group of sectoral interests, whilst the socio – economic reasons for the birth of the party are returning rapidly. My original grumpy position was, “Are these conditions top priority for Labour?”

                    • Carol

                      Bored, agree on the middle-class focus of the current Labour Party, not on the “sectoral interests” bit:

                      Get used to the fact that the left is no longer dominated by heterosexual white men…. fortunately, and hopefully won’t ever return to that. For too long they were above criticism by the rest of us. It was a long struggle for women, Maori, Pasifika, Asians and LGBT people to gain acceptance and a voice in the left.

                      So now white heterosexual men come in for some criticism. Get used to it. Those of us who don’t fit into that, still-dominant, demographic also still get constantly attacked, sneered at, smeared and undermined. And I think blaming Labour’s ills on so-called “sectoral interests” is part of that. Where is the evidence for this? Their leader is a white heterosexual male. The most dominant people in the senior ranks are Robertson (yes gay, but also white and middleclass – he promotes middleclass values more than LGBT interests), Parker, Mallard. The main contender to oust Shearer is Cunliffe (white, heterosexual, middleclass, male).

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6162182/Labours-new-energised-party-line-up

                      It is good to see more diversity in Labour’s ranks than used to be. The Labour problem, to me, is that they have assimilated too much middleclass-oriented, neoliberal claptrap. And in the line-up, if anything, the main problem is the dominance of white middleclass people pandering to the MSM support of the middle-classes. There is far less pandering to “identity groups”, which are being scapegoated for Labour Party failings to engage more of the lower-socio-economic strugglers.

                    • Bored

                      I think what we have established Carol is that white middle aged males are used to criticism, and that we should get used to more of it for past and current sins: so going forward what would you suggest? Do I sit back and take it, have no opinion because I am what I am?

                    • Carol

                      Bored @12.08pm

                      We are all not just totally some generalised demographic, and not answerable for everything done by others in that demographic.

                      I also am white and middle-class, and just try to listen to criticisms of those demographics and try to learn from them.

                      None of us are perfect.

                      I was mostly responding to a common line that has been perpetuated blaming identity politics (especially LGBT and Māori people, and sometimes women/feminists) for the rightward moves of the Labour Party – that doesn’t match with the evidence I have seen, and undermines the struggles of those groups.

                    • weka

                      +1

                      Best solution is to recognise white men as a sectional interest.

                • Uturn

                  Bored, you’re welcome to your view.

                  The question is though, is the ability to consider oneself a part of society a must?

                  You say basic need is purely food in mouths, shelter from rain etc, and then include jobs, which in NZ means a positive social identity as a “tax payer”. Those of an orientation other than heterosexual will always have a stumbling block (Gee, that’s too nice a way of saying it)… will always be oppressed at a point where others can naturally see no hurdles. If we use Maslow’s Hierachy of Need, a simple format, we see that equality and social belonging is 2nd or 3rd tier, barely halfway, while everyone else is franticly pushing for self actualisation – frequently percieved as a right in many circles.

                  The Labour Party once stood for everyone starting from the same point of having the basics. The emotional, physical and spiritual stress of knowing you are barely tolerated or sometimes actively despised, is not a starting place of equality for open participation in any system. I would not be so hasty to accept the idea that Labour or anyone else can supply a future anywhere near to egalitarian principles while they refuse to examine the importance of foundational issues. Sure, they can grudgingly give assent; justifying it as an irritation that distracts from more important concerns; but in doing so they demonstrate a mindset without understanding the why, that will stumble and turn at the soonest convenience.

                  • Bored

                    Uturn, my welcome view seems unwelcome: yours however I am very much in alignment with. Perhaps the heart of my discontent is that my intuition tells me that Labour don’t have the priorities they once stood for. And maybe I have not groomed a sacred cow.

            • QoT 2.1.1.1.1.2

              factional interest groups who have “identities”

              Yeah, fuck them. If they just chose to be heterosexual able-bodies white cis men they wouldn’t be suffering any discrimination in the first place!

            • fnjckg 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Amen

            • Vicky32 2.1.1.1.1.4

              I’m fekkin sick of factional interest groups who have “identities” hijacking the agenda away from those in real need.

              Seconded, thirded and fourthed! :)

               

        • fatty 2.1.1.2

          “You might want to look at OConnors electorate and its people: they are those old socially conservative working Kiwis, he represents them well.”

          Are they really? Has there been any polling on their thoughts?
          The only poll that I have seen on gay marriage gives some interesting stats…South Islanders are more in favour of gay marriage than the lower/central North Island, or upper North Island. This is different from what we are often told about rural/S.I. conservatives. I always felt that the West Coast leans more towards libertarian values, rather than conservative ones.

          http://www.researchnz.com/pdf/Media%20Releases/RNZ%20Media%20Release%20-%202011-07-12%20Same%20sex%20marriages.pdf

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.3

          I wonder if Damien O’Connor has bothered to find out how his electorate think, or is just pandering to the prejudice held among many liberals that working class people are homophobic? My own experiences have been that in working class and remote communities, people are accepted or not for reasons other than their sexual orientation.

        • millsy 2.1.1.4

          Good to know that people still think the State should kick down the bedroom doors of consenting adults..

    • tc 2.2

      Yes where the hell is the constant barrage over asset sales, privacy breaches and the openly corrupt 2 fingered salute this gov’t is giving to everyone but the wealthy and corporate mates.

      Labour is headed toward minor party status under the mallarfia and the chats I have with folk show an unwillingness to persist with them in 2014.

      They haven’t cleaned out, they haven’t learned from their mistakes. It’s like watching a badly run business with a bunch of old farts driving it into the dust.

      • Tigger 2.2.1

        Gay marriage will create jobs through increased tourism and stimulus to the wedding industry. Convinced yet?

        • muzza 2.2.1.1

          Maybe thats Key’s plan to ressurect the tourism industry, you know to replace all those cycle way jobs!

          I think your bias might be getting in the way of rational thinking Tigger!

        • Vicky32 2.2.1.2

          Gay marriage will create jobs through increased tourism and stimulus to the wedding industry. Convinced yet?
          :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
          (Sorry, you are having a laugh aren’t you? That’s the silliest argument I’ve seen yet…)

      • Carol 2.2.2

        Yes where the hell is the constant barrage over asset sales, privacy breaches and the openly corrupt 2 fingered salute this gov’t is giving to everyone but the wealthy and corporate mates.

        Have you been paying attention?

        Labour (and other opposition parties) HAVE kept up a constant barrage – especially on poverty issues in the last few days. They don’t necessarily get cut-through to the MSM on this, but that is either the fault of the MSM or of Labour for poor strategies.

        Look at the list of recent Labour Party press releases. See any focus on marriage equality over issues of poverty, education, employment, etc?

        http://www.labour.org.nz/news

        John Key in denial over Kiwis in hardship
        David Shearer | 28 Aug 2012

        Child poverty affects kids’ learning
        Nanaia Mahuta | 28 Aug 2012

        Storm brewing for dairy sector?
        Damien O’Connor | 28 Aug 2012

        Parliament’s chance to help working poor
        David Clark | 28 Aug 2012

        No justification for mass detention Bill
        Darien Fenton | 28 Aug 2012

        Time for action on child poverty is now
        Jacinda Ardern | 28 Aug 2012

        Mighty River’s profits plunge another reason to stop sales
        Clayton Cosgrove | 28 Aug 2012

        Special School cuts short-change students
        Chris Hipkins | 27 Aug 2012

        Future of Hillside must be secured
        David ShearerClare Curran | 27 Aug 2012

        And look at the questions raised in the House. There’s been quite a few primaries and supplementaries questioning the truth of slippery John’s statements:

        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/f/3/00HOH_OralQuestions-List-of-questions-for-oral-answer.htm

        http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/

        Labour can improve its strategies, and could be putting out a more consistent and more left wing narrative, in my opinion. But I see no evidence that marriage equality is the main topic of their focus.

        • tc 2.2.2.1

          I use the MSM, and talk to folk who don’t use this or the labour party, parliamentary and other purely political sources as that’s where the elections are won and lost.

          Thanks for the references but no-one out there that needs to be convinced to vote or change their vote is taking notice of those releases.

          It’s that thinking that will consign Labour to becoming a minor party.

          If a tree falls in the woods and no-one’s listening etc etc play the MSM game or perish.

          • Carol 2.2.2.1.1

            I agree that opposition parties needs to find ways to engage with more voters, or potential voters.

            However, I have some misgivings about a “play the MSM game” approach. This is what Labour/Labor parties have done in English-language countries throughout the “neoliberal”. period since the 80s This has resulted in Blairite 3rd ways and the parties moving to the right.

            The left needs strategies that change the game and set a new agenda. It’s a hard task.

            But, also, credit where it’s due. People here have been asking for quicker responses from the Labour Party & Shearer, and to counter the Key/NAct spin and damaging policies. Labour & Shearer looks to have taken this on board and are more on the ball.

            They still need to improve their strategies, but the state of our MSM does make it a hard task.

          • fatty 2.2.2.1.2

            “I use the MSM, and talk to folk who don’t use this or the labour party, parliamentary and other purely political sources as that’s where the elections are won and lost.”

