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Open mike 29/11/2013

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, November 29th, 2013 - 206 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step right up to the mike …

206 comments on “Open mike 29/11/2013”

  1. logie97 1

    So if the first-home buyers are being shut out of the property market, who is going to do the buying?
    Greedy property-portfolio buyers are my guess.
    And this government won’t introduce a capital gains tax on multi properties.
    Money men running things eh? You gotta luv ‘em haven’t ya.

    • vto 1.1

      “Money men running things eh? ”

      Yep.

      Our money markets authority, the FMA, the police of the financial wide boys, has just appointed a new boss…..

      And guess who it is ……… go on…….

      It is none other than a person who has worked for Merrill Lynch for the last 17 years. Merrill Lynch for fucks sake.

      They have appointed one of their own. Appointed a financial wide boy to police the financial wide boys.

      Absolutely staggering.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9452511/FMA-names-new-chief-executive

      The opposition should be jumping on this

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      The institution of rentier capitalism favours the rentier capitalists.

      Those younger and seeking their first home who are say less than 30 years of old, aren’t seen as a significant voting block by this govt.

    • bad12 1.3

      From what was said on RadioNZ National this morning that’s exactly who the current wave of house buyers in Auckland are,

      Speculators, not stupid by any means are sucking up Auckland properties knowing that there will only be a few months to wait while the first home buyers save another 10% towards a deposit,

      As the first home buyers come back into the market the speculators will make some grand windfall profits from having played middle man for 6 months…

    • Saarbo 1.4

      I can understand the need to implement a policy to slow house price increases but a government has lost the plot if it implements a policy that makes it harder for 1st home buyers and not investors. Home ownership is important to encourage strong communities, but this policy has assisted the people who are causing the house price bubble, property investors. But I guess with the number of National MP’s with investment houses, no wonder….

      But something that I have often reflected on is why does the Reserve Bank put so much effort in trying to control inflation saying that inflation will lead to “wage growth” while at the same time ignoring house price inflation, certainly last decade this was the case.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        But something that I have often reflected on is why does the Reserve Bank put so much effort in trying to control inflation saying that inflation will lead to “wage growth”…

        You’re looking at it the wrong way around. The RBNZ tries to control the speed of the economy so as to reduce upward trends in wages which would, in theory, push up prices. They’re effectively trying to maintain 6%+ unemployment so as to keep wages down. Of course, they really don’t give a fuck about the wages/salaries/income at the top because they make up such a small amount of the population that no matter how much they increase they won’t actually push up inflation. It’s only wages for the majority.

        …while at the same time ignoring house price inflation, certainly last decade this was the case.

        Because people see house price inflation as themselves getting richer and telling people that they can’t have that would piss people off.

  2. Paul 2

    This is what happens when you don’t sell assets.

    “Super City lands airport windfall”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11164414

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Yip. CHCH never sold it’s assets and now is coming under pressure to sell them in order to pay for the earthquake.

      Hopefully we won’t do it, but it shows that we now have the assets in store for a rainy day if we need them.

    • what has me gobsmacked about/over this shareholder windfall is..

      ..ok..as a side issue the council gets a payout on their shares..

      ..but pulling back to the big picture for a mo’..

      ..about a week ago the govt sold the shares to the elites/institutions..

      ..and the gummint crowed about how they had made (about) (350 million from this sale..

      ..then..a week later..the airline goes..’oh..!..!..hang on..!..we are doing so well..we are going to give our shareholders (about) $450 million..’..

      ..question one:..who knew about this impending windfall for old and new imvestors..?

      ..and why the fuck wasn’t this paid out out..i dunno..a couple of weeks ago..?

      ..(didn’t they know then..?..)

      ..am i the only one smelling a rort-stench from this latest gummint-’deal’….?

      ..phillip ure..

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      The airport announced yesterday it would borrow to pay out shareholders.

      If things are going so bloody well why are they having to borrow to buy out shareholders?

      Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners, said the capital return would be good for the entire market.

      “There’s nothing wrong with funding your business with debt. It’s a lot cheaper than equity, especially at the moment,” he said.

      But still nowhere near as cheap as the income that the company has coming in from it’s operations.

  3. ScottGN 3

    Well surprise, surprise, look who got wheeled out to do the softening-up exercise ahead of yet more bad news in the Education Ministry next week.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11164425

  4. dv 4

    Oops

    NZ education facing a bad report
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11164425

    Education Minister Hekia Parata is preparing for an embarrassing drop in New Zealand’s education rankings in an international survey next week.

    She says a drop in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) is “probable” and will be due to Asian countries’ improvement.

    But Labour says any drop in the rankings should be sheeted home to an excessive focus by National on “testing” over the past five years.

    Yep those Nat Standard are certainly raising achievement NOT

    • amirite 4.1

      That really made my blood boil this morning. I’m absolutely livid.
      So much for the Govt focus on improving education outcomes! You don’t do that by wrecking public education and pouring millions into private schools.
      God I hate these Nat bandits! The very thought of another term with National makes me want to scream.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        This government has never been focused on lifting education outcomes – they’ve been focused on privatising education. The result of which, as we see, is a decrease in our education system and the outcomes of that system.

    • ianmac 4.2

      John Armstrong, of all people, comments on the Parata smokescreen issued in Gisborne.
      Her 20 page speech was not available before her talk nor after and signals National hunting around for some hot acceptable directions for Education.
      I think that the slippage for NZ rankings reflects what happened in the UK. The more they tested and ranked the lower the UK fell in international rankings.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11164426

  5. tricledrown 5

    Another IT fuck up from National National standards a complete cock up.
    Chorus cockup.
    Brownlee can’t admit he’s had to comprimise.
    Because he has been sucking up to Parker who Fucked up .
    Now Daziel is there things are working better.
    National could organize a piss up in a brewery.

  6. karol 6

    Very good post from David Beatson on his continuing investigations into the TV digital switchover and Freeview.

    He reckons that the 2006 government agreement with SOE Kordia has been breached by Kordia. A response to an OIA about how Kordia carried out its allocations of digital frequencies – to check if it followed the processes/rules as laid out in the 2006 agreement – has resulted in Kordia saying they can’t find relevant emails and documentation. it seems the evidence has mysteriously disappeared.

    Beatson also explains how regional TV channels have been hard hit by the switchover, with only 10 of the 20 previously licensed channels surviving. And the ones that are available on freeview can only be accessed by those with Freeview terrestrial, and not to those with Freeview satellite.

    Further more, Beatson says:

    Four [regional channels] are operating under the radar on their own, independent digital transmitters because they couldn’t afford the cost of switching to Freeview. They just have to hope their viewers can find them without the help of the Freeview electronic guide.

    I’m not sure how anyone would find such channels manually. Don’t know if they are accessible to all regions: i.e. would I be able to receive Canterbury’s CTV on my Freeview Terrestrial receiver on the DTT (Digital Terrestrial TV) platform?

    You can check which channels are available on each platform here.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Note that those who live in Blenheim are forced to use a dish and as shown on your linked chart we get fewer choices. Mind you there is little to watch on TV anyway.

    • tc 6.2

      Beatson’s been great on this issue, Kordia’s been a strange place of late with quite a few clashes and departures as well as the shedding of Orcon.

      Freeview should be the great enabler in a digital world but it’s effectively reducing choice and dumbing down what’s available free to air.

      Sky having SBS turned off on our freeview/sky sattelite in 2012 shows who is calling the shots in broadcasting. 4 channels, excellent news and many quality shows showed up what dross we have dished up to us.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Kordia’s been a strange place of late with quite a few clashes and departures as well as the shedding of Orcon.

        Yeah, I’ve been noticing that as well. I get the distinct impression that someone in the background is pulling strings. Kordia’s selling of it’s successful ISP, Orcon, with the excuse well, we’ve learned a lot and now it’s time to move on read as pure BS. Considering this government’s adherence to the private is good, public is bad false dichotomy I don’t think it takes that much guessing to figure out who’s sending the hidden commands.

        • TheContrarian 6.2.1.1

          “Considering this government’s adherence to the private is good, public is bad false dichotomy”

          This coming from Draco, whose adherence to public is good, private is bad false dichotomy, shows an outstanding lack of insight into himself.

        • tc 6.2.1.2

          Watch what happens with the frequency sell off….follow the money kids.

  7. karol 7

    For the last day or 2, after I submit a comment on TS, I get a blank comment with this url:

    http://thestandard.org.nz/wp-comments-post.php

    I then need to go back to the TS main page via my bookmark. Comment has always been posted.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    FYI – key points that I made at the 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference,
    26 – 28 November 2013:

    NB: NOBODY else was making these points……
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    If it is the (privatisated) contracting-out / procurement model which is the cause of so much corruption – why not get rid of the (privatisated) contracting-out / procurement model ???
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Where is the ‘cost-benefit analysis’ which proves that the contracting-out of services once provided ‘in-house’ by local and central government under the ‘public service’ model, is more cost-effective for the public majority?
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    It appears that the only people benefitting from the ‘business’ model are those businesses which get the contracts.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    How can private sector businesspeople ‘transmogrify’ into competent PUBLIC SERVANTS?

    They come from a different planet – where the laws/ regulations culture are completely different.
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    (Really jammed some buttons on FULL – when I told folks that I had polled 4th in the recent Auckland Council Mayoral election with nearly 12,000 votes (11,723 votes), campaigning against corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region, and hadn’t paid any rates since 2008!

    And I WON’T until the ‘books are open’ and we are told EXACTLY where rates monies are being spent.)

    I am now of the firm opinion that the root cause of corruption is the neo-liberal ‘commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE model, based upon the unsubstantiated myth that ‘public is bad – private is good’, and that if ‘anti-corruption’ bodies / agencies aren’t focused on addressing this underpinning cause, then they’re not really serious about preventing or fighting corruption.

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

    ‘Her Warship’

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • thatguynz 8.1

      Keep on keeping on Penny. You’re doing a great job.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.2

      Good on you Penny. You and your supporters issues are often slow burners and complex so your shorter posts here with links are seeing the ‘penny’ drop with a few more readers now.

    • greywarbler 8.3

      There is an nteresting accounting shuffle that enable contractors to be taken on (usually costing more than regular employees) but the cost of the contractors does not appear against the wages budget for a department, it comes out of another separate budget and so the department head can appear to be running a lean staff of surmised, competent extremely efficient people as an example of good management.

      Instead the department staff are all scrambling to keep the place going with inadequate staff numbers and no time to monitor basic jobs of maintenance of security, emergency systems, good functioning and updating of hardware and software. But the obvious gaps are filled by off-budget expenditure on contractors and the dedicated staff usually having to give advice to the contractors on the particular quirks of their systems.

    • Seti 9.1

      From the article -

      A Statistics New Zealand survey shows average weekly household spending has increased by more than $90 over the past three years

      Yet the average household income has gone up by $170 and the median income is up by $100, more than covering the spending increase.

      The majority are actually better off.

      • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1

        depends on which statistics are settled on- from the article- “In the year to March 2013, national accounts statistics show spending up by 2.6%, incomes risen by just 1.8% “: medians vs averages were addressed yesterday.

      • Rosie 9.1.2

        Not in my house we’re not Seti. We’re so downwardly mobile at such a high speed we broke through the crash net. Never in my life, until recent years have I had to use a credit card to pay living expenses like Dr’s bills and the F- ing part payment you have make for physio because ACC no longer fully fund rehab. The salary earner hasn’t had a pay rise in 5 years and costs go up and up and up. Thats your brighter future. Right there.

      • greywarbler 9.1.3

        Ave weekly household spend up to $90 more if comparing with 3 years ago, ie $30 a week rise on ave per year.

        Average household income up by $170 – presumably this would be by week.
        But because of the big gap in wages and salaries being paid to people all of whom are doing good work, but only a few well paid, it should be noted that some with below average income could be receiving only a $170 per annum rise.

        I know someone in a skilled job who only had a rise of .7% p.a. – on $40,000 would give rise of $280.00 per annum.

        The median income is up by $100 a week? From three years ago? If the average spending is up to $90, then it would be likely that those on the median would spend less than the average per week. They might be at the level where they have a net $10 more per week, if they are lucky and likely they are not better off, maybe worse.

        The majority may seem better off. But are these figures inflation adjusted. The measurement of the CPI is in itself a limited gauge of inflation as it doesn’t take in housing prices and other things. I don’t know what an analyst’s measure of NZ’s true inflation would be as it affects the average citizen personally. If all factors were taken into account there would be at least a sizable minority who are worse off.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.4

        Averages can be used to hide the reality. IIRC, 45% of people haven’t seen a pay rise in years. Many have seen a pay reduction not only in real terms but in nominal terms. As an example, in 2007 builders were on $35/hr+. Today they’d be lucky to get $30.

        • KJT 9.1.4.1

          If you look more closely at the statistics average household incomes have gone up because of huge rises at the extreme top end (17% in 2012 year) and loss of jobs, and or being refused social welfare, and hence dropping off the list, at the bottom.

          The reality for most skilled people in the middle, the ones we need, has been pay rises below the inflation rate for decades. Which is why so many of us went overseas.

          My main job, which is highly skilled, (takes 10 years or more to reach proficiency), in extremely high demand, (been on the immigration depts shortage of skills list for years), pays 40% less now, in relation to headline CPI changes, in NZ, than in 1984.
          That’s why we all work offshore while being replaced with cheap immigrants with substandard skills.

          And for low income people, prices of things they have to buy, such as housing, health, transport and food , have risen at a much greater rate than the overall CPI. Baked beans have risen in price much more than sirloin steak. Not to mention the many things that used to be State supplied which are now, “user pays”.
          Being able to buy cheaper luxury cars and flat screen TV’s does not help those who can barely afford food.

          NZ now has one of the lowest median disposable household incomes in the OECD in relation to prices. We are down there with other Neo-liberal “successes”, like Greece.

          Sweden is the latest country to swallow the poison pill. Watch them going down in all indicators, even the RWNJ’s favourite, economic growth!

          Roger Douglas’ and John Key’s brighter future.

          Still see Douglas in the NBR saying we need more of his prescription. Straight out of the medical textbook from the 1870′s that said if bleeding the patient doesn’t work, take more blood.

  9. Penny Bright 10

    FYI
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    29 November 2013

    Graham Gill,
    General Manager,
    Evaluation & Intelligence,
    Serious Fraud Office
    New Zealand.

    ‘Open Letter’

    Good morning Graham,

    Can you confirm a timeframe by which we can expect a decision on your evaluation of the request from Lisa Prager and myself for the NZ Serious Fraud Office to conduct an urgent inquiry into alleged bribery and corruption, involving Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Sky City Auckland?

    (I am still in Sydney, now the 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference has ended, and I am keen to give an update to Australian media who may be interested.)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  10. greywarbler 11

    The police have found a new weapon that when fired doesn’t penetrate on impact. Truncheon, taser, wot now? Sponge nosed. Why not paint balls – that can mark the crim as well as bruising them. Aren’t harsh words good enough? Allo, allo put your hands up you scummy little… (in some Brit stories the crims are called chummies).

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      yes, ‘won’t penetrate on impact’ – was expecting the replacement of male officers by eunuchs…
      sponge-round, -gas-launched, (none of your hand-whipped cream), 40mm round (small piece for everyone), range of 30m, inflicts pain, bruises and abrasions (raspberry jam splatters); Limited offer to the AOS in Ak, Wgtn and Chch and the NSTG.
      “let them eat sponge-rounds” accompanied with a cup of piping-hot pepper-spray, hold the icing-sugar.

      • bad12 11.1.1

        Wet sponges at thirty paces, spose if it stops the trigger happy blowing away innocents on the Auckland motorway it might be a help…

      • greywarbler 11.1.2

        Whoa RT you’re brain is getting fevered. Have a nice cup of tea.

    • Murray Olsen 11.2

      I wonder how many of them will be used at 2 metres, into the gonads of someone handcuffed to a chair?

      • Rogue Trooper 11.2.1

        ha! lol

      • bad12 11.2.2

        Lolz last time they had me handcuffed to a chair was in the old Taranaki Street station, the instrument of threat that nite was a convenient hefty chair leg which the plod didn’t use,(maybe coz i was laughing so hard),

        What started the whole incident was a car load of D-men cruising Wellingotn’s Vivien street, me and a mate were sitting in a V8 Rambler discussing a little something befor going into Bryon Legros first club for a couple out of the tea pot,

        The third time the car-load of suits cruised by giving us the eyeball i said to my mate ”you watch this”, leapt out of the car and gapped it down Vivien street, Lolz plods came from everywhere and by the time they tackled me down by Trades Hall i had already started laughing like a loon,

        They had to let me go after half an hour of threats,”vy verr you running”,and we spent the rest of the nite drinking out of Legros teapot laughing like maniacs…

  11. Tracey 12

    seti

    what about recent oecd reports on disposable incomes and affordability

  12. Dv 13

    SETI
    You say the majority are better off because the average income has risen.

    You should be taking about the medians, because one very large rise will skew the average

    • bad12 13.1

      Yes median and average incomes are actually meaningless mumbo jumbo statistics designed to hide the real level of poverty experienced in New Zealand, those with a social conscience might be mollified by totals like the medium being 80 0dd thousand but for the third of the economy that eanrs below 20 bucks an hour that’s just a sad f**king joke,

      The only statistics that will tell the real story of income is the production of charts showing how many of us are in what income bracket defined every 10 thousand dollars…

  13. Puckish Rogue 14

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11164390

    - Jacinda Ardern needs to realise not everything revolves around her

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      It’s part of Adern’s job that the minister has banned. An hour of police time won’t make that much difference so what are they trying to hide?

    • Rogue Trooper 14.2

      tsk tsk Tolley; gotta have a the last word.

  14. Puckish Rogue 15

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/oecd-study-confirms-gap-between-high-and-low-achievers

    “Further, there has been no change in our reading performance since 2000, and in maths since 2003″

    - I don’t think this is about Labour vs National but rather its time the PPTA (not the teachers) started to put children ahead of themselves

    • adam 15.1

      Hear, hear. Good bloody call!

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      More myth from a RWNJ.

      The teachers do put the children first. The PPTA is made up of teachers.

      • Puckish Rogue 15.2.1

        Teachers put children first but the PPTA use children to protect themselves and their members

        • Tat Loo (CV) 15.2.1.1

          I suppose private for profit education providers and the politicians who support them are more likely to put children first then? Nah, didn’t think so.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.2

          /facepalm

          You really, really just don’t get it do you? Must hold on to those false meme’s that come out of National’s Research unit no matter what.

        • Paul 15.2.1.3

          zzzzz

        • KJT 15.2.1.4

          If you look more closely at the statistics average household incomes have gone up because of huge rises at the extreme top end (17% in 2012 year) and loss of jobs, and or being refused social welfare, and hence dropping off the list, at the bottom.

          The reality for most skilled people in the middle, the ones we need, has been pay rises below the inflation rate for decades. Which is why so many of us went overseas.

          My main job, which is highly skilled, (takes 10 years or more to reach proficiency), in extremely high demand, (been on the immigration depts shortage of skills list for years), pays 40% less now, in relation to headline CPI changes, in NZ, than in 1984.
          That’s why we all work offshore while being replaced with cheap immigrants with substandard skills.

          And for low income people, prices of things they have to buy, such as housing, health, transport and food , have risen at a much greater rate than the overall CPI. Baked beans have risen in price much more than sirloin steak. Not to mention the many things that used to be State supplied which are now, “user pays”.
          Being able to buy cheaper luxury cars and flat screen TV’s does not help those who can barely afford food.

          NZ now has one of the lowest median disposable household incomes in the OECD in relation to prices. We are down there with other Neo-liberal “successes”, like Greece.

          Sweden is the latest country to swallow the poison pill. Watch them going down in all indicators, even the RWNJ’s favourite, economic growth!

          Roger Douglas’ and John Key’s brighter future.

          Still see Douglas in the NBR saying we need more of his prescription. Straight out of the medical textbook from the 1870′s that said if bleeding the patient doesn’t work, take more blood.

    • Rogue Trooper 15.3

      NZ educational achievement international comparisons about to slide Down The Drain ; no holding ‘Charlie’ back at eastern high tide.

    • dv 15.4

      HEY PR how do explain why the PPTA kept working when Novapay wasn’t paying them?

    • Puddleglum 15.5

      Hi Puckish Rogue,

      Have a read of the actual report (or just the summary on p. 3).

      Here’s some quotes you might like:

      Reading literacy (main focus)

      • New Zealand 15-year-old students’ overall reading performance was substantially higher than the average for the 34 OECD countries.

      • Of the 65 countries or economies participating in PISA 2009, only two OECD countries, and two non-OECD partner economies performed better than New Zealand. Four countries were similar and the other 56 countries performed at a significantly lower level.

      • Close to one in six of New Zealand students were top-performing readers.

      Yes, it reported problems with boys’ reading and disproportionately lower reading performance amongst Maori and Pasifika students. Nevertheless, highlighting that the education system has produced ‘no improvement’ in performance is a bit like telling a child that it’s still only getting 90% in its English exams.

      If the PPTA is the ‘problem’ and puts itself before children, that seems to be having very little downward effect on children’s reading (or maths or science) performance relative to other countries.

      Assuming that the about to be released PISA findings show a decrease in either ranking or – worse – actual reading performance of children then, according to your analysis, it will be because National is less able to counter the nefarious effects of the PPTA than was the Labour-led government OR something National has instituted in the education system hasn’t worked OR that there has been some random unidentified factor that has caused performances either to deteriorate or at least not improve.

      Given that the changes National introduced were intended to improve performances – especially in the supposed ‘tail’ – then if there has been no improvement in performances those changes have failed to achieve their aim.