            TC is right and makes a good point…votes are won and lost in a 10 second sound-bite on the 6pm news. National have been owning Labour since Key came in.
            Firstly Labour needs a leader that doesn’t say ‘um’ 4 times in every sentence, then they need to keep hammering their strategy. (maybe get a strategy first)

            “The left needs strategies that change the game and set a new agenda. It’s a hard task.”

            True, but that (and owning the 10 sec MSM sound-bite) can be done by having Cunliffe as leader…I know its been said a thousand times here, but it looks like it needs to be said another thousand times.

            • Carol 2.2.2.1.2.1

              True, but that (and owning the 10 sec MSM sound-bite) can be done by having Cunliffe as leader…I know its been said a thousand times here, but it looks like it needs to be said another thousand times.

              I am more for Cunliffe than Shearer as leader for his media performances, but also his policy direction. However, I’m not sure he will provide a complete game-changer: more a change of direction away from neoliberal/neocon dominance. I very much welcome this as a start but not a destination.

        • David H 2.2.2.2

          A real nice list Carol. Sorry but there is NO MSM outlets there at all, so in fact yiu could say there has been very little coverage. because most people don’t see sites like these listed as they are not main stream sites.

          It’s like Key calling Metiria Turei Dopey even gets very little coverage as if it had happened the other way the papers would be screaming it from the roof tops. The Herald never mentions the word dopey and stuff hides it at the bottom of the page

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10830148
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566913/Key-rejects-report-as-working-poor-struggle

          Piss poor reporting if you ask me…

          • Carol 2.2.2.2.1

            David H, I listed them from the Labour Party site because it’s easier to get them from there as a list.

            I have noticed lately that such articles on the Labour Party site are also simultaneously posted as press releases on Scoop, as can be seen with this search:

            http://search.scoop.co.nz/search?q=Labour%20Party&sort_by=date

            The MSM tends to pull some quotes out of these press releases, and I also often hear some sound clips related to them on RNZ.

            I’m not sure how else a party can get comments into the media, other than from Press Releases, or some fairly elaborate appearance/stunt?

            Of course, the quality of the press release is important too.

          • deuto 2.2.2.2.2

            David H, perhaps the Herald article you provided the link to has been updated, but the very first sentence now reads

            Prime Minister John Key has dismissed as “dopey” a recommendation from a panel of experts that a universal child payment should be reintroduced as a way of reducing child poverty.

            RNZ National also covered Key’s dopey remarks in full this morning including replaying the exchanges between Key and Turei in Question Time in Parliament yesterday.

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2529572/opposition-parties-accuse-mp-of-flippancy-over-poverty.asx

            So there has been some coverage of Key’s flippant remarks etc.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.2.3

            Piss poor reporting if you ask me…

            That depends upon how you look at it and who you think the MSM is working for.

    • Lanthanide 2.3

      My boyfriend observed that the most likely reason for Bank’s changing his position on this is because of the vocal support from the ACToids on campus, who unlike him actually believe in all of that personal choice liberty stuff. Banks is supporting the bill to keep them happy, because they were his only real base of volunteers and supporters on his election campaign.

      • McFlock 2.3.1

        I love the way he’s prepared to sell his soul to preserve his political sinecure. Repeatedly.
                 
        It doesn’t matter if he makes the right choice about marriage equality, or the wrong choice about giving minute instructions to “anonymous” donors on how they can pay him – the fool will sell out each and every time. Worse than Winston. 

  3. So Key thinks that doing something about child poverty is dopey in that wealthy families will also enjoy the benefit of child payments.

    Well I have a simple solution for him.  Increase income tax rates for the wealthy.  If they have children then they will get some of this back.  But it also means that something can be done about poverty.

    The only thing dopey is being Prime Minister and that intellectually and morally bankrupt that you cannot do something, anything, about child poverty. Apart from drug testing beneficiaries.

    • tc 3.1

      So where’s the stinging attacks from the opposition, if Labour want that uninterested third to get out and vote in 2014 they’ve got to put some venom into responding to such an arrogant and stupid comment.

      Key’s just loving this pathetic opposition, a third term is beckoning if they can’t skewer him over such comments.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        There’s quite a good humanised article on it up on Stuff right now. The Greens and Shearer have been quoted rejecting Key’s remarks. I do think Cunliffe could produce more “stinging” criticisms of Key. Shearer just doesn’t have much ooomph in that way.

        But also I think the MSM are selective in how much of the opposition comments they report. The article begins with a report on a couple in limited and insecure employment struggling on low income:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566913/Key-rejects-report-as-working-poor-struggle

        They are an example of the new “working poor” – Kiwis working themselves to the bone and living from pay cheque to pay cheque.

        They’re not claiming a benefit, they live in private rental accommodation and are struggling.


        The Greens are hoping to use the report’s strong stance on the need to improve housing to argue the case for extending its insulation scheme when they meet Housing Minister Phil Heatley later this week.

        “Too many kids grow up in cold, damp homes,” Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said.

        Mr Key agreed much of the housing stock was of poor quality.

        “There’s probably some limits to what Government can do but we may be able to encourage landlords to increase the quality of their property.”

        Following a fiery debate in Parliament, Labour leader David Shearer criticised Mr Key’s “mocking attitude” and “flippant response”.

        “This Government doesn’t have solutions for these problems. It just has excuses.”

        • tc 3.1.1.1

          ‘ But also I think the MSM are selective in how much of the opposition comments they report.’ yes and have been since the run up to the 08 election.

          So opposition need a strategy that counters this with short incisive catchy quotes (rhymes work well) repeated adnauseum by every single one of them so the MSM can’t cut it up.

          Goff and Shearer are like those boring monotone uncles you avoid at family gatherings

          • Carol 3.1.1.1.1

            Goff and Shearer are like those boring monotone uncles you avoid at family gatherings

            On this, I tend to agree, tc. I can’t see me giving my party vote to a Shearer-led Labour Party. I could even overlook his lack of media presence if I thought he wasn’t so far to the right of Labour. Even Goff has more presence and is more articulate than him.

            But I am pleased Labour have upped their game somewhat. Any improvement will be of benefit for a potentially “left”-coalition/support government.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.2

            So opposition need a strategy that counters this…

            The simplest and probably most effective is to simply bypass the MSM. Deliver newsletters direct to mailboxes every week with web links on them.

    • David H 3.2

      They changed that headline overnight..

  4. muzza 4

    This article is from the source ‘nytimes’ and was first published or seen on August 27, 2012 15:54 (UTC). The next check for changes will be August 28, 2012 20:40

    News Sniffer – Keeping track of changing propaganda!

    We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments’

    A year ago, I told Muallem, I lunched with the Emir of Qatar, and he was enraged at what he called Bashar al-Assad’s lies, claiming that the Syrian President had reneged on a deal to allow Muslim Brotherhood members to return home.

    Muallem nodded. “If you met the same Emir two years ago, he was praising Assad, and considered him a dear friend. They used to have family relations, spending family holidays in Damascus and sometimes in Doha. There is an important question: what happened? I met the Emir in Doha in, I think, November 2011, when the Arab League started their initiative [resulting in the sending of League observers to Syria] and we reached agreement … The Emir told me: ‘If you agree to this initiative, I will change the attitude of Al Jazeera and I will tell [Sheikh] Qaradawi [a popular prelate with a regular slot on the television chain] to support Syria and reconciliation, and I have put down some billions of dollars to rebuild Syria…’ .

    “At the same time, when I was waiting to enter a meeting, there was the head of the Tunisian party Ennahda and the Emir issued orders to pay Ennahda $150m to help his party in the elections. Anyway, this was their business. But I asked the Emir: ‘You were having very close relations with Muammar Gaddafi and you were the only leader in his palace when Gaddafi hosted you during the summit – so why are you sending your aircraft to attack Libya and be part of Nato?’ The Emir said simply: ‘Because we don’t want to lose our momentum in Tunis and Egypt – and Gaddafi was responsible for dividing Sudan’.”

  5. Haven’t been around for a while upsetting people but with spring approaching the sun coming out and so did my mischievousness. Here is my video of the day: <a href="You can't change the weather right? Well, they did in Vietnam!

  6. Uturn 6

    I have a question/request for any feminists out there:

    I’ve just been reading about the release of Stewart Murray Wilson. The story says he was convicted of various crimes against women over a 21 year period. I’ve also been reading feminist blogs, some of which outline various basics from a feminist perspective. These have been very helpful in clearing up some of the ideas my brain has stumbled over. One such idea that I now accept is that women cannot protect themselves against rape/assault from men – it is completely the man’s choice to commit these acts and his responsibility.

    The problem the story about S. Wilson raises for me though, is if there is a man who “cannot be reached”, rehabilitated, educated or reasoned with, then how will that man ever choose anything other than what he already does? If he never changes, and we accept women cannot protect themselves, then women will never be safe. Does this suggest that there is a strictly feminist view of correction, rehabilitation and justice. Does it necessarily include things like the death penalty and prevetative detention i.e. never letting people out of prison?

    So my question is, from a feminist perspective, is there a certain ideology or system of justice or corrections that a feminist must adhere – theoretically speaking – in order to remain true to the idea women can’t protect themselves from sexual assault? Or is feminism a far more pragmatic process that deals with issues case by case, rather than setting up institutional systems based on the fear of what might or could happen?

    • Carol 6.1

      I don’t think there is one feminist line on most things – much like the left, really.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        I don’t think there is one feminist line on most things – much like the left, really.

        Yeah. That is one of the reasons that I thought this site would be worth expending effort on. I’d noticed that the ‘left’ was getting a bit too silo’ed into their own talking groups and not listening enough to differing opinions within the very broad left or even the right.

        I figured that having a on-line forum with a quite loose format* would help. Thus far I think it has. I think we have managed to irritate damn near everyone many times… Which rather means we’re doing what we intended.

        * Essentially that boils down to “don’t bore the moderators too much”, “don’t do anything that will cause the site legal issues or overstep the moderators sense of justice” and “we aren’t giving out anyone’s information”.

    • just saying 6.2

      Agreed.
      If you are interested Uturn, I can dig out some links to feminism 101 sites which answer basic questions about feminism itself.

      • Uturn 6.2.1

        Any help appreciated.

        I’ve been all over the finallyfeminism101 blog and associated links (thanks QOT for your helpful links), but haven’t found anything yet on how the basics connect to a wider picture, if there is such a picture.

        Failing such a picture existing, I’m interested to hear how any feminist sees the question of justice.

        • QoT 6.2.1.1

          For me personally, in the circumstances of our current society, I’m in favour of preventive detention for people who it’s established simply can’t be rehabilitated.

          But I do know that there’s also arguments made by feminists (usually anarcho-feminists I think, if you want a handy label to google) against our entire current system of judicial punishment, including prisons. You could also debate to what extent the “urges” felt by some offenders to hurt women/children are affected by the society they’re living in.

          Certainly I would say that one thing increasing the risk towards women and other people from some rapists/abusers/murderers is the prejudices and assumptions we make about different offenders – if they’re a clean-cut pillar of the community like the BTK killer (white, church deacon) then people assume they can’t be involved in horrific acts, or consider how one of Dahmer’s victims was returned to his house by police because of bigoted beliefs about gay men.

          In the case of Wilson, it was better put by LudditeJourno – the people of Whanganui need to understand that there are already rapists in their community, they’re just well-hidden, and our assumptions about what kind of people do those kinds of things are helping to hide them.

          TLDR: is big question!

    • prism 6.3

      Uturn 6
      I have always been interested in feminism. And women have been leaders in raising the issues of respect and justice to more than just women., to society.

      Wilson should have been in preventative detention, and that is in prison grounds definitely. Past governments have been too right-wing, more concerned about theft and property than protection of the person and the rights to a safe and peaceful life by society, especially women and children who form the greatest numbers of victims of violence.

      Also non-bullying systems in schools and educating parents on what to watch for, to prevent children starting on coercive habits that grows in a few to the skewed personality beyond redemption. The society should pick up feminist ideas and consider society being damaged and act early. At present the jail sentence is the useless and expensive punishment, which when served finishes the matter and the unrehabilitated man, the largest proportion of the genders, leaves to continue his damaging behaviour usually on a woman or women, children, animals, and anyone needy and vulnerable..

      I think there will always be a warped few, but we can improve the influences when young
      That few should be kept away from ordinary society, like lepers used to be. Lepers can be cured but I don’t believe Wilson and his ilk never will.

    • Carol 6.4

      I think some feminists see it as the all-pervasive rape culture that is the problem, as argued here. As I understand it, the argument is that rapists can control their behaviour, that most rape goes un-reported because they are shielded from view by the rape culture. Rape is a crime of exercising power and control, not one of uncontrollable sexual urges. So the answer is to change the culture (and the power dynamics?).

      http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/11/01/charlotte-allen-missed-the-memo/

      Leaving aside all the other evidence, this ignores the recent research into who the rapists are: they are not out of control. They are very much in control.

      Well, in the first instance, the rapists are the problem. They need to stop raping people. But they’re not doing it by accident, so no program of education will make them stop. Instead, we as a culture need to clear the underbrush they hide in: the tangle of sexist crap and conventional wisdom that results in a practical inability to enforce laws against rape except in cases that fit a very narrow paradigm. Make no mistake, the culture is the problem.

      And in your possible ways of constraining convicted rapists, Uturn, you left out chemical castration, which is used in one or two countries.

      • Bored 6.4.1

        I think some feminists see it as the all-pervasive rape culture that is the problem. As a male I find the concept of there being such an “all-pervasive” culture deeply disturbing. Having said that there is in my mind a pervasive culture of brutalisation of the individual in society in all sorts of everyday life events.

        On constraining rapists, I am with Prism with regard to preventative detention to prevent their brutal actions: punishments such as imprisonment or castration appear to me to be more brutalisation, (the domain of Garth McVicars mob).

        • Carol 6.4.1.1

          As a male I find the concept of there being such an “all-pervasive” culture deeply disturbing. Having said that there is in my mind a pervasive culture of brutalisation of the individual in society in all sorts of everyday life events.

          I do think there is a lot of brutalisation within our culture. And that fits with the notion that rape is an act of power and control rather than a sexual act.

        • QoT 6.4.1.2

          As a male I find the concept of there being such an “all-pervasive” culture deeply disturbing.

          If you think it’s disturbing, imagining being in the 50% of the population actually targeted by it!

          Rape Culture 101 for those with genuine interest.

          • Bored 6.4.1.2.1

            Good read QOT, theres nothing there I disagree with. Context however to “all pervasive” is another issue again. As a male I am extremely aware of the violence and brutality that society inflicts on all members, male and female, by male and female. Rape is one extremely loathsome nasty form. Others abound, one wonders at our inhumanity.

    • weka 6.5

      Uturn, I’ve appreciated your thoughtful questions and comments today. Don’t have much to add re Wilson, except that I agree people who cannot change should be prevented physically from harming others. Beyond that I believe in concepts of restorative justice, but sadly we are a very long way from being able to consider that.

      btw, some women can and do protect themselves from sexual assault. It’s just that not all women can all of the time. But even if they could, they deserve to be protected from having to.

  7. prism 7

    Save me from news from the USA. Nothing but wars and circuses. All using lots of money that is not available to the employing part of the economy and people that the politicians and their puppet masters have impoverished. Mitt Romney for President from the Republicans. They should be called Replumbicans, get their u-beds cleaned.

    And don’t call this guy Mittens give him Gloves and tell him to punch himself in the nose. In the meantime I have to turn off the news all the time. It seems that we are being suffocated as the USA presses us to its ‘kindly’ bosom.

  8. Jackal 8

    Dopey PM is a disgrace!

    With inequality increasing the fastest of all OECD countries, New Zealand now has 270,000 children living in poverty… That’s a quarter of all Kiwi kids growing up impoverished and in need. In a developed country with ample resources, this is a complete and utter disgrace!

    • prism 8.1

      General response to child poverty amongst sizable part of population, majority? – Orr who cares, that’s SEP. They are hopeless anyway, can’t do it properly (parents). Lazy sods. Waste of time trying to help them.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Drug test them too!

        • prism 8.1.1.1

          Bored
          For sure. And cancel Family First at Waipereira arbitrarily – that will save money and it’s useless, anyway it was. One of the reports said so. I don’t know what it was trying to do actually as I haven’t read the report, that’s not my bag, but I’ve got Paula for that and why bark when you own a dog?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Poverty keeps wages low and profits high which is why capitalism requires poverty and is why no government has ever tried to eliminate it.

  9. prism 9

    The ERO have scanned their reports on schools and summarised the three main findings.
    1 Is the need to give more attention to individuals. Ha just when more demanding children are
    being added to the mix and not enough help to integrate and support them. Also bigger classes.
    2 To have a ‘rich’ curriculum. That’s rich. The findings from overseas that I’ve heard of indicate that with the rigidity of demands about satisfying the ‘Standards’ the main teacher attention goes on those subjects and teaching them in a way that allows perfect understanding of the points likely to be tested on.

    I can’t remember the third point. The report sounds like a lot of specious drivel from highly-paid education specialists waffling on about things they can’t do themselves (possibly consultants). Their workplace involves sitting on chairs and working out tests for teachers out in the field who will be likely to fail the tests and demands because they are so unreasonable and impractical.

    • prism 9.1

      Further on the ERO report by –
      Dr Graham Stoop is ERO’s chief executive and the Chief Review Officer
      I listened again and he was berating teachers like a finger-pointing School Principal to pupils.
      He said something like “I am sick and tired of saying this (whatever) and very few schools are following our advice”. What a lack of respect for dedicated trained workers and professionals.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/middayreport

      I think that attitude flows from the generic managerial approach to everything and anything that is current. A manager doesn’t need to have in-depth understanding and experience of the field he is entering and his interest is in meeting targets and budgetary considerations. Even School Principals I think may not have been teachers or they may not have have actual relevant teaching experience.

      • Dv 9.1.1

        Interesting that stoop has a background of university and teachers college admin.

        He was (in part) responsible for the education of the teacher he thinks are poor.
        Does he take any responsibility for the so called poor position?

  10. Morrissey 10

    The humorless humor of “Sir” Robert Jones
    Wednesday 29 August 2012

    If you have ever wasted a few hours and struggled through one of his dire self-published “satirical” novellas, you will be aware that the thuggish property speculator “Sir” Robert Jones fancies himself as a humorist. Perhaps his favorite humorous remark over the last few years is this drily delivered comment on gay rights: “Now you can go off and marry your horse if you want!”