      It will be interesting to see the results.

  15. Tracey 16

    PR

    thanks fir a couple of chuckles today

  16. Adrian 17

    What Tolley is terrified of is Jacinta and the local MP in tow will find out about the number of senior CRIME fighting officers who are leaving after being ordered to go on night shifts to drive traffic cars and hit ticket ” targets ” which are the old quotas by a different name.
    The officers are finding that juries tend to have a few people on them that are a bit fucked off with the cops for being caught doing 5 or 6 km over the limit, and the chances of getting covictions is falling through the floor. Funny that. BTW, the 104 theshold has been in for a while.
    These cops know by the Polices own research that there is neglible difference between 100 and 110 in accident and injury stats.
    So the ones we really need are walking away because they are fed up.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.1

      No, the police said we’re busy can you reschedule so nothing like the claims of “banning” though it makes for a good headline I suppose

    • RedBaronCV 17.2

      So, what exactly are they so busy doing?

      Rounding up suspects in rape cases, clearing burgularies, arresting in DV callouts nah.
      Of course they have time to raid newspaper offices, descend on an alleged copyright infringement case (72 + helicopter?), chase down protesters and get a new sort of bullet to use agaibnst whoom exactly?
      If Nact are to boast about their “get tough on crime strategy” success it must be hard work trying to keep the number of complaints down so nothing enters the front end of the system.

      The only police I’ve seen lately are at breath test stoppage (outside library on a Tuesday evening! I didn’t realise that book borrowers had joined the criminal classes en masse.), running around my ‘hood in one piece boiler suits waving batons although we are pretty law abiding and handing out something that I think was for white ribbon day at the station. (somehow that doesn’t make up for the no arrest policy).

      Bossy and controlling Anne Tolley and don’t any of us dare disagree with her.

  17. McFlock 18

    “The Left” and/vs “Identity Politics”.

    My belief in socialism has always been predicated on the arbitrary and undeserved inequalities of power under capitalism. This goes beyond mere money or employment relationships into almost every facet of life.

    For me, supporting the struggle of the pointlessly disempowered against the pointlessly powerful, wherever it occurs, is the essence of being “left wing”.

    So I guess my question for left-wing social conservatives today is “when did some of the different facets of ‘identity politics’ stop being integral parts of the left-win mission, and instead become distractions from what you might call ‘true-left’ activism?”

    Was it when husbands were no longer able to beat severely beat “their” wives at will?
    Was it when homosexuality was no longer regarded as a mental illness?
    Was it when the government stopped blatantly stealing land and resources from indigenous people?
    Was it when husbands were no longer legally allowed to rape “their” wives?
    Was it when women got the vote?
    Was it when an interracial relationship was no longer a brave social statement in TV shows?
    Was it when a same-sex relationship was no longer the “surprise twist” in TV shows?
    Was it when a same-sex relationship was no longer a brave social statement in TV shows [whoops, still isn't quite there yet]?
    Was it when “he made a pass at me and I panicked so beat him to death” was no longer a legal defence for a man to be found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder [removed when the "provocation" defence was removed, though the argument might still work on a jury]?
    Was it when women no longer needed to be certified by two doctors as being in danger of going insane before a zygote could be legally removed from their body, but were instead regarded as being competent to make their own decisions [whoops, hasn't happened yet]?
    Was it when brown people achieved approximately the same average or median income as lighter-skinned people [whoops, hasn't happened yet]?
    Was it when women achieved approximately the same average or median income as men [whoops, hasn't happened yet]?
    Was it when a 13 year old girl could make a rape complaint to police with the complete assurance that it would be thoroughly investigated[whoops, hasn't happened yet]?

    Seriously, I missed the memo: at what point was I supposed to stop giving a fuck about any social analysis deeper than “working class vs capitalist class”?

    • weka 18.1

      Very good McFlock.

      Apparently when the working class/capitalist class issue is sorted, all the other ones go away magically. Although for the life of me I can’t understand how that won’t just result in a different sort of heirarchal, oppressive structure. Working class white men are going to share their power once they get it? Really? Why would they do that?

      I found myself irked the other day when I read Bryce Edwards referring to QoT as an ‘identity politics’ blogger. Am trying to decide if it’s a better strategy to appropriate the term or demolish it.

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      Most voters stopped giving a fuck at around

      and/vs “Identity Politics”.

      • karol 18.2.1

        So it’s about voter perceptions and not matters of principle and social justice and a decent life, equality, etc for all?

        So, should the left stop giving a fuck about (working) class politics, now that increasing numbers of voters say today class is not an issue? And if the majority say they don’t give a fuck about class issues, does the left wing of politics throw in the towel?

        • Tat Loo (CV) 18.2.1.1

          So it’s about voter perceptions and not matters of principle and social justice and a decent life, equality, etc for all?

          Oh, I thought McFlock was talking about identity politics. Gender/race/relationship/reproductive politics in other words.

          So, should the left stop giving a fuck about (working) class politics, now that increasing numbers of voters say today class is not an issue?

          Where’s your statistics from around that claim? How many of the 800,000 non-voters do you think stayed away from the polls because our political parties don’t focus enough on delivering on identity politics?

          • McFlock 18.2.1.1.1

            Lol.

            Because nobody has gender, race, relationship, and reproductive aspects to their identity, therefore we can ignore all those issues of power and powerlessness and still provide social justice and a decent life, equality, etc for all”. /sarc

            • Tat Loo (CV) 18.2.1.1.1.1

              You’re a clever man McFlock. I’ll run it this way. IMO for most NZers, gender, race, relationship and reproductive politics are 2nd, 3rd and 4th orders of concern, not first order.

              therefore we can ignore all those issues of power and powerlessness and still provide social justice and a decent life, equality, etc for all”. /sarc

              The current fucked up state of the western world with regards to social justice and providing a decent life to all has not occurred because of identity politics (whether too much/too little).

              It’s been entirely due to the unchecked influence of banks, corporations and international capital. But whatever. You know better.

              • McFlock

                I’ll run it this way. IMO for most NZers, gender, race, relationship and reproductive politics are 2nd, 3rd and 4th orders of concern, not first order.

                Well, you can run your Maslow’s Hierarchy of give-a-fuck all you want, but when a 13yo makes a rape complaint that appears to have been followed by inaction, that’s not entirely due to the global corporate financiers. And addressing that problem does not stop Labour addressing issues of capitalist power – don’t blame “identity politics” for your party dropping the ball on other issues that you happen to care about.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  BTW nice pivot. Because you know that quite unlike gender/race/relationship politics, making sure that police do their job and do their job well is a 1st order of concern for most voters.

                  And addressing that problem does not stop Labour addressing issues of capitalist power – don’t blame “identity politics” for your party dropping the ball on other issues that you happen to care about.

                  As I said, its easy to default to a socially liberal programme. Confronting capitalist power is actually the hard agenda. And right now it is the one which is an absolute existential matter of survival.

                  • McFlock

                    Not a pivot. It is actually the point. It’s the culture and power dynamic that meant the police apparently did not feel inclined or capable of doing their job. The concept that complainant+witnesses != “INsufficient evidence” to move the investigation forward but does equal a plausible defence for inactivity, that is the problem.

                    As for what you claim is an “easy” programme to “default to” – well, that just means that you’ve been prepared to ignore pretty much every facet of reality, right there.

                    [edit: missed the "in" in "insufficient :)]

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      nevertheless, voters consider police effectiveness and propriety a first order issue, so good pick.

                    • McFlock

                      although the advrertisers who got wj and jt a holiday indicate there’s more to it than just a cop forgetting how to do their job.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Of course there’s more to it, but it’s nothing a left wing political party is going to fix.

                    • McFlock

                      Not with you in charge.

                      National sure as shit wasn’t doing anything about it. They just didn’t want it on the internet.

                      The left wing parties made it a parliamentary issue.
                      But then that’s exactly the sort of thing you’re arguing against.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  Mr. Grumpy.

    • Ennui 18.3

      McFlock, I find it hard to argue against any of the issues you raise questions on being something any normal liberally minded person would not support. Left or Right.And that to me is at the crux of the issue of “identity” politics.

      What I believe has happened is that the questions you attribute with being “left wing” issues have been adopted by a “Left” that has struggled for an electable identity and a clear “Left” path (whatever that is). To me the “Left” has looked like a bucket shop for all the issues that the “Right” probably assessed as too contrary to garnering votes, and cynically dumped into a vacuum for others to pick up. And they no doubt knew that the “Left” would adopt them because, as previously stated any liberally minded people would.

      These issues are in my view (which could be right or wrong) “libertarian” issues. Despite being “libertarian” when it comes to issues related to money and property the Right is decidedly stand offish if other “libertarian” ideas cost them money. Which may explain why they end up “gifted” to the “Left”.

      Maybe the liberals of the Left, (the “identity’ politics groups) need to understand is that their stance is neither wrong or correct. It is that the Left like the Right has another duality: it contains conservative elements as well as liberal.

      The result is that the Left have a problem: how they can be a broad church for the greater good that tolerates and encompasses all viewpoints, even when they are difficult to reconcile. “Identity” politics cannot lead, nor can their opponents. They do however have to find a common cause.

      • karol 18.3.1

        I disagree with putting issues of gender, “race”/(post)colonisation, and sexuality into the “liberal”/”libertarian” basket. Those labels apply to an individualistic take on society. Putting them into that basket denies that it involves groups of people who are marginalised and oppressed via the structure and culture of our society, because they are part of said group -not because of any individual qualities they posses.

        Basically, it amounts to a politics that privileges a pakeha and/or masculine focus on class and denies how other oppressions, and intersectionality are experienced in practice.

        To me “identity politics” is the wrong term – it’s about the politics of disadvantage and oppression.

        • Bill 18.3.1.1

          Basically, my bag’s the politics of class. And that (obviously) has an economic focus. And I agree that neither class, nor race nor gender should be separated out or elevated to the detriment of any of the three main areas or fields of disadvantage and oppression.

          That said, the fcking Labour Party and the liberal or social democratic left of this country needs a severe kick in the head for doing precisely that with class politics. It elevated gender and race issues and kinda pretended that class didn’t exist. And that led to a lot of fucked off people and ultimately all kinds of negative impacts on the issues of race and gender (the Labour Party) chose to focus on.

          And now we have a sort of hungover schism – maybe reflected in Ennui’s comment.

          • McFlock 18.3.1.1.1

            That said, the fcking Labour Party and the liberal or social democratic left of this country needs a severe kick in the head for doing precisely that with class politics. It elevated gender and race issues and kinda pretended that class didn’t exist.

            That’s probably a fair enough description, although many of the “elevated” actions were a)from allied/coalition parties and b)long overdue anyway.

            But I guess in the glaring economic, industrial and social silence from Labour, some people could hear the “identity” pins finally drop and now have a headache from the rattle :)

          • Rogue Trooper 18.3.1.1.2

            same bag Bill, believe it or not.