    No, I don’t think it’s funny either. But when Jones delivers that piece of comedy gold in front of a servile and intimidated host like Richard Griffin or Radio Sport’s Graham Hill, it always elicits a guffaw. Whether the guffaw is sincere or simply dutiful is a moot point.

    Jones’s humour might not be for everyone, certainly not anyone with a sense of humour, but he still has his admirers in the media. For example, if you were sad enough to listen to yesterday’s edition of “The Huddle” on NewstalkZB, you will have heard this….

    LARRY WILLIAMS: This government report wants school breakfasts to be provided at low decile schools. Ha ha ha! I see they reckon it would be for 850 schools! Ha ha ha!

    DEBORAH CODDINGTON: Why can’t the local community just get together at the church hall and provide these breakfasts? Why does it always have to be the government?

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Exactly. All right, gay marriage.

    JOCK ANDERSON: I’m against it. It’s just politicians cozying up to gays, many of whom happen to be my friends I might add!

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Ha ha ha!

    JOCK ANDERSON: But I’m against it.

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Deborah, what do you think?

    DEBORAH CODDINGTON: I disagree with Jock. They can marry their CAT for all I care!

    JOCK ANDERSON: Haw haw haw haw haw!

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Ha ha ha ha ha! That’s what Bob Jones says, isn’t it! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    DEBORAH CODDINGTON: Yes I think it is! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    JOCK ANDERSON: Haw haw haw haw haw!

    LARRY WILLIAMS: Thanks, Deborah and Jock. Up next: Murray Deaker!

    • Morrissey 10.1

      UPDATE!

      I’ve just heard that noted wit the Rt. Hon. Maurice Williamson quip to reporters, with the division bells ringing in the background, that he had “heard someone say that now you can marry your dog”.

      Evidently the Rt. Hon. member finds that to be a particularly clever comment.

      • Anne 10.1.1

        How in God’s name can you bear to listen to 1ZB Morrissey? It’s worse than Radio Live. Once in a blue moon I stop and listen to Leighton Smith while passing through the ether. I have never had to wait more than five minutes for the inevitable tirade of abuse towards all believers of Climate Change. I really believe this man has a serious mental disorder where the subject of Climate Change is concerned.

        • Morrissey 10.1.1.1

          How in God’s name can you bear to listen to 1ZB Morrissey?

          I listen to it so you don’t have to, Anne.

          It’s worse than Radio Live.

          While Radio Live has some excellent hosts, such as Keith Stewart, Karen and Andrew, and some of the Sunday people, there are also some pretty braindead people there. Here are a few of their most egregious bottom-trawlers: Michael Laws, Mitch Harris, Martin Devlin, John Matheson, Hamish McKay.

          And the godawful Maggie Barry had a slot there until raised to the level of her incompetence last November.

          • Anne 10.1.1.1.1

            I listen to it so you don’t have to, Anne.

            Thanks (grin).

            That godawful Maggie Barry is my MP. I note she’s after Jacinda Ardern’s blood.

            Jealousy will get you nowhere Maggie dear!

  11. Tony Molloy QC has made some very interesting comments published in the NBR ‘subscriber-only’ section, regarding the need for specialist NZ Judges.

    (Would you want brain surgery performed by a heart surgeon?
    Same argument applies to Judges (and lawyers?)

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “New Zealanders shafted by fraudulent justice system, says top QC”

    My comment (we’ll see how long it stays up :)

    “Combine the lack of legally qualified ‘horses for courses’ (including the lack of specialised Judges) with the FACT that our NZ judiciary is effectively ‘out of control’ – with NO enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Judges, no Register of Pecuniary Interests for NZ Judges and Court proceedings regularly not being recorded – then ask yourself – how on EARTH is New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  12. Dan1 12

    I can’t find any reference to Kelvin Smythe’s recent commentary on the NACT Party’s education policy and Minister.
    Well worth a read!

    http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=402

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Well, it appears that this government have caved in on software patents:

    A clause stipulating that “a computer program is not an invention for the purposes of this act” will be qualified by another that prevents anything from being an invention for the purposes of the act “only to the extent that a patent or an application relates to a computer program as such”.

    The New Zealand Open Source Society reacted angrily to the bill’s new wording in a blog post. “With the removal of the explicit software patent exclusion, and the addition of two tiny words, ‘as such’, Foss has more or less thrown Kiwi software developers under a bus,” it said.

    This government has just made it much harder and expensive for our software firms to be innovative.

  14. prism 14

    I hope that this blog isn’t going to be the in-place for conducting inquests on rape and the disgraceful behaviour of men. There seems to be a group who comment here putting women’s rights above everything else. Aren’t there other blogs who specialise in supporting women who want to complain and talk about victimisation? But who can’t self-examine themselves or their sisters and perhaps their own provocative behaviour, or even agree that women can act provocatively and unreasonably. And can’t agree that the world can be unsafe and individuals should be cognisant and take some responsibility for themselves.

    I fear that if the present trend continues The Standard will become dominated by one issue which will never finish because it is such a fertile field for criticisms. These will always be renewed as there are many attacks and discriminatory behaviours that would outrage any person. But they cannot be discussed in any rational manner looking right around the problem, trying to find a way to limit and then stop assaults.

    If this happens the commenters with wider interests looking for real discussions on them will go elsewhere.

    • Uturn 14.1

      Whao, dude, where did this come from? I haven’t been around for a while, but the last couple of Open Mikes I’ve read haven’t been overrun with what you describe. Are you refering to the perspectives in the link posted by Carol a #6.4? If so, you have to understand that they are fully supported by logical reasoning and statistics and that any attitude you may detect in necessarily abbreviating some of the concepts is completely allowable and valid. They are talking to the converted, to some degree.

      If there is a specific idea or concept in mind, offer it up. Do you want to discuss the arbitrary limitations of personal responsibility? Would you like to investigate the myths around self-protection in a prejudiced and priviledged world? How about the hidden dangers of using analogy to assist logic? That’s how the Standard Open Mike works isn’t it?

      • prism 14.1.1

        Uturn
        I actually don’t want to discuss any of your suggestions. And I find it just as irritating to come across gender politics regularly as I found Pete George’s too frequent comments. And he made reasonable comments also, but with a slant towards his favourite argument. With gender politics there is a team that comes out of a huddle and envelops the discussion.

        There are a lot of things I am concerned about and I think that I can leave you to worry at the female angle on anything.

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          I have to say I find your comment quite bizarre prism. As far as I can tell the recent upsurge in discussions from ‘female angles’ has happened for two reasons:

          1. Morrissey spammed TS with posts about the Assange case, and eventually some of us got sick of the rape apologies going on, so we started talking about that aspect of the case. Flowing on from that has been wider discussion about rape and rape culture.

          2. There are more women commenting here now. It’s natural that intelligent, politicised women will want to talk about issues what interests them.

          Ghettoising women in the blogosphere is akin to saying that women shouldn’t take their interests anywhere where men have dominated (eg parliament). Women aren’t going to take their little interests back to the kitchen. Sorry mate, you’re just going to have to suck it up.

          I’m also guessing that you mean that talking about rape makes you uncomfortable. This is understandable, but I don’t think it is reasonable to expect women not to talk about rape in mixed company, given that the problem is with men. I wouldn’t worry about it too much though, it will come and go as a topic like other ones do.

          btw, I’ve been meaning to say this for some time. I’ve been really enjoying how many women are commenting here now. TS is a fairly blokey place, which is fine, and I think it adds to the place to have strong women’s voices here too. This isn’t just in obvious feminist discussion, I’ve been noticing the different views that women often bring into the debates. A few men have commented on this too.

          • Carol 14.1.1.1.1

            And I would add that the issue today that has given rise to some of the comments is the passage of the marriage equality bill. I’m not into marriage myself, but understand that for a large number of LGBT people, it’s a significant milestone – a measure of achieving full acceptance in the eyes of contemporary society. It’s not an issue that’s likely to dominate here once the bill is passed.

            I can remember the time when people, even friends, rarely talked about homosexuality, and when they did it was with a significant sneer and demonisation. The impact was debilitating for those so ostracised, in every sphere of their lives. I have known people who have committed suicide, been incarcerated in psychiatric institutions (and one old guy in the UK who had been imprisoned), deteriorated into alcohol or other addictions, and/or been rejected by their families.

            So, please can we (hopefully) celebrate an important landmark, without one or two (and it is a minority) of those whose sexuality has dominated exclusively for too long, giving us a bit of a slap and saying “But what about me?”

            Another stimulus to discussion of rape/sexual assault today came from Uturn’s question (I have the impression UTurn is a male).

            And then you will see, I for one, will be largely back to the pressing issues of income inequality, poverty, employment structure etc….. ones that won’t make one or two leftie guys feel the least bit uncomfortable.

          • lprent 14.1.1.1.2

            I’ve been really enjoying how many women are commenting here now. TS is a fairly blokey place, which is fine, and I think it adds to the place to have strong women’s voices here too.

            It is a steadily rising tide. Quite encouraging bearing in mind that we do have some rather pointed debates going on at various times.

            However, for the sheer volume of comments you can’t beat a man for their genetically enhanced obsessional devotion. And alas we don’t have nearly as many obsessionally persistent female authors as I’d like. Probably for the same reason I suspect.

            :twisted: cat/pigeons…

            BTW: I like obsessional devotion. I’m a programmer by choice mostly because I can’t get bored programming (as I did with every other profession I went into). The continuous massive and ongoing learning curve is great. Try to find another profession where the body of knowledge in a field requires me to still spend ~20% of my time learning new stuff after 20 years coding professionally. Programmers have obsessional devotion emblazoned as part of their job description. If you don’t have it then you descend and wind up as a manager…..

          • Morrissey 14.1.1.1.3

            Morrissey spammed TS with posts about the Assange case, and eventually some of us got sick of the rape apologies going on, so we started talking about that aspect of the case.

            What rape apologies have I ever engaged in? Perhaps you have some evidence to back up your self-rigteous posturing, but I strongly doubt it.

      • fnjckg 14.1.2

        much is determined
        may be all “analogy”

    • Carol 14.2

      And yet, a look at the last few posts/articles on TS shows they are about poverty (one written by me I might add), and one on asset sales.

      I have posted quite a bit on poverty and income inequality lately – are those comments invisible?

    • just saying 14.3

      FFS prism.

      The matters you don’t want others to talk about, even though you’ve brought them up yourself, seemingly out of the blue, are a very small proportion of the multitude of discussions on open mike, and also a small proportion of the many subjects that those who have offended you, have talked about on open-mike.

      Interesting that you have perceived them as dominating though.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.4

      It’s not about women but injustice and that needs to be talked about and addressed whether you like it or not.

      • Colonial Viper 14.4.1

        I agree DTB. But what quality discussion can be held when accusations of “rape apologist” and “supporter of rape culture” are quickly rolled out.

        Because that’s not about any kind of real discussion, that’s simply about shutting discussion down. i.e. your perspectives are wrong, my perspectives are right, there’s nothing whatsoever inbetween to be discussed, and if you bring it up again you must be a very bad person.

        • McFlock 14.4.1.1

          If a commenter does not wish to be accused of being a “rape apologist”, then that commenter should avoid making comments that appear to marginalise rape complainants and minimise the extent and effect of what acts have been complained about.
                 
          Avoiding the standard tropes of “he’s a nice guy”, “but they were in bed together”, “she obviously changed her mind the next day” and “golly gee, but what does ‘consent’ really mean?” would also help. 

          • Colonial Viper 14.4.1.1.1

            In other words, don’t bother to raise any discussion points if they don’t fall in line with what other people think is the correct interpretation.

            • Uturn 14.4.1.1.1.1

              No I think it means show your reasoning without skipping any of the process. That is what is called discussion. And if your reason is you just don’t like X or Y or some other whim, and intend never to learn or change, then admit it. Worst case, people should be able to reach impasses amicably and then just leave off.

              It’s also evidence of understandably unprepared people (nobody can know everything) attempting to discuss often emotionally charged topics.

              If everyone approached contentious issues in good faith, had intimate knowledge about the privilege society grants their skin, gender, physical size, ability and appearance, family history etc; could tell the difference between an animate and an inanimate object, making comparisons of like accurately; understood the literal and cultural implications of the English language; then the conceptual abbreviations that emerge as accusations such as rape apologist/supporter either wouldn’t happen or would be understood as attacks on the ignorance of privilege, not the individual.

              Someone who has spent a lifetime experiencing negative isms will see things a bit more angrily when it’s pushed once more in their face, than those who haven’t and who (sometimes unintentionally) say things that push emotional triggers in the oppressed party. Must a victim constantly walk each unknowing person through the basics forever and ever without showing the least bit of irritation? Could they be forgiven for thinking a certain train of thought or phrasing of words will lead the same place every time? Must they be asked to use words that upset them, so that their opponents don’t get upset? And do it all from a defensive position. It’s a big ask. Even Gandhi and Christ got mad.

              It doesn’t need to shut discussion down. If the oppressed person gets angry at unintentional errors and then says to the unaware privileged party, “You’re a bad person” then surely that too is understandable. Hurt occupies all spheres of the human psyche, emerging in all ways rational and irrational. So while we play with concepts, safely, on our PC screens and several degrees removed, with no consequences thanks to the distance of the internet; talking about rape as if it’s merely a four letter word and nothing more; someone else has and is living the reality. While the privileged party is unaware of their privilege, or maybe carrying their own emotional scars set off by conflict, they too will get hurt and then arguments starts, polarisation is reached and nothing good.

              The Standard is not a minority space as such. Anyone can join in without having to pass a test. lprent was just saying how a broader selection of views was the motivation to begin this place. However, there is no mystery that a certain attitude and perspective holds sway here. Nothing wrong with that, everything has to start somewhere. If you’re cis, as QoT put it earlier, allowing a bit more leeway, carrying a bit more of the load, taking a few hits without moaning its not fair, to allow voices not usually heard, isn’t going to end in the total silencing of the sacred privileged voice.

              A place like this has the potential to allow people with differences to meet, with a greater buffer for ignorant people to get less ignorant without the wounds they would get blundering into a minority space. That’s why I come here, as one of the ignorants. If that doesn’t happen, it’s because the dominant culture couldn’t make changes, not any particular hostility from a visitor.

              • fnjckg

                Wow! Srong Medicine!

                (couldnt even find the The Standard on the favourites)

                practice practice practice

              • Jackal

                +1

                Unfortunately it’s the jump to accusations of rape apologist that is often lacking reasoning and empathy with the opponents point of view. It is understandable that people are ignorant, and in the case of rape culture this is sometimes beneficial.

                Contentious I know, but the best way of not being a victim is to not let your resentment at the abuse you’ve received be perpetuated onto innocent (ignorant) people. In a way you’re simply making an excuse for the cycle of abuse to continue, albeit in a limited way. Ghandi and Christ certainly did not preach for the continuance of hurt in any of its manifestations and I think both sides of the discussion should think a bit harder about what they write as to not cause offense when it is not deserved.

                I’m glad there’s a group (both men and woman) who comment here that highly value women’s rights. This is in stark contrast to many other blogs where a feminine perspective is criticized, if its present at all. Men need to face the fact that women have been badly treated and repressed for a very long time and some of the negative comments directed in a generalized way are deserved. Some of course are not, but it’s a kind of rebalancing if you like that the blogosphere and western culture in general needs to see a lot more of.

                Prism has a valid point concerning the Assange debate which just went around in circles for days. That stagnation more than talking about rape per se makes me now skip through such comments. In my opinion, much of the discussion was doing more harm than good… I think we can all agree that’s not the desired outcome.

                • weka

                  “Unfortunately it’s the jump to accusations of rape apologist that is often lacking reasoning and empathy with the opponents point of view.”

                  I don’t  think that accusation has been made widely against specific people here. Mostly I’ve been talking about Assange, then later Pilger, and in a general sense of x attitude supports rape culture. I know you took some of my general comments personally, but IMO you were mistaken.  

                  “Prism has a valid point concerning the Assange debate which just went around in circles for days.”

                  Funny how people remember things differently. See I remember the general Assange debate going on for much longer than that. Ad nauseum. Very long threads and arguments that I’m sure lots of us weren’t even reading in the end. But when some of us started talking about the rape issues, all of a sudden this is a problem. It didn’t go round in circles for days. There were some interesting lines of conversation that arose periodically and that eventually morphed into discussion about things like consent.

            • McFlock 14.4.1.1.1.2

              If those “discussion points” follow the same form as tactics used to minimise rape for the last several hundred years, don’t bother to raise them.
              If those “discussion points” are verbatim, demonstrable lies from the “nice guy’s” legal team, don’t bother to raise them.
              And if you don’t understand the difference between “I want this” vs “No, don’t do that”, don’t bother commenting because you can add nothing to the debate.
                             
              If you have clear and demonstrable reasons for believing a complaint to be false then in that case, fair enough. But remember that western society has largely been built on minimising the impact of injustice and violence against (amongst others) women, and try to phrase your argument accordingly. You shouldn’t have to step back in time fifty or one hundred years simply to defend a genuinely “nice guy”.

              • Colonial Viper

                What irritates me is that while there are real injustices and inequalities happening in the world, there is also a brigade who appears to think that they are all of a comparable magnitude, that you can primarily resolve them by wordsmithing the vocabulary people use, by controlling the discussions they engage in, and by badgering them with indignant moral righteousness.

                I’m predicting that’s gonna be a fail, but I could be wrong.

                You shouldn’t have to step back in time fifty or one hundred years simply to defend a genuinely “nice guy”.

                Not sure if you are applying this to Assange, but by most accounts he’s a real prick.

                • McFlock

                  Trying to avoid the Assange thing while addressing the point. Even though he is very much the elephant in the room.
                               
                  Even if injustices and inequalities all each had their own place in a single objective continuum of “magnitude”, surely a person is able to advocate against one without supporting another?  
                     
                  Surely bringing up rape myths to try to discredit allegations against someone who opposes high-magnitude injustices cheapens us all? And surely it would also be unnecessary if the allegations were demonstrably false?