          • karol 18.3.1.1.3

            For me it has always been that issues of class, race, gender and sexuality are inter-related and, in many ways intertwined”: sometimes they overlap, sometimes they are separate – and on occasions they are in conflict. for instance, women have long provided a reserve army of labour, marginalised at times, but preferred by employers when it suits them -usually when they want to lower wages or casualise the workforce.

            I think I always had a perspective that is now called “intersectionality.

            I don’t really think the left/labour movement have elevated gender & “race” that much. To me it seems like a thin veneer over the top a a still very traditionally masculine culture.

            I got into the women’s movement in the late 70s in London because it provided a context where I felt most comfortable. The women’s movement there was very left on class – taking Marxism/socialism as read and the basis for all politics.

            There, and I think here, women organised separately from the mainstream of the left because they felt poorly treated there: treated as the people to make the tea and/or provide sexual service. I heard a few stories from women who began in the mainstream left, of being sexual harassment (and worse) by left wing men.

            Neoliberalism picked up on a very narrowed version of feminism: girl power spun through glossy consumerism. That got mixed into the neoliberal shift within Labour Parties (in various countries).

            On the left, “race” and Maori issues also have been adopted in a weakened form. Remember how Clark backed off from “closing the gaps”. And then there was the foreshore and seabed issue – hardly embraced by parliamentary Labour.

            Where are all these elevated policies of gender and race that have allegedly pushed aside class issues and dominate the left? To me it seems that there’s a few such policies proposed, and they get highlighted because they get so much resistance from the media and some in the left. they are hardly at the core of the (neoliberalised) left.

            It seems to me that class and the struggle for socio-economic equality and inclusiveness got undermined in the same ways as feminism and anti-racism have been narrowed on the left, and at the same time. Prior to the mid 80s, there had been some progress in the struggle to integrate race, gender, sexuality etc, with class on the left.

            And if this blog, and other left wing ones are anything to go by, males and a fairly conventional kind of masculinity runs through left wing politics. Here for instance, males seem to outnumber females, and when feminist/gender/sexuality issues get raised there’s quite a bit of resistance from some quarters – though there are also many here who are supportive.

            Over the years I have seen some women refer to TS as not being a positive space for women/feminists. I actually think TS is more welcoming and positive than that on balance.

            But, really, I’m just not seeing the left dominated by gender and race issues. neither am I seeing a broader left really pushing for strongly core Labour/socialist policies. For me Mana and Greens actually embrace the strongest left wing approaches/policies. Mana also has a strong Maori perspective, while the Greens are more positive on issues of gender, sexuality and disability. This is maybe because they are relatively new parties. Labour, and the broader labour movement have been a long time shedding their originating white male dominance. And every step forward gets treated as some major take-over by (so-called) “identity politics”.

            • Bill 18.3.1.1.3.1

              Only broadly speaking and merely as an example – ‘the closing the gaps’ policy that the Clark government backed off from was seen as being preferential, rather than as a policy addressing disadvantage.

              If an overt class centered policy had accompanied the closing gaps policy in such a way as to show that all the lower boats would be rising with the lowest of all rising more to some common predetermined level, then I reckon there’d have been bugger all resistance and bullshit.

              But those going backwards in a purely class sense, were essentially been told to F.O. and that there were no issues affecting them. And, as we know, it’s just not the case that white working class people weren’t suffering during the Clark years. Result: resentment and piss all solidarity.

              • karol

                I do agree that working class people of all colours suffered during the period of the Clark government.

                Do you really think a closing the gaps policy that addressed all on low income people would have succeeded without massive resistance in the Clark years? If not, why didn’t the Labour government do that?

                My answer is that it would have been met with as much, or more resistance from various quarters (with the MSM cheerleading), as closing the gaps.

                Poverty does hit large numbers of Maori and Pacific people extremely hard.

                PS: Back to my earlier point: closing the gap never happened. So, ultimately there was no programme activated that specifically addressed Maori/Pacific needs. Is it that people are still resenting that such a policy was even considered, and continuing to use such policies as reason to blame “identity politics” for lack of focus/progress on class issues – because there also was a lack of progress on the dire circumstances that large numbers of Maori and Pacific people still live in.

            • weka 18.3.1.1.3.2

              Karol,

              “But, really, I’m just not seeing the left dominated by gender and race issues. neither am I seeing a broader left really pushing for strongly core Labour/socialist policies.”

              It’s interesting to hear people like Tat arguing that indentity politics have sidelined class politics. Because I look at what they are talking about and the politics look to me like middle class politics not identity politics. It’s the middle class capture of Labour, and those ideals and needs coming through.

        • Ennui 18.3.1.2

          Karol, I don’t disagree about it being the politics of disadvantage and oppression. My point is that I neither the Left or Right have an exclusive position on being the beneficiaries or exponents of advantage or disadvantage. The marginalised / oppressed people: you intimate that this is because of pakeha / masculine focus on class. That is a little simplistic, as a generality it may be so, but in saying so you exclude a whole bunch of pakeha males who probably are just as oppressed in any number of other ways.

          Can you pick who this is? XXXXX ranks as one of the founders of the welfare state. With Herbert Asquith and David Lloyd George, he was the principal driving force behind the Liberal Party’s welfare reforms of 1908–1911. At the Board of Trade, he pioneered measures to reduce poverty and unemployment through state intervention in the labour market. In 1909, he toured Britain campaigning for the ‘People’s Budget’ and its radical proposals for the taxation of wealth. At the Home Office, his penal reforms as well as his measures to improve working conditions in shops and coal-mines were reflections of a continuing drive for social reform that was cut short by his transfer, in 1911, to the Admiralty. In the course of a lifetime in party politics,XXXXX often touched on social questions, and there were other phases of his career in which he bore some responsibility for the development of social policy.

          XXXX was from the “Right”: that arch Conservative, pakeha male imperialist Winston Churchill. Concurrently a certain Lenin and Stalin (and a female from an oppressed minority, Rosa Luxemburg) were proposing a “Leftist” state where equality for all would be a fait accompli. Under these lovely “socialists” a whole lot of identity people met their fate. The lesson of history is don’t be too quick to label the “Left” as good guys when it comes to disadvantage and oppression, nor the Right as the natural bad guys.

          • Rogue Trooper 18.3.1.2.1

            hmmm. ” Class analysis” is still my bag ; no time to debate, a Christmas function awaits.Personally, Not convinced Flockie and Ennui

          • Naturesong 18.3.1.2.2

            Not sure using Winston Churchill is that good an example. Particularly for a New Zealand audience.

            While he did have some fine qualities, and it does seem likely that WWII would have had a very different outcome had he not been involved in British politics at the time. He’s not exactly a saint.

            http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielknowles/100169841/time-to-scotch-the-myth-of-winston-churchills-infallibility/

            Winston Churchill was hardly a paragon of progressive thought. He believed that women shouldn’t vote – telling the House of Commons that they are “well represented by their fathers, brothers, and husbands”. He was fiercely opposed to self-determination for the people of the Empire, advocating the use of poisoned gas against “uncivilized tribes” in Mesopotamia in 1919. In 1947, on the eve of Indian independence, he had to be tricked into a bar by two Conservative MPs so as not to embarrass himself during the debate

            Closer to home, there is also his involvement in Gallipoli, after which he was forced to resign as First Lord of the Admiralty.

          • karol 18.3.1.2.3

            Ennui: The marginalised / oppressed people: you intimate that this is because of pakeha / masculine focus on class.

            No, that is not what I was saying at all. And I’m not denying or negating the oppression of working class pakeha men – I thought I made that clear. How many times do I have to say I have been against class oppression since …. I guess sometimes in my teens?

            It just seems that some people see oppression of various sectors of the society in either/or terms. They all operate – sometimes in concert, sometimes in differnet ways for each group.

            Other forms of disadvantage/oppression are not primarily caused by a masculine focus on class. But focus on class exclusively has been a stumbling block to progress for other oppressed groups. It has been a long struggle to get a reasonable number of people on the left to engage with issues of gender, “race” etc.

          • karol 18.3.1.2.4

            Don’t know who XXX is. But there have long been individual women in politics, among a very male and masculine dominated context. Like Thatcher, they usually succeed by embracing enough of the masculine values. Not surprising that some such women do devilish things.

            I always understood it was the Beveridge Report of the 1940s that provided the architecture of the British welfare state.

        • Naturesong 18.3.1.3

          To me “identity politics” is the wrong term – it’s about the politics of disadvantage and oppression.

          Thank you

      • McFlock 18.3.2

        But to me they’re not separate issues: they are the same issue of powerful people structuring a society to preserve their own power. All the same problem, it’s just down to the granularity with which one looks at the problem.

        The right wing oppose equality of the currently less powerful simply to preserve their own power.

        To bring it back to your final paragraph, should people on “the Left” even tolerate all viewpoints? Should we associate with someone argues that some people should shut up about their powerlessness on the doubtful likelihood of possibly preserving a couple of percentage points for a fairly soft-left party anyway? Even if they do demand the nationalisation of essential infrastructure and better rights for workers, or are trustees on charity boards, or whatever.

        Let me put it this way: as I recall, the Catholic Church decided that Liberation Theology was heresy because the perspective used to interpret scripture came from Marxism, and that therefore a doctrine with atheist roots cannot be regarded as church doctrine. Similarly, how much part of the left are people who choose to preserve the powerlessness of their comrades simply to provide their issues or interests with greater democratic power? I don’t care if they can sing 4 verses of the Internationale, they’re still preserving their security, power and status at the expense of perpetuating other peoples’ powerlessness. And that sounds awfully familiar.

        • Ennui 18.3.2.1

          A couple of answers before beer o’clock. Should people on the Left tolerate all viewpoints: hell no BUT we need to become better at encompassing them within a broad coalition with a common aim. The alternative is to be divided and conquered. Its not always nice but its better to be in control together than separately on the receiving end.

          And with regard to the preservation of security, power and status….I remember the Douglas / Lange cabinet who merely took these over. Beware your “friends”..all the more reason for a common cause that tolerates and encompasses incompatible viewpoints.

        • Tat Loo (CV) 18.3.2.2

          Bankers, corporates and financial capital raise minimal objection to progress on identity politics. They don’t care because it doesn’t affect the power and financial structures which actually matter in determining the control of a country.

          So when Left wing parties spend their time, energy and political capital on identity politics, all is fine.

          And to answer your question directly

          So I guess my question for left-wing social conservatives today is “when did some of the different facets of ‘identity politics’ stop being integral parts of the left-win mission

          I mark it as when the Left decided to abandon the 40 hour week and the penal rates associated with it.

          So we have gay marriage now (which is a good thing) but no 40 hour week and no penal rates. And zero whispers about even looking at bringing them back.

          • McFlock 18.3.2.2.1
            So I guess my question for left-wing social conservatives today is “when did some of the different facets of ‘identity politics’ stop being integral parts of the left-win mission

            I mark it as when the Left decided to abandon the 40 hour week and the penal rates associated with it.