                   

                  • Bored

                    I just read Open Mike of 18/8 again, lots of vitriol, and I read Uturn on giving greater leaway to victims because I might be privleged.. ., and I perceive a lot of guilty before proven flying around, and some views being ascribed greater value because of who says them. All couched in complicated arguments. I am no better informed.

                • Carol

                  What irritates me is that while there are real injustices and inequalities happening in the world, there is also a brigade who appears to think that they are all of a comparable magnitude, that you can primarily resolve them by wordsmithing the vocabulary people use, by controlling the discussions they engage in, and by badgering them with indignant moral righteousness.

                  Mostly I agree with this and would rather argue my corner based on reference to relevant evidence and (what seems to me) a logical argument.

                  But there is also a place for expressing moral indignation or anger, so long as it doesn’t become a persistent MO.

                  This:

                  real injustices and inequalities happening in the world, there is also a brigade who appears to think that they are all of a comparable magnitude,

                  Some feminists these days refer to the “oppression olympics” (my oppression is worse than yours) as a fruitless endeavour,.

                  They (and I) prefer an approach labelled “intersectionality” i.e. taking each issue separately and being aware of how various injustices/inequalities can intersect, overlap, feed off each other, and at times conflict. So for instance, the division between class/socio-economic issues and “identity” issues is not that clear-cut. What about working class or unemployed LGBT people, or Māori, or women in any of those groups?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well, I too have been known to express a note of moral indignation from time to time :)

                    They (and I) prefer an approach labelled “intersectionality” i.e. taking each issue separately and being aware of how various injustices/inequalities can intersect, overlap, feed off each other, and at times conflict.

                    This is fine for an academic or policy analyst. But outside of those circles, extremely few individuals conceptualise their lives or those of their communities in terms of “intersectionality”, or would be persuaded by such arguments.

                    • Carol

                      Actually, many might not use the word “intersectionality”, but many do, in practice see themselves in terms of more than one identity. It’s a fact of life in modern society. How else would an unemployed lesbian or disabled person see themselves?

                      And some feminists who use such terms are not particularly aademic.

                      I certainly don’t see it any more of an abstract academic concept than many you have used in discussions of economics, financial organisations and socio-economic structures.

                    • muzza

                      CV & Carol, you have both illustrated nicely where the downward spiral perpetuates from…Academia.

                      There are other factors, but by in large the overwhelming majority are ruled by the financial, and academic elite, while the sporting elite, and other skilled indivuduals, teams or groups, are simply the entertainment and distrations for the “unwashed”,

                      Until the the gap is bridged, more inequality in terms of poverty/wealth, educated and undereducated will drive humanity into the ground.

                      The human experiment is failing, unless youre at the top end of it, and until a connection can be found to the “unwashed”. there is no turning the ship around, not that I believe there is a desire to do so!

                      No amount of online posteuring will contribute, not in any meaningful way, and I would hope that the two of you are active not just in the virtual space, your posts would indicate potential!

              • prism

                But remember that western society has largely been built on minimising the impact of injustice and violence against (amongst others) women,

                How can we forget. It’s still happening amongst other awful things. Rachel Corrie was mentioned on Open Mike by William Joyce, that’s an awful thing that should be remembered. Though sex wasn’t involved. I think being run over by a bulldozer is worse than most things.

          • prism 14.4.1.1.2

            McFlock 14 4 1 1
            So you want to decide what people should say and think. That is despotic and prejudiced. You jump in and attack with words anyone with an opinion you don’t approve of with rape inflaming your mind. Perhaps it would be better to have a thread just for angry feminists that you can moderate for yourselves and let us have the rest of the blog to put our thoughts as ‘ordinary’ people.

            • McFlock 14.4.1.1.2.1

              So you want to decide what people should say and think
                  

              Nah, mate.
              But if people are allowed to minimise sexual assault because it makes their politics inconvenient, I’m allowed to call it what it is. If they don’t want to be called “rape apologists”, the best way is for them to avoid acting like “rape apologists”. 
                                

              • Colonial Viper

                So in the interests of their personal politics, who exactly is seeking to minimise rape and sexual assault? And who exactly is seeking to maximise rape and sexual assault?

                • McFlock

                  Nobody “maximises” rape as far as I’ve seen. Quite a few simply insist that it be called what it is.
                              
                  As for “who minimises” rape, for a start try the people who argue that any particular case of a person claiming to have been forced to have sex against their will was not “real” rape, or that they complained out of jealousy, or that they were in bed with the accused so anything is okay, or that nothing ever happened and they made it up for their own reasons. All based on very little knowledge of what actually happened.
                               
                  If you have a particular case in mind, look at the comments about the incident. See if any match. There’s your answer. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nobody “maximises” rape as far as I’ve seen. Quite a few simply insist that it be called what it is.

                    You’re pretending that one word “rape” is a satisfactory descriptor while I believe it is not. That one word alone is not sufficient to cover the very wide range of situations and offending which can occur. This NZ law understands. And even the Swedes recognise that there are wide variations in culpability, as we also see in the wide range of sentences our courts hand out. So yes I agree with you fully, “rape” needs to be called exactly what it is, straight out.

                    But then you have to take it to the next step and differentiate between the severity of the crime, e.g. as Sweden does – ‘minor rape’, ‘moderate rape’ and ‘severe rape’. (Although I don’t know the exact Swedish translation is, they have 3 grades of severity enshrined in legislation as I understand it). I take it that you have no problem accepting this, from what I have read.

                    All based on very little knowledge of what actually happened.

                    Yeah which is why I’m sick of people assuming Assange is guilty based on circumstantial matters (“oh look he happened to leave Sweden at a very convenient time!”) instead of giving him the presumption of innocence which he is due.

                    • McFlock

                      “Rape” is perfectly adequate to describe “sex without consent”. Far more accurate than “sex by surprise”, for example.
                                
                       Where did anyone say that Assange is definitely guilty of rape?
                           
                      As opposed to people claiming that the women made up their allegations, or that there is not a shred of evidence against him (when courts in two jurisdictions have found otherwise), I mean.

                    • weka

                      Yeah, I’ve never said I thought Assange was guilty. Seriously, we’ve been through this before. Alot. 

                      btw, I am under no obligation to give Assange the presumption of innocence. Jurors are, as are media, judges, etc. But not me, nor you. I don’t happen to have an opinion about Assange’s guilt or innocence. My arguments have been based solely on the reports of the complainants and that if they are true, then it was rape.

                      ‘Rape’ is the word in common usage. We’re not in a court of law here. 

                      The problem with using terms like ‘minor rape’ is that outside a legal situation in Sweden, they’re meaningless. Want to tell a woman that’s been raped that her rape was minor? Think about that. 

                      I’ll use the terms sexual assault and sexual abuse as needed (although not strictly interchangeable), so it’s not like the term rape has to be used all the time. Shall we call a man putting his erect penis in a woman’s vagina while she is asleep and without her prior consent ‘sexual abuse’? Is that better? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah its all a bit deja vu.

                    • weka

                      I’d be happy to stop talking about Assange for sure :-)

            • weka 14.4.1.1.2.2

              Looks to me like some of the men here are taking things personally, and in all honesty, things probably not even directed at them. Any chance you could take a step back and give some of us the benefit of the doubt, that we might actually know what we are talking about? I don’t mean accept whatever is said, I mean get to know the concepts and language and issues and then debate them meaningfully.
               
              I can’t see the difference between an angry feminist and an angry [insert politics of choice]. People get angry here all the time, so what is the problem when women/feminists do it? Although for the record, I don’t feel angry most of the time posting here on these issues. I do feel frustrated in a rolling eyes, here we go again, kind of way. And disappointed. The rape discussions haven’t really gotten past 101 level yet (actually that is me being kind, in some ways some of them are not even in high school yet). Can you imagine what it is like being here with so many intelligent passionate people and them struggling to get even basic concepts? (obviously I’m not talking about everyone here). Seeing people here with massive knowledge about certain areas of politics and then realising that they have so little knowledge of other issues that it’s hard to even have a coherent conversation?
               
              ‘Rape culture’ theory is a legitimate political analysis. ‘Rape apologist’ is a legitimate descriptor of how some people endorse rape culture. If you are not familiar with those terms, as feminists use them, then I suggest you take some time to learn about them. Then some of what is being discussed might start to make sense.
               
              btw it’s very strange to see TS regulars saying that it’s not ok to call people names :roll:. Or that suddenly we’re not allowed to critique use of language, or challenge people on what they are saying. Or that making strong arguments is somehow trying to control how people think or makes us despotic. Good grief, that’s what commenters here do all the time.
               
               

              • Carol

                I agree that many commenters use quite dismissive terminology, not just feminists. They can’t be the apt terms to use on occasions, but they don’t usually work for me, especially when used a lot.

                I consider myself a feminist, but tend not to use such terms like “xxxxx apologist” . I tend to feel it doesn’t help with communicating an argument, but just works as a debate-stopper. And they tend to sound like jargon that just works to interfere with the message.

                Just because many feminists use such terms, doesn’t mean it’s really that helpful to use them a lot in debates….. IMO.

      • prism 14.4.2

        Who’s you DTB be specific. And when people are thinking about injustice they can find it everywhere as you say.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.4.2.1

          Who’s you DTB be specific.