            WTF?

            Non-economic power issues stopped being left wing when NZLabour dropped left wing economic policies? On what planet does that even make sense?

            • Rogue Trooper 18.3.2.2.1.1

              he he, you got Tat there it appears. (Class still my backpack )

            • Bill 18.3.2.2.1.2

              I’m going to guess it maybe refers to the resentment that built up among those who were principally economically exploited when they were more or less sidelined by parliamentary politics etc. And over time, any empathy or sympathy or interest that might have been held towards those subjected to non-economic oppressions kinda withered – ie, non-economic issues came to be seen as gazumping economic issues and the Labour Party lost a heap of support as a result.

              But that’s just a guess and in no way meant to be a defense of any social conservatism. The ‘this/and’ principle I’ve mentioned in other threads on other matters would seem to apply here if the left wants to avoid any repeat of the chest puffing bullshit from the 80′s and before (ie, before class was banished) that would have class trump anything and everything with the idea that ‘the girls’ and ‘our coloured cousins’ should just get in line, keep their mouths shut and their heads down and await the glorious day when the class war was won and the brain dead vanguard clowns would resolve gender and race issues a bit like Tommy Cooper – y’know? – “just like that”.

              • Tat Loo (CV)

                the idea that ‘the girls’ and ‘our coloured cousins’ should just get in line, keep their mouths shut and their heads down and await the glorious day when the class war was won

                The cruel irony: increasing economic hardship strikes at women, girls, minorities, and the disabled far harder and far faster due to the manifest inequitable attitudes and structures in our society.

                The corporate profit/banker driven destruction of our biosphere and our natural resources is also going to strike at these groups the hardest.

                • weka

                  So? What is it about feminism or indigenous rights that makes you think they don’t take on capitalism too?

                  If you want to blame someone for ignoring and undermining the working class, blame Labour in the 80s. Identity politics isn’t to blame, it’s what Labour did that is the problem. Appropriation of identity politics was just a tool, not the cause.

                  Karol might want to comment on this, but my understanding is that a big part of feminism in the 70s was women getting out of socialist groups and into feminist groups, because they were sick of being told to wait until class issues were dealt with before bringing their issues to the table. That and having to make all teh cups of tea. On both counts it was good reason to take their politics into the emerging second wave of feminism.

                  I’d like to see some evidence that if everyone else puts their needs aside then when capitalism finalling falls that then everyone else will get a chance. I just don’t see it. It looks like just a turning of the same old power structures into new hands.

                  • karol

                    weka @ 8.26pm: I commented on that at length above at 18.3.1.1.3.

                    Yes, also the left was not dealing well with issues relevant to women.

                    In the 70s in London, left wing women were critical of the way the class system was usually characaterised. Basically both a Marxist notion of class and the more standard at the time Registrar General’s occupation-based classifications of class, tended to be male focused. They had a their core a notion of the male breadwinner.

                    Women tended to be classed according to their father or husband’s occupation. And a woman could slide up or down the class ladder depending on their husband’s occupation – a woman could go up or down a clas on marriage. And often women experienced a big drop in class level/income on divorce.

                    Increasing numbers of women were working. But the “manual” categories favoured traditionally male occupations. What of some women’s low paid jobs (sales or clerical) that tended to be classified as white collar?

                  • Tat Loo (CV)

                    So women were encouraged to leave socialist groups and join feminist groups in the 70s. Great. What do you think of the last 40 years of results for both the socialist groups and the feminist groups?

                    Are you impressed with how the strategy has played out?

                    • weka

                      Women weren’t ‘encouraged’ to leave socialist groups, they left because they wanted something they weren’t getting in socialist groups.

                      I think feminism has done remarkably well given what it was up against and given the waves of backlash since the 70s.

                      Women, and IMO all people, are better off for feminism for sure. I can’t comment on socialist groups or their overall strategies, other than what I said about Labour, and what I said about women being largely failed by them.

                      I assume your implication is to somehow blame feminism for socialism’s failures? And that because feminism hasn’t overturned the patriarchy yet it would have been better off if women had just stuck to making cups of tea. Pull the other one.

                      It’s not feminism that is creating an either or situation here. It’s you and other people who insist on marginalising so called identity politics.

                    • karol

                      Women took the initiative. My experience in London was that there was a loose network of left wing, feminist, Afro-Carribean etc groups. They weren’t isolated from each other and cooperated on some actions. It was very anarchistic.

                      Groups came and went, while others endured. It was usually just a case of a few women getting together and deciding to set up a group, with whatever focus they chose. They would meet wherever they could find a space: in people’s homes, in squats, in community halls, etc.

                      There were some newsletters and main women’s centres where groups could post notices about their meetings or planned actions. Some groups were affiliated with mixed left wing groups: e.g. there was a group run by some women who were in the socialist workers’ party – had their own publication: ‘Women’s Voice” – oh it looks like the Aussie version began in 1900.

                      UK version began in 1972 – 1982.

                      I was fairly eclectic – read that, Spare rib, and other stuff like Flame, as well as Time Out, which was a general London leftie listings mag.

                      I had male and female friends in various general left wing groups. Some of the women in leftie groups were also involved in women’s groups.

                      The results? Basically, in the UK, Thatcher set out to destroy the urban base for left wing networks, including feminist ones. It made it harder to sustain groups and networks: disbanding the Greater London Council, making it harder for the hubs (key community centres etc) to be maintained – pressuring people to spend more of their time working etc.

                      And Thatcher maneuvered to get sympathisers in key MSM editorial positions – so the neoliberal propaganda gained momentum.

                      What happened since the 80s was not cause by feminism or various ethnic groups. Such groups were very successful, which is why the neoliberals moved to kneecap them.

                      Those left wing networks were grassroots, community-based. The neoliberal revolution was one from above. IMO, the lesson is, and left wing campaign needs to be both grassroots initiated, but to have a strategy for combating the power of the wealthy elites.

                    • weka

                      “What happened since the 80s was not cause by feminism or various ethnic groups. Such groups were very successful, which is why the neoliberals moved to kneecap them.”

                      yes, and it’s incorrect for Tat to say that the ruling powers allow identity politics because they’re not threat. The backlashes against feminism are well documented, and ask Maori if they think they’ve been allowed to advance their causes with no resistance from the top. Identity politics are allowed to advance to the extent that that serves the heirarchical powers. Once they press beyond that all sorts of shit happens.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      yes, and it’s incorrect for Tat to say that the ruling powers allow identity politics because they’re not threat.

                      My context was within political parties. Parties can push identity politics far easier than anything along the lines of controlling corporates or corporate super taxes, as two specific examples. In that way parties of the Economic Left ended up primarily as Socially Liberal parties with Centre Right Economics.

                      The backlashes against feminism are well documented, and ask Maori if they think they’ve been allowed to advance their causes with no resistance from the top.

                      Not quite – the litmus test is – are you threatening capitalist control and profits.

                      If you are a feminist labour group demanding equal pay as men or longer parental leave then of course you are a threat to capitalist profits and must therefore be stymied.

                      If you are an Iwi demanding the return of a hundred thousand hectares of prime farm land than again you are a threat to capitalist profits and must therefore be stymied.

                • McFlock

                  The cruel irony: increasing economic hardship strikes at women, girls, minorities, and the disabled far harder and far faster due to the manifest inequitable attitudes and structures in our society.

                  Which will continue to happen as long as non-economic issues aren’t addressed.

                  It’s not one or the other – just because labour dropped the economic ball doesn’t mean every other issue need wait. The alternative is that those bearing the brunt should shut up and continue to do so, just because those two rungs from the bottom of the ladder don’t want to share their rung.

                  • Tat Loo (CV)

                    Of course its not one or the other. You can lose all fronts simultaneously.

                    • McFlock

                      or you can win on all fronts simultaneously, rather than making those worst-off wait gthe longest for relief.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Sure maybe the political left wing can win on identity politics and economics at the same time. But where’s the formula for doing so? Do you have it? Please share.

                    • McFlock

                      Simple.
                      Work on the economic paradigm in the same way non-economic issues.

                      After all, in the last 30 yrs same-sex relationships have gone from illegal to legally-married, ToW settlements have been signed where before land occupations had just gotten started, and we’ve had two female prim ministers from when female mps were counted on one hand.

                      Meanwhile, we’ve gone 150yrs backwards in economic policies and support.

                      Maybe you should stop whining and start learning.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Just keep pushing identity politics mate, you clearly think there is much more to do on that front despite your upbeat analysis, so good for you.

                    • weka

                      What’s the formula for winning on economics alone?

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      You and I weka know what need to be done in the next 10-20 years for our biosphere to have any shot at remaining in a reasonable state. It requires nothing less than a complete rethinking and re-implementation of the economy as we know it.

                      For billions of people around the world regardless of gender, sexuality, race, etc. the outcome of this will likely become a fundamental, existential issue of survival.

                      In this particular context the niceties around the proper setting of academic debate topics is not something which even registers on my scale.

                    • McFlock

                      So we know the problems, but after all your puffery you have no idea how to get people to implement the solutions.

                      You’re a navigator without a map.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      McFlock, good luck with the clever pot shots, the clock is ticking.

                    • weka

                      Well I disagree with that Tat. I think the same powers that enforce the current economic paradigm, also enforce sexism, racism etc. It’s that power that needs to be undone if we are to have any hope in teh future. You believe that focussing on the economy will solve the problems, I don’t because the problems are attitudinal as much as they are structural. You can break the capitalist paradigm and if you don’t also make change at the social level you will just get another version of power over.

                      You said earlier that most people will prioritise the economy. But I think this is about how you ask the question. If you ask people what is more important, the economy or [insert relevant other identity politics], then people are forced to choose. But if you ask them: would you prefer NZ to be run taking into account the economy and social issues, or do you think that we should focus on the economy alone, I think you will get a different answer. Pretty much everyone I know values more than the economy, and most women I know certainly won’t take kindly to being told their issues are a sideline to the Important Issue of the economy. That’s because they can see it’s possible to do both. Likewise, most Maori I have talked politics with don’t see the issues in such a reductionist way.

                      The main issue I have with your approach is that you create a completely unnecessary duality (economy vs identity politics), and that duality simply reinforces the power over paradigm that is the problem in the first place. I’m curious what you think about Bill’s comments, because he gets the importance of what you are saying I think (that the working class has been hugely betrayed in the past 30 yrs, and the economic/political structures that have enabled that), but he also can see that it’s not necessary to marginalise other classes of people in order to redress that.

                      Feminism, Maori politics, disability politics etc are all capable of being inclusive of the issues that you bring to the table. Why can you not do the same?

                      I’m also unclear why you need to blame ‘us’ instead of ‘them.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Simply put, I don’t view power in society in the same way as you do weka.

                      I think trans-national corporate and capitalist power is dominant and oppressive. It determines how we relate to each other, what we hear and see (and what we don’t), and of course, our perspective of the economy, environment and natural resources.