          As it was a reply to you I was being specific. Of course the structure of the sentence was also general enough that it could apply to anyone reading it.

          And when people are thinking about injustice they can find it everywhere as you say.

          The problem being was that you were whinging about people discussing a particular injustice, in your words, “putting women’s rights above everything else”. Hiding from that injustice isn’t going to make it go away.

          As has been pointed out before, we can discuss and act on more than one thing at a time.

          • prism 14.4.2.1.1

            DTB
            Yes that is what I was asking for, not to be dominated by one thing and told what to think about it. Hardly a rational discussion allowed.

            Also I was making a salient point that if women’s rights were going to dominate, it would be an irritant just like Pete G was and in the end people won’t want to use the site. But we can criticise Pete G who wasn’t always wrong, and freeze him off with faces, but I presume women’s rape and sexual assaults can’t be treated the same. It is not PC to honestly say enough. It is not allowed.

            But I think I’m wasting my time trying to explain this. I will probably just give up. And spend my time elsewhere trying to understand things that are available to be understood, noted, questioned, discussed, ameliorated, changed, and hopefully be solved or at least improved. That’s what interests me and what I thought I’d see on this blog.

            • marty mars 14.4.2.1.1.1

              prism, and bored too – the discussions are a chance for you to learn, to listen and think, not just about what is being said, but why it is being said. I have learned so much from those arguments and I don’t think they are a waste, or use up bandwidth, no – they are essential IMO.

              You guys are missing out on the best education out there – learning from others who are different to you, about their experiences and views – it is a gift, stop wasting it.

            • weka 14.4.2.1.1.2

              “Also I was making a salient point that if women’s rights were going to dominate, it would be an irritant just like Pete G was and in the end people won’t want to use the site. But we can criticise Pete G who wasn’t always wrong, and freeze him off with faces, but I presume women’s rape and sexual assaults can’t be treated the same. It is not PC to honestly say enough. It is not allowed.”

              I don’t see it. The rape issues aside, there isn’t that much discussion about women’s rights here and I don’t see much protest about talking about women’s rights on TS either. We’re not even close to dominating.

              I don’t see feminists grabbing the first post on Open Mike each morning. Nor using TS to link to their own blogs and up their traffic. Nor doing the rounds of other blogs slagging off TS. Nor posting massive amounts of inanities that have people pulling their hair our. Nor do I see long lines of people resorting to using :roll: instead of an answer to a comment.

              • QoT

                The rape issues aside, there isn’t that much discussion about women’s rights here and I don’t see much protest about talking about women’s rights on TS either. We’re not even close to dominating.

                The few explicitly-feminist posts there have been on TS (disclaimer: often written by me) tend to attract a huge number of comments, but yeah. It’s hardly like there’s even one definitively-feminist-issue-related post a week around here, unless we start assuming everything welfare/poverty/child abuse-related is only a feminist issue.

                What I personally love is how after Morrissey spent something like a week getting the first post on Open Mike every single day to put forward more defences of Assange, suddenly prism’s problem is that it’s the evil feminists who are trying to dominate the conversation.

                • NickS

                  That makes me glad I’ve been otherwise too busy/tired to bother with the open mike for the last couple of weeks…

                  What I personally love is how after Morrissey spent something like a week getting the first post on Open Mike every single day to put forward more defences of Assange, suddenly prism’s problem is that it’s the evil feminists who are trying to dominate the conversation.

                  Oh lordy…

    • NickS 14.5

      /snark on.

      But who can’t self-examine themselves or their sisters and perhaps their own provocative behaviour, or even agree that women can act provocatively and unreasonably. And can’t agree that the world can be unsafe and individuals should be cognisant and take some responsibility for themselves.

      It’s very simple, FUCK YOU.

      What you’re doing is here is blaming the victim for the behaviour of the attacker, who, under the law is solely responsible for their own actions (unless significant mental illness etc gets in the way…), and should know far fucking better. And you know what else victim blaming does? It makes victims lives even more of a struggle, it can lead to significant depressive episodes or worse, significant social isolation and overall reduces reportage of serious crimes to the police. Like rape.

      If you can’t or wont understand the above, fuck off to the sewer where this sort of bullshit is oft praised and you can totes pat yourself on the back for pushing “responsibility”.

      here seems to be a group who comment here putting women’s rights above everything else. Aren’t there other blogs who specialise in supporting women who want to complain and talk about victimisation?

      /facepalm

      The stupid, it burns.

      Aww, cupcake, is your privileged little white dude world getting all perturbed by the rather real human rights issues feminists bring up? Awww, poor snookums, you better go listen to the froth of shit that is talk-back radio then to try and hide the problems the part of the population that isn’t white dudes has to deal with daily. While the rest of us who don’t turn a blind eye get on with kicking the patriarchy firmly in the groin and the daily cluebatting of ignorant, privileged, twits like you.

      • Bored 14.5.1

        Two things NickS:
        * whilst the victim is never responsible for the behavior of the offender it is incumbent to be aware of the danger, and certain men are worth taking a very wide berth of. I think that was Prisms point, sort of like dont go to Compton and dance in the street without being aware that the Cryps might mug you, the world can be a bad place so be aware. Sad but true. Again no excuses for perpetrators.
        *Tagging Prism cupcake etc, I see him regularly kicking the patriarchy firmly in the groin and you go kicking him for being a priveleged white dude. How to win friends and influence people. Really clever, not.

        • NickS 14.5.1.1

          lolwut?

          If prism had meant to say that, he shouldn’t have said what he said, and even then, in the context of where and how rapes happen, the horror is that the predominately aren’t done by someone completely unknown to the victim. Often it’s a family, a friend, or someone within their social circle, and the warning signals aren’t always that straightforward to pick up, and more worryingly little is often done by those in a position to intervene, for a variety of crap reasons.

          As for attacking prism, guess what? Shitty victim blaming etc still makes you a douchebag no matter how much “good” you’ve done.

      • prism 14.5.2

        Nick S 14.5
        Yours is just the sweeping despotic prejudiced reaction that I am talking about. Cripes I have never done anything bad enough to earn this sort of shit. You are one smug superior know-all thinking you can abuse someone because by merely defending the victims you are earning brownie points and there are no holds barred. And I thought you were a scientific type, or perhaps that was another Nick.

        • NickS 14.5.2.1

          You are one smug superior know-all thinking you can abuse someone because by merely defending the victims you are earning brownie points and there are no holds barred.

          Or it could be, that after months of watching otherwise intelligent individuals in the atheist community completely fail at basic scepticism vs feminism and it’s aims, along with denying harassment is an issue or engage in victim blaming vis harassment and supporting the harassers I no longer have _any_ tolerance for such shit.

          From anyone.

          Irrespective of who the fuck they are.

          And the fact you assume that I’m doing it for “brownie points” is frankly fucking pathetic.

          I’m not doing this for “kudos”, I’m doing this to rip into your bullshit for the shear fucking self satisfaction of the act, for forcing you to confront the bitter truth that you’re putting forth pure bullshit.

          And amusingly I see you’re dodging.

          • muzza 14.5.2.1.1

            I’m doing this to rip into your bullshit for the shear fucking self satisfaction of the act

            Which is why Nick, life must be so very hard for you what with an attitude like that. I suspect a real life meeting with you would reveal a somewhat toned down arrogance, but arrogance none the less (hiding some other holes in the “armour”), which must really contribute heavily to your self professed depression!

            • Bored 14.5.2.1.1.1

              Thanks Muzza, said it for me. Seemed rather like listening to Comrade Prosecutor at a Soviet show trial, somewhat psychotic. Like the rest of the arguments it gave me some insight into what Orwell went through with his “allies” in Spain. Who needs enemies with friends like this?

              • NickS

                :rolleyes:

                Ye elder things…

                Of course, such a claim also allows you to marginalise and dismiss my anger :3

                How convenient for you.

                • weka

                  Yeah, I find Nick’s post pretty over the top in style, at the same time as agreeing largely with the substance.

                  So, if you have a problem with Nick’s anger, then be honest about that. This kind of attempt at pathologising someone’s argument is poor debate:

                  “Seemed rather like listening to Comrade Prosecutor at a Soviet show trial, somewhat psychotic. Like the rest of the arguments it gave me some insight into what Orwell went through with his “allies” in Spain.” 

                  There have been similar, lesser attempts throughout this whole discussion on rape. The subtle attempts to pathologise people talking about rape says more about the discomfit some people are feeling on the topic than anything.

                   “play the ball, not the man” ;-) 

                  • Carol

                    ”play the ball, not the man”

                    Yes. An approach I always agree with: a policy I aim for, even if imperfectly – not always easy.

                  • NickS

                    Thanks :3

                    And I’m glad I missed those discussions, they would have been seriously upsetting to read…

            • NickS 14.5.2.1.1.2

              And once more muzza proceeds to unintentionally be highly ironic.

              Simply by doing what they claim I’m doing. Oh and in case you haven’t learnt it yet, there’s a very big difference between anger and arrogance.

              And I so <3 totes your attempts at armchair psychology, which show you really don't gork depression (which is probably a good thing, since it requires training or actually having had it) and are attempting to arrogantly impose your own ignorant assumptions /smugface

              • muzza

                The assumption of ignorance, again serves only to emphasize that my contention of arrogance, was on the mark!