                      I have significant interest in rolling back corporate and banking power in terms of how it defines our country and our society. As a close second I am keen on steps to democratise both income distribution and the management of the economy as a whole across all people. But dealing with patriarchy per se, regardless of what that term means to different people, I don’t get amped about, at all.

                      Of course, the above economic objectives all beautifully serve to undermine patriarchy but as I said, I don’t particularly care about that. It is an incidental nice to have for other people who do, perhaps.

                      Why is this? Because as mean spirited and cruel partriarchy can be, it doesn’t hold a candle to the global and community catastrophe being caused by current systems of corporate and banking power. As Chris Hedges says – they literally are systems of death, our civilisation’s embodiment of Thanatos.

                      I don’t want to convert or change the mind of the assailant, like you seem to want to do. I want to take the machine gun he is pointing at all of us, off him. Is he still going to be a prick and a arsehole afterwards? Probably. But he’ll be a prick and an arsehole without a machine gun, and that I can live with.

                      But if you ask them: would you prefer NZ to be run taking into account the economy and social issues, or do you think that we should focus on the economy alone, I think you will get a different answer…most women I know certainly won’t take kindly to being told their issues are a sideline

                      Agree. But most women also dislike being told what their issues are. Even if the people doing the telling are other women.

                      You bring up “social issues” and correctly remark that people often consider that at least as important as the economy. They remain important in NZers voting considerations. Health, education, social welfare, law and order are usually top of the things that voters think about, for instance. But that’s not what you are talking about is it.

                    • McFlock

                      how are you going to “remove the capitalists’ machine guns” without changing anyone’s mind?

                      You can’t do it by yourself, and if nobody’s mind needed to be changed to help you, it would have already been done.

                    • how are you going to “remove the capitalists’ machine guns” without changing anyone’s mind?

                      Mind’s change because circumstances change. They are not isolated, monadic devices calculating the world in some fume-like, immaterial dimension. They are in and of the world.

                      In politics, if you want to change attitudes change circumstances. That’s what Roger Douglas did back in the 80s and, lo and behold, attitudes have changed – ‘we’re all neoliberal now’.

                      It’s also why people change their attitudes when they change their jobs – suddenly being a manager is not such a terrible thing when you become a manager, rather than being dominated by a manager.

                      Mind’s are just our means of navigating circumstances. Change circumstances; change minds.

                      And, yes, minds (of others) are circumstances for a mind – what we say to each other and indicate through our behaviour can alter how someone else reacts. But that’s still not because we have ‘changed their mind’ or ‘changed their attitude’ – it’s because we have changed the circumstances within which their minds have to navigate.

                    • McFlock

                      And how do you change the circumstances in a democracy?
                      You change the minds of the leadership, either by bureaucratic capture like lab4, or by popular action (maybe by changing the leadership).

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Hoodoo ; may I be of assistance?

                    • Bill

                      @McFlock. What do permanent positions of leadership have to do with democracy? And what does our fundamentally undemocratic mode of governance have to do with democracy?

                      Maybe it’s a smattering of democracy that could be the necessary change in circumstances that would facilitate or even go hand in hand with a change in attitude/behaviour…a self reinforcing cycle of circumstance and attitude?

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Bill, would you be able to re-phrase your comment to clarify please. :)

                    • McFlock

                      Not sure what you mean by “permanent positions of leadership” in nz, bill.

                    • “And how do you change the circumstances in a democracy?”

                      By makIng it difficult for a politician to act otherwise or making it in their interests to do what you want. You change the circumstances within which they act. Forget about their minds – they will either follow or be irrelevant.

                      Bill’s right. How would someone act exploitative in circumstances that provide them with no power? Conversely, why would someone with power change their mind and not only give it away but also dismantle the structure that gave them power?

                    • McFlock

                      I think we’re beginning to talk past each other, and are at the reply limit anyhoo.

                      Definitely an interesting conversation.

                      I’m working on some thoughts along these latest lines for an OM in the next few days (time permitting).

                  • karol

                    Agree, weka.

                    The focus on the “economy” divorced from the rest of society, is a narrowed version of “economy” – it is pretty patriarchal. Many Marxists, like Raymond Williams began to move towards an equal role for “culture” and other socially constructed institutions and discourses in the 1970s. The neocons, reclaimed the economy as having primary status in the 1980s and beyond.

                    One of the problems I had with much Marxist theory is the way it gives primacy to the production base upon which the (“secondary”) social/cultural/political et al superstructure is considered to be built. Forces of production often gets narrowed into “economic” terms.

                    And this is also a pretty patriarchal thing to do, whereby the focus is pretty “instrumental” (task oriented and focused on technical details) – a characteristic often associated with traditional masculinity. This is in contrast with more traditionally “feminine” expressive (nurturing, socially focused) qualities. Doesn’t so much match the reality (which is far messier), as form part of cultural attitudes about gender differences, and the hierarchical status applied to them – thereby influencing behaviour/discourse in some ways.

                    I think the “forces of production” and superstructure interact and play off each other. The forces of production and activities of the capitalist elites are saturated with cultural discourses, and integrated with diverse social institutions. These social and cultural institutions/activities and human relationships both justifies and sustains the “forces of production. These include all kinds of ways to divide people according to socially constructed status and power.

                    It is very gendered and also the elites maintain their power by demonising various groups of people with little power. All these things are interconnected.

                    • Bill

                      So, given that the same dynamic, or set of dynamics, promotes and entrenches various oppressions, is there any point to fighting an economic issue without taking into account the ramifications or implications on gender, race issues? I think not. If it’s essentially the same dynamic then it will ‘bleed’ from the areas that have been sidelined and reinfect the area that was the focus of attention.

                      Further to that and crucial, to my way of thinking, there is no point in fighting for economic justice – or anything really – if the means employ methods or structures that embodying elements of oppression.

                      My question is, is there any mode of organisation, short of ones embracing substantial democracy, that wont lead to forms of sexism, economic exploitation, racism etc becoming reasserted in some form or other?

                      If there are, I’m all ears. If there aren’t, then why do ‘we’ insist on using fundamentally flawed and ultimately self defeating organisational structures when we are seeking meaningful change?

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Nice analysis, but I would say – so what? Draw all the interconnections you want – so what? Write a paper on it? Have a debate? Maybe its just the way my “masculine” brain works, but what are the next steps?

                      I think the elite 0.1% will have much less sway over all of us and over NZ society if we roll back the power of the banks, financial system and trans-national corporates. And that to me is the must have. Why? Because Thanatos is embodied in the economic systems that they define. And that is an influence which both masculine and feminine energies contain very much of.

                      One of the problems I had with much Marxist theory is the way it gives primacy to the production base upon which the (“secondary”) social/cultural/political et al superstructure is considered to be built. Forces of production often gets narrowed into “economic” terms.

                      Most of the western world’s production has been outsourced. For economic reasons of the 0.1% I should add, not social reasons to do with our communities. So Marx was correct. Forces of production are overwhelmingly economically defined (although cultural and social factors also have bearing).

                      Regardless, Marxian analysis of the dynamics of capitalism remain spot on. The interests of capital and labour are often not the same.

                      The additional wrinkle – catastrophic climate change and resource depletion isn’t caused by patriarchy, it’s caused by transnational corporations and capital.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      is there any point to fighting an economic issue without taking into account the ramifications or implications on gender, race issues? I think not.

                      Partly it depends on what you define as an “economic issue.” Are our prisons an “economic issue” – well I would say yes they are and yes lets take into account gender and race issues.

                      But if you want to tackle the economics coal mine safety, deep sea drilling, the 40 hour week and Reserve Bank statistic targeting by including gender and race components within each of those fights. Fine, that’s one way ahead, but I probably wouldn’t choose that way.

                    • karol

                      Tat, I still have a lot of time for Marx. however, he is weak on issues of gender, and traditional Marxism tends to be based on men’s position in the workforce.

                      The system has been reconfigured in many ways since the 70s, but economics and social dynamics of “race” gender etc are still interwoven. There are a disproportionate amounts of Maori and Pacific people amongst those in poverty. And Maori and Pacific women have been particularly oppressed by Bennett’s reforms. Women make up a significant proportion of the precariat, with insecure, part time and casual work.

                      Bill, I agree that we need a totally different system. The problem is how to dismantle the system we have and replace it with a more democratic one, when the elites will find ever slicker ways of protecting their systems of privilege?

                      Tat: I think the elite 0.1% will have much less sway over all of us and over NZ society if we roll back the power of the banks, financial system and trans-national corporates. And that to me is the must have. etc.

                      Those institutions are already highly gendered. They can’t be tackled without the highly masculine culture being taken on. There’s much academic stuff been written about the highly masculine culture of finance traders. Some even have monitored testosterone levels, while other s have merely focused on the masculine behaviour: the aggression, competitiveness – the sexual harassment etc.

                      Some traders are boosting their testosterone levels in order to be more successful in terms of that system.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Those institutions are already highly gendered. They can’t be tackled without the highly masculine culture being taken on.

                      I believe that they can be tackled without directly or explicitly addressing issues of gender and patriarchy – I believe this, because it has been done before. Just look at how a White House and Congress stacked with white men passed the New Deal and the Glass Steagall Act defanged banks and corporate capital. (For a while, and not without resistance of course).

                    • Bill

                      Tat – the ‘so what’ is that if you get rid of economic exploitation but do so in a way that leaves gender and race oppressions untouched, then the dynamics and structural biases present in those areas will ‘colonise’ the economic sphere you ‘won’ and it will become a sphere of oppression again.

                      Karol – I can never get my head around the idea that we dismantle and replace. Why the two (or three?) step process? The replacing is implicit to the dismantling (or process of disempowering and delegitimising)…which is why I constantly bang on about there being no point in using organisational structures that mimic those undemocratic and elitist structures that are prevalent today (eg, heirarchical or top/down and so on). If we do, no meaningful change will ever occur.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      some Radical democracy…
                      “Laclau and Mouffe claim that liberal democracy and deliberative democracy, in their attempts to build consensus, oppress differing opinions, races, classes, genders and worldviews. radical democracy is not only accepting of difference, dissent and antagonisms, but is dependent upon it… Oppressive relations should be made visible, re-negotiated and altered.”

                      “No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates, by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption.”
                      -Paulo Friere ; 1970.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      then the dynamics and structural biases present in those areas will ‘colonise’ the economic sphere you ‘won’ and it will become a sphere of oppression again.

                      Again? I’m not sure there is that much time left to do a cyclical revisit. The available angles to avoid the worst effects of fossil fuels decline and financial neo-feudalism were small enough to start with in the 1990′s and 2000′s. These days…all bets are off.

              • McFlock

                Thanks, bill, interesting points.

                • karol

                  Bill @ 3.10 pm. I don’t think it matters if the replacement, dismantling, disempowerment, etc happen simultaneously or in various steps, or with top down and/or bottom down. The people with the power will resist with every wily strategy they can think of. That’s the problem I was mainly referring to. And trying to build a different, grass roots, democratic system/society, will never succeed without some strategy for ending the current power structure.