                • NickS

                  :rolleyes:

                  1) you made a claim about my depression which doesn’t match teh evidence*

                  2) for which the phrase “ignorant assumption” describes well

                  3) instead then of actually explaining why your assumption wasn’t ignorant, you then proceed to call me “arrogant”

                  [insert sarcastic clapping here]

                  ___________________________
                  * I know pretty much why I’m depressed (suicidal episodes do have their slight sliver linings…), and it sure as hell has nothing to do with arrogance.

  15. Bored 15

    Jeez you are brave: I’m going away now as I could not possibly comment validly (being a white middle aged male).

    • QoT 15.1

      Oh, poor Bored. It must be so terrible, not being able to fling around contemptuous comments about people with “identities” without other people criticising you. Life is fuckin’ tough, ain’t it?

  16. prism 16

    Jim Mora announcing his menu for today – ‘Do we need to send a delegation to Rio to find out about climate change?’ Not, I wonder what our delegation will tell us about the latest results on climate change.

    Does Sanitarium pay taxes or are they excused because they are a charitable organisation?
    Certainly they are using our legal system to assert copyright law and get an injunction against someone with a similar product. Is that what is called parallel importing?

  17. captain hook 17

    I supose sex is ok if you haven’t got good book or there is nothing on telly.

  18. captain hook 18

    how is it that kweewee can give to the rich but not those in need.
    poor people dont eat money.
    they use it to buy food.
    and not as a tool to fuck with the bank managers head when they haven’t got anything else to do.

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    After keeping the excise duty on petrol down it now appears that NACT will be increasing it to help pay for their uneconomic RoNS.

    Petrol will cost more from next year when excise duty is increased to help pay for new roads, the Government has confirmed.

    The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) released its programme for 2012-2015 on Wednesday, with details of the government’s $12.3 billion investment.

    Transport Gerry Minister Brownlee says it’s the largest programme of its kind in New Zealand’s history.

    The money will be spent on new highways – the “roads of national significance” that have been previously announced, and on maintaining existing roads.

    So what we’ll see is even more cars off the roads and those highways becoming even more uneconomic.

    • Carol 19.1

      Didn’t the same government reject a rise in petrol tax in the Auckland region, which was wanted to improve public transport?

      • mike e 19.1.1

        another broken election promise.
        Nick Smith and Stephen Joyce both criticised Labours policy of raising fuel taxes 2008.
        Saying it would damage the economy: yeah right!

        • Herodotus 19.1.1.1

          Far easier to tax everyone a little frequently, even if it is regressive by nature. So if we should revert back to 70’s Aussie muscle cars will the exercise tax be reduced?
          I hope that MRP IPO gets underway soon as there is just over 700 days to fulfill the Nats election platform.
          I hope that Lab will have a progressive and forward thinking platform instead of what normally happens with an election win by default.

  20. ak 20

    Best Asset Sales piece yet – from granny no less. And look at the comments. That rumble is sound of NATZy sphincters twitching.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=10829989

  21. fnjckg 22

    b4 i go

    “th-c and the boids” are Not for everyone

    Master-inhale
    inhale again
    inhale too often-slave

    take care

  22. felix 23

    Brownlee answering questions on behalf of the PM today. Guess one of Key’s nieces has a spelling bee or something.

    Still, at least he’s got his best man on the job. FFS.

    • Carol 23.1

      Yes, after all, why would Key want to waste his time fronting up to “dopey” questions about poverty, when He could be cheer-leading his niece’s educational niche skill?

      And much better to have Brownlee confirming Key’s contradictory beliefs. Whose gonna really challenge such a big man, and with Dunne immediatley providing cover following Shearer’s question?

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/3/d/b/50HansQ_20120829_00000001-1-Child-Poverty-and-Living-Standards-Reports.htm

      David Shearer: Which statement does he stand by: “we have a very targeted system through Working for Families.” or that Working for Families is “communism by stealth … It didn’t work very well for Eastern Europe and it won’t work very well for New Zealand.”?

      Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Both are true statements.

      And the context of Key’s statement on WFF as targeted, was supporting WFF:
      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/key-dismisses-payment-all-parents-dopey-5049753

      The Prime Minister is ruling out a universal child payment recommended in a Children’s Commission report on child poverty.

      John Key says New Zealand went away from that system some years ago and now has targeted assistance for families.

      “We have a very targeted system through Working for Families,” he said. The Prime Minister described the idea of giving a payment to all parents, including the well-off, as “dopey”.

      Though Shearer wasn’t quick enough on his feet to expose Key’s hypocrisy.

    • Carol 23.2

      Oh, no FFS: Key is getting ferried around and fêted in Rarotonga, and practicing his royal wave:

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Key-Gillard-get-heroes-welcome-to-forum/tabid/417/articleID/267282/Default.aspx

      Much more important than answering questions on NZ’s soaring child poverty.

  23. Vicky32 24

    I am fed up to the back teeth with the small town viciousnness of the reaction to Stewart Murray Wilson’s ‘freedom’ as 3 News calls it.
    This sort of sums up what I think.
    http://pundit.co.nz/content/a-sort-of-quite-limited-defence-of-stewart-murray-wilson
     

    • Carol 24.1

      I’m sick of the way he gets top spot in the news.

      • LynW 24.1.1

        +1 Just stated that very comment to my husband

        • Anne 24.1.1.1

          +1 from me too. Have had to give up watching the TV news. The Beast of Blenheim. It sounds like we’ve stepped back into the medieval ages when the strong women weka was talking about earlier were being burnt at the stake for being witches.

          Edit: no disrespect to his victims. I just find the on-going obsession with him symptomatic of a juvenile media.

      • Daveosaurus 24.1.2

        yeah, the news media should do like one of the suggestions coming out of Whanganui: just shun the evil little fucker. Don’t even acknowledge his existence.

    • Te Reo Putake 24.2

      With you on this one, Vicky32. Spent most of the day in the river city and to be fair, it wasn’t uppermost on the minds of the people I was talking to, they just wanted to know if they still had a job. Sadly for 3 dozen of them, the answer was no. Brighter future, anyone?
       
      However, Wilson did come up a couple of times. I was talking to a journo mate and she made me laugh when she referred to her shift waiting for Wilson to twitch the curtains this morning as being on ‘beast watch’. And Tariana Turia’s new nickname is 668 … the neighbour of the beast, ho ho.

      • Vicky32 24.2.1

        And Tariana Turia’s new nickname is 668 … the neighbour of the beast, ho ho

        Although that is somewhat clever… However, it’s juvenile nimbyism! What do they want him to do, kill himself? I’ve been listening to people commenting on Clive – redneck morons… (sorry, whoever hates that word – I can’t think of anything else right now – too tired! :) )

        • Te Reo Putake 24.2.1.1

          Yep, redneck alright, but nice to hear the farmer putting the boot into the Nats and Turia. And the gormless local MP, Chester Borrows. (I say local, but Wanganui votes Labour, it’s just that the rest of the seat is rural Taranaki, where Borrows lives).

        • Alice 24.2.1.2

          Vicky32, please look at beliefnet.

    • fatty 24.3

      reminds me of Brass Eye – Paedogeddon

  24. prism 25

    John Key talking down one of our major business partners and with whom we have a world first? trade agreement – China, which he said is ‘growing tentacles’ around the world. Sounds rude and hostile to me. Is he trying to suck up to Hillary Clinton who is making a jetstop visit to the Pacific Forum, so that country can continue spreading its hegemony and getting its tentacles into the Pacific?

    • felix 25.1

      Yeah but you gotta remember, to a sick slimy scaly fuck like Key, “growing tentacles around the world” doesn’t really have negative connotations.

      He would have said it with admiration, and he wouldn’t have had any inkling that it could be taken any other way until it was pointed out to him by his people.

      And even then he just has to take their word for it and file the info away for future reference because he still won’t really understand why that’s not a nice thing to say.

    • Poission 25.2

      John Key talking down one of our major business partners and with whom we have a world first? trade agreement – China, which he said is ‘growing tentacles’ around the world

      He is preparing for his future meeting with Russia,and the RNZFTA,

      The statements coming out of Russia is that the expansion of the PRC is destabilizing, both the pacific and Asia,and the unstable growth of the PRC has further destabilized the global trading patterns,

  25. Ianmac from Vietnam 26

    Just visited the “War Remnants Museum” in Ho Chi Minh City. It documents the awful cost to the civilian population and the unrelenting violent and cruel tactics exercised by the USA military machine. Couldn’t help thinking as I walked, that you could just replace the wordVietnam, with Iraq and now Afghanistan and get the same effect. Bigger and bigger weapons, stealth bombers, and civilians the losers whilst the politicians stay safely behind flags and rhetoric.
    Isn’t war a disaster especially when not in self defense? Very sad.

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    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novapay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: The Forgotten Triangle
    48: The Forgotten Triangle What if the forgotten triangle behind Shortland Street was more than a parking lot? Continuing the series on forgotten or underutilised spaces within the city, the steeply rising wedge of land between Shortland Street, Albert Park...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • World News Brief, Friday October 31
    Top of the AgendaTensions Flare in Jerusalem...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • Guest post: Plain English is radical
    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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