                  • Bill

                    Strategy – yes. Always.

                    But if you want to simply dismantle you are effectively creating a vacuum. And that is probably easiest filled by powerful and probably institutional actors. Maybe think of Eastern Europe post Soviet collapse and who was best able to exploit the fact that the apparatus of the USSR had been dismantled/abandoned.

                    But if parallel democratic institutions had been developed as part and parcel of any challenge to the legitimacy of those who presided over the USSR, then ‘the west’ couldn’t have simply sauntered into an empty space….it would have been occupied.

                    Meanwhile, if it had been occupied by systems that merely had the form of democracy without the substance – top down or whatever and recreating institutional hierarchies (and assuming ‘western’ actors failed to get traction) – then a simple transfer of powers from one elite to another would have been all that occurred.

                    So complete and necessarily democratic action as opposed to incomplete undemocratic action is required (ie, not first *this* and then *that* at some later juncture – but *this* and *that* simultaneously…hand in glove if you like, where both are linked/dependent and one ascends at the direct expense of or in direct relation to the diminishing of the other).

                    Otherwise we go round and around as we have done these past however many hundreds of years with their attendant (so called) revolutions.

    • Rogue Trooper 18.4

      it’s the wastage and exploitation of the capitalist ideology that finds me calling out the goats.

    • Puddleglum 18.5

      My belief in socialism has always been predicated on the arbitrary and undeserved inequalities of power under capitalism.

      That’s well put.

      But I think the word ‘arbitrary’ is not the right one. I don’t think that there’s anything arbitrary about, for example, the disempowering of women in societies (capitalist and pre-capitalist) that privilege production (and, today, growth) over reproduction and, therefore, have the side-effect of privileging men over women (and, incidentally, marginalising the needs of children and sending them to school for the bulk of their young lives).

      Similarly, there’s nothing arbitrary about societies that are based on exploitation of resources (including other humans) actively oppressing, abusing and dehumanising indigenous people (or people of other religions) found sitting on exploitable resources (or being able – as slaves – to be exploited as resources).

      Similarly, there’s nothing arbitrary about an economic system that, for its own replication, valorises competitive, alpha-male masculine values also marginalising and oppressing homosexuals and lesbians.

      I guess all I’d add (or emphasise) is that a good part – at least in my eyes – of why these particular inequalities have existed and still exist in our society is because the overall economic system is intent on sorting people into the few capitalists and the many workers. An historically obvious – but messy – route to entrenching that sorting process involves using potential prejudices as first approximations (i.e., attempts) to layer a society into these two fundamental classes.

      The only other explanation of these particular inequalities that I’ve heard is that sexism, racism and ‘homophobia’ (there isn’t a word simply for discrimination against gay people – is there?) is in human nature. I don’t think that’s the case – although, self-evidently, the potential is always there and able to emerge, given a facilitating economic system.

      Interestingly, any progress on these forms of inequality should, over time, bring into starker relief the inequality of class upon which our economic system is based.

      • McFlock 18.5.1

        Yeah I couldn’t think of a better word than arbitary.
        I sort of think that many inequalities are accidents of history rather than just the product of struggles for resources unfairly giving advantage to the strongest.

        Like is there any real reason that europeans took slaves from africa to the americas, rather than africans enslaving europeans? Maybe if africa had had a rennaissance before europe, we’d still have the same issues but with different players. Africa had empires and cities before europeans went wandering about. Why didn’t rome have an industrial revolution? They had all the ingredients that england had in 1600.

        So I was sort of stabbing for a way to describe how many of our inequalities aren’t just unfair, but the initial conditions that enabled them were just rolls of the dice.

        • Puddleglum 18.5.1.1

          Good questions.

          Jared Diamond in his book ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ took a kind of nuanced environmental determinism argument to explain why the Spanish ended up conquering South America rather than the reverse. Which is a bit like your question about Africans and slavery.

          I agree that accidents of history are part of it – but it’s the accidents that favour one group over another in ‘struggles for resources’ (in the broadest sense of the term ‘resource’ – something that can be used, at a historical moment, for a significantly advantageous purpose). Luck plays its part in who gets the resources (and who needs them – some groups don’t need what others need) but the outcome that flows down through history is who ends up in control over them.

          It’s not everything of course, but it’s pretty important.

          • McFlock 18.5.1.1.1

            Yeah, but I wanted to really emphasise that there’s no reason one group is powerful over another – just that the start condition of the current situation lucked out that way. Often just an idea that occurred to one kook who changed history.

            Eg colombus found it hard to fund his expedition because navigators who thought the world was round knew that there wasn’t a shitshow of being able to sale to china. They knew the distance involved. Columbus was just lucky america was there. And spain was lucky that they had the readies to throw three tubs away on a punt – and possibly that isabella had a heart flutter.

            • Rogue Trooper 18.5.1.1.1.1

              put down that drink my fwend. :-D

            • Puddleglum 18.5.1.1.1.2

              Yes, history is a tape that only gets played once and it’s just ‘one damn thing after another’.

              But arbitrariness in that context only makes sense when compared with a world of counterfactuals, a world populated not by actual events but by logical possibilities. In that sense it is true that our world is ‘arbitrary’, but it’s also true that everything we actually care about begins in a world of circumstances that pre-date it and, therefore constrain it – more and more, as time goes by, ‘luck’ starts to fall in line with one group rather than another.

              So, yes, women could have come to dominate men in the way that today’s patriarchal society dominates women but the dice were loaded against that a long time ago – when capitalism, and its precursors, came along it was already odds-on that we’d end up with something like what we got in terms of patterns of power inequalities.

              The quirky one-off events that could change everything in a moment became less and less likely. Concerted and prolonged resistance and struggle then becomes the sensible option and has, in fact, proved to be the way most progress has been made – conversely, waiting to win history’s lotto game of ‘luck’ hasn’t so far been a winning strategy for overcoming power inequalities (as many of your original examples of (lack of) progress illustrate).

              Today’s world isn’t destiny, and we can definitely change it (and should) but the particular forms of power inequalities that exist now have been a lot more than just arbitrary ‘bad luck’ (e.g., for women) in the roll of history’s dice for quite some time. It’s not arbitrary any more – it’s ’caused’ by the way things are arranged and therefore makes sense in the light of how things are arranged. And that was the point I was trying to make.

              History – on whatever timescale – has a habit of ratcheting up very small advantages (perhaps initially created by ‘luck’) into massive, structurally embedded advantages over time, advantages that reliably replicate themselves from generation to generation.

              Having said all of that, I think we agree on the important points. When I made my comment ‘criticising’ use of the word ‘arbitrary’ I wasn’t so much trying to disagree with you as use it as a springboard to highlight why our world can still be resistant to making progress on those ‘arbitrary’ inequalities.

              Off to bed for me – interesting to chat about these things. Thanks.

  18. Penny Bright 19

    FYI

    29 November 2013

    Lyn Provost
    NZ Auditor-General

    ‘Open Letter’

    Progress update on my request for the NZ OAG to conduct an inquiry into the lack of ‘due diligence’ by OFCANZ regarding the increased risk of money-laundering at Sky City casino?

    Dear Lyn,

    The 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference is now over, during which I met a number of persons deeply involved in fighting corruption, including the following Auditors-General:

    Mr John Doyle
    Victorian Auditor-General

    Mr Colin Murphy
    Auditor-General for Western Australia

    Mr Mike Blake
    Auditor-General of Tasmania

    I also had the privilege of meeting, (amongst others) the Hon James Wood AO QC, Chairperson of the NSW Law Reform Commission:
    Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner, Dept of Investigation (DOI), New York,
    and Assoc Prof Ken Coghill PhD, Dept of Management, Monash University.

    Having taken over a ‘hard copy’ of the following OFCANZ OIA reply, and shown it to a number of APSAC Conference attendees, I think it would be fair to say that the reaction was one of bemusement (to say the least?)

    OFCANZ OIA REPLY (DATED 13 AUGUST 2013) PROVING THAT OFCANZ HAS FAILED TO CARRY OUT ‘DUE DILIGENCE’ REGARDING THE INCREASED RISK OF MONEY-LAUNDERING ARISING FROM THE NZ INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE BILL:

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/SKY-CITY-OFCANZ-OIA-REPLY-NO-DUE-DLIGENCE-RE-MONEY-LAUNDERING-bright-penny-06-c211711-2-sent-reply.pdf

    Are you able to give a time frame to confirm whether or not, as the NZ Auditor-General, you will be conducting an investigation into the lack of ‘due diligence’ by OFCANZ regarding the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the NZ International Convention Centre Act 2013?

    FYI – currently, I am still in Sydney, and will return to New Zealand on Sunday 1 December 2013.

    Whilst I am here, it is my intention to make further contact with members of the Australian media – particularly those who have focused on exposing corruption.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference Attendee

    2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference Attendee

    2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference Attendee

  19. Rupert 20

    I’ve heard a rumour that the National Party volunteer caught tearing down Poto William signs wasn’t a Young Nat volunteer at all – it was the Nat’s Auckland organiser – so a staff member…

  20. Tracey 21

    Mcflock

    well said

  21. Tracey 22

    8 forestry workers dead this year.

    3 children drown in swimming pools each year.

    who got special legislation

  22. emergency mike 23

    I love this line fromTony Abbott on the revelations from Snowden that Oz listened to the Indonesian leaderships private phone calls.

    “Asked about the spying revelations in a separate interview, Abbott said: “To use the term spying, it’s kind of loaded language … researching maybe. Talking to people. Understanding what’s going on.”

    Researching. Brilliant. Then later he falls back on the standard no comment refrain we’ve heard from John Key ad nauseam:

    “On Monday a spokesman for Abbott said: “Consistent with the long-standing practice of Australian governments, and in the interest of national security, we do not comment on intelligence matters.””

    Now Indonesia has changed it’s Australian foreign policy stance from ‘cooperation’ to ‘stick it up your ass’:

    “National police chief Sutarman told the Indonesian parliament’s Commission I on foreign affairs that there was now no cooperation between his forces and Australia on counter-terrorism, information sharing and international crime.

    Defence minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told parliament that three joint exercises with Australian troops had been cancelled…”

    Ah yes, wholesale spying on friends and enemies alike, making the world a safer place. Well done five eyes.

    • tc 23.1

      yes crazy ass Tony and his gov’t haven’t taken long to show true colours. From crikey:

      ‘an ideologically and politically confused government. A free-market government dumping market mechanism for climate action in favour of handouts and considering reacquiring old governments assets. A government that talks of being “open for business” that slams the door on foreign investors. A government that complains of the fiscal indiscipline of its predecessors and then demands a whopping increase in the debt ceiling so it can continue to borrow. …Australia is open for business — if you’ve got a dodgy deal to offer the new crowd in Canberra’

      then there’s the gonski education funding 180 turn, australia you’re standing in it.

      • tc 23.1.1

        oh yes and they’re proposing to buy back/lease the ageing telstra copper network which costs $1b p.a. to keep from collapsing and other former public assets.

        Private can’t squeeze anymore cash out of it so taxpayer gets to buy it back, sound familiar

    • Rogue Trooper 23.2

      Large military those Indonesians!

  23. Penny Bright 24

    SFO developments:

    (Email received this morning 29 November 2013)

    Dear Penny

    We will evaluate your complaint and respond to you within 30 working days.

    Regards

    Graham

    Graham Gill | General Manager – Evaluation & Intelligence | Serious Fraud Office
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    29 November 2013

    Graham Gill
    General Manager,
    Evaluation & Intelligence,
    Serious Fraud Office
    New Zealand.

    Dear Graham,

    Sorry to be a nuisance, but with the upcoming Xmas and holiday break, I am unclear as to when the ’30 working days’ time period you have given for your response for a decision on your evaluation of the request from Lisa Prager and myself for the NZ Serious Fraud Office to conduct an urgent inquiry into alleged bribery and corruption, involving Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Sky City Auckland, will be up?

    Thanks for your help.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    • MrSmith 24.1

      This is the third or forth post from you here today Penny, You seem to be running some kind of mayoral campaign on open mike and I can only speak for myself but I find it bloody annoying reading your latest letters to the editor every five minutes.

  24. Plan B 25

    If the info in this article about GMOs and the TPP are right then we should be very worried.

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/11/monsanto-the-tpp-and-global-food-dominance/#more-69910

    I am hoping that people with a far greater understanding than me could read the article and comment.

  25. Morrissey 26

    Maybe the President should have pardoned THIS turkey for Thanksgiving;
    Film-goers unconvinced by official hatchet-job on dissenter

    A decade ago, Dr. Brian Edwards tried his hand at being the attack-dog of the Labour government. There was only one problem with that plan: Edwards was laughably incompetent. It’s worth spending some time reading the following transcript and watching him come unstuck against the far superior Lynley Hood….
    http://www.peterellis.org.nz/docs/2003/HoodComplaint/2003-0816_TV1_BrianEdwardsWithLynleyHood.htm
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/nz.general/lBS_cJY5bqs

    In spite of the government-backed malignancy of Edwards’ doomed assignment, the Clark government’s attack on Lynley Hood was a light comedy sketch compared to the Obama regime’s orchestrated campaign to denigrate, defame and destroy Julian Assange.

    I am pleased to announce that a key plank in the assault on this dissenter has been formally acknowledged to be a dismal failure. A multi-million-dollar Hollywood/Washington hatchet job called The Fifth Estate, funded by Disney and Dreamworks, and approved by the U.S. regime, has earned a miserable $6 million at the global box office on a budget of $28 million—not counting the massive amount spent on a fruitless advertising campaign for the turkey.

    Benedict Cumberpatch’s attempt at an Aussie accent was quite good; looks like the general public is not prepared to indulge the vicious dishonesty of the whole movie, however…..
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2013/11/25/2013s-biggest-turkeys-the-films-that-flopped/

    If it wasn’t for those damned democrats in Ecuador, this is the kind of vengeance the U.S. regime would unleash on Assange….
    http://ui.sina.com/2013/0808/U142P5029DT20130808095231_1_1.jpeg

  26. Will@Welly 27

    One more forestry worker killed today, and the MBIE can only comment they are “looking into it.” 29 miners died at Pike River, 9 forestry workers have died this year, and what does this Government do ? If one ‘rich prick’ was killed, all hell would break loose, but hard working Kiwi’s – cannon fodder for this Government’s lax employment laws.
    Simon Bridges was more upset about Geoff Robinson retiring, than he is about the deaths of those killed at worked, and I don’t say that disrespectfully about Geoff Robinson.

  27. Will@Welly 28

    One more forestry worker killed today, and the MBIE can only comment they are “looking into it.” 29 miners died at Pike River, 9 forestry workers have died this year, and what does this Government do ? If one ‘rich prick’ was killed, all hell would break loose, but hard working Kiwi’s – cannon fodder for this Government’s lax employment laws.
    Simon Bridges was more upset about Geoff Robinson retiring, than he is about the deaths of those killed at worked, and I don’t say that disrespectfully about Geoff Robinson.

  28. joe90 29

    The joys of consumerism, knocking people over to get shit that you desperately need.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/28/walmart-fight-black-friday_n_4357939.html

    • Draco T Bastard 29.1

      Consumerism is viral.

    • Paul 29.2

      Monbiot nails it.

      “Christmas permits the global bullshit industry to recruit the values with which so many of us would like the festival to be invested – love, warmth, a community of spirit – to the sole end of selling things that no one needs or even wants.

      Are we so bored, so affectless, that we need to receive this junk to ignite one last spark of hedonic satisfaction? Have people become so immune to fellow feeling that they are prepared to spend £46 on a jar for dog treats or £6.50 a bang on personalised crackers, rather than give the money to a better cause? Or is this the western world’s potlatch, spending ridiculous sums on conspicuously useless gifts to enhance our social status? If so, we must have forgotten that those who are impressed by money are not worth impressing.

      To service this peculiar form of mental illness, we must wear down the knap of the Earth, ream the surface of the planet with great holes, fleetingly handle the products of that destruction then dump the materials into another hole. ”

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/25/christmas-selling-things-nobody-wants

  29. karol 30

    “Sour grapes” Hay had been deselected from the Green Party list for 2014.

    Green Party Press Release:… or is it a David Hay Press Release?

    Stirrer. Hay,

    has revealed that the party’s powerful and secretive Candidate Selection and Electoral Process Committee (CSEPC) has recommended to the party’s executive committee that he should not be accepted into the candidate pool in 2014.

    Mr Hay says “I don’t know exactly why the CSEPC made its negative recommendation, but if the party executive accepts it, that would prevent me from being ranked on the party list and therefore from becoming a Green MP next year. I have asked for a copy of the CSEPC report to executive under the Privacy Act, and that request has been refused.”

    “I know that the executive met by telephone call on 22 October and could not make a decision on my candidacy. The vote was split 3-6 with some abstentions. Under party rules a 75% majority is required for a decision. I have asked executive to make a final decision tomorrow, by simple majority if necessary. I do not intend to appeal it.”

    Mr Hay has defended his abilities as a candidate on his blog, saying “In my view, for the party to reject my application for the candidate pool would be nothing less than an act of collective self-mutilation.”

    Mr Hay has also revealed how few Green Party candidates from Auckland are likely to make it into the list rankings in 2014, reinforcing his concern about the lack of Green Party presence in Auckland after the next election.

    The Green Party executive is currently holding a three day face-to-face meeting in Auckland.

    • bad12 30.1

      Lolz well if He wasn’t selected as a high list candidate on October the 22nd the current little tantrum will sure as hell make it a forgone conclusion,

      My vote goes to Russell, His dogged sticking to the ‘task’ says that He has earned it…

      • Monty 30.1.1

        Brilliant PR disaster on the cards for the Greens.

        A failed Australian communist who did a u turn on printing money when he realised how silly that policy was vs a born and raised Kiwi. This is going to turn into a mud slinging match.

        The greens are going to suffer over this and hopefully mean a bigger labour vote and more strength in the next election. Labour needs to be strong and ensure the Greens can’t control them.

        Labour needs to keep out of it and let them implode.

        • Naturesong 30.1.1.1

          Yeah, this is not Greens imploding.

          It’s just one member publicly removing himself from any future leadership position within the green party.

          It’s a bit embarassing, but you know, democracy and stuff.

          In other news, rumour has it that Metiria will be challenged for her leadership by a giant robot dinosaur vagina.

    • Naturesong 30.2

      Been looking at tweets:

      Duncan Garner ‏@Garner_Live

      OMG just interviewed David Hay – I think Russel is safe….

      :lol:

      • bad12 30.2.1

        Yeah bleating to the media, bad form from anyone in any political party, if the party gets to vote my pick will be 10 to 1 in favor of Russell Norman who has lead the opposition for most of the past 5 years while Labour went missing in action…

  30. swordfish 31

    just a test to see if my comment will work.

  31. swordfish 32

    just a test to see if my comment will work.

  32. swordfish 33

    Part 1:

    I see regular Tory troll, Fisani, argues (Mickeysavage’s post on Chch East by-election yesterday) that private polling suggests Poto Williams will win with a majority of 3000, and therefore erstwhile Greens should continue to vote for the Green candidate.

    Possibly, but I have my doubts (and polling would suggest percentages, not majorities – which are, of course, entirely dependent on turnout).

    I remain quite concerned that Labour may just be a little blasé about the result, with Williams agreeing with a RNZ journo that the by-election may well be a referendum on Cunliffe’s leadership and Cunliffe agreeing that it may be a referendum on the Nat’s post-quake efforts in Chch. Meanwhile, the National party hierarchy and Farrar have assiduously stuck to a series of carefully crafted (and highly misleading) little soundbytes, designed to massively downplay National’s chances. And these have slowly but surely transformed into received wisdom for a number of senior journos (eg Armstrong and the editor of The Press). Result: if National win or Labour take it by a very close margin (either of which are highly possible, in my opinion), then the result will be portrayed as an utterly unprecedented electoral catastrophe for Labour.

  33. swordfish 34

    Part 2

    Here’s the text of a Letter-to-the-Editor that I sent to the Dom Post 2 weeks ago (They decided, in their infinite wisdom, not to bother publishing it). It pretty much encapsulates the wider analysis of the by-election that I’ve been working on.

    TEXT: Over recent months, National has made strenuous efforts to shape media expectations of the up-coming Christchurch East by-election. Through a series of carefully crafted soundbytes, they’ve cast National as the ultimate underdog.

    In reality, Christchurch East is an unusually vulnerable seat for Labour. Never before in New Zealand’s by-election history has the retiring MP’s majority been entirely dependent on voters whose primary political allegiance lies elsewhere.

    Largely because of the post-quake exodus, National easily won the 2011 party-vote in Christchurch East, with popular Labour MP Lianne Dalziel’s candidate-vote (56%) massively out-performing Labour’s party-vote (32%).

    Dalziel’s 5334 majority was thus an entirely personal one. Almost two-thirds of it coming from people who had party-voted for a National government (NZ First and Green voters comprising the rest). Consequently, National can win this by-election seat from Labour without needing any swing at all from those who voted for a Labour government in 2011. That is unprecedented. TEXT ENDS.

  34. swordfish 35

    still have one comment (part 1) awaiting moderation. At the moment, there’s part 2 but no part 1, which makes me look like a bit of a dickhead, but, then again, what’s new ?

  35. Tracey 36

    agree wholeheartedly swordfish. this seat is marginal at best makjng it an interesting bafometer of earghquake recovery sentiment.

  36. Tat Loo (CV) 37

    Test comment

  37. karol 38

    Seeing you, Tat.

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    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
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