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David Cunliffe’s speech to the Labour Party congress

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, July 6th, 2014 - 108 comments

David Cunliffe Congress

David Cunliffe’s speech to the Labour Party congress delivered today.

David Cunliffe’s Congress Speech and education policy

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, July 6th, 2014 - 116 comments

David Cunliffe meeting

Livestream details of David Cunliffe’s speech to the Labour Party Congress this afternoon which is expected to announce reduced classroom size by funding more teachers using money clawed back from National’s so called super teacher policy.

Open mike 06/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, July 6th, 2014 - 191 comments


Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

Labours fiscal plan – ring fencing

Written By: - Date published: 5:24 pm, July 5th, 2014 - 14 comments


I have spent a large chunk of the this week digging my way into Labour’s fiscal plan after the Liu smear collapsed. I think that the fiscal plan is a work of art, and very classy art at that. Of course you have to read it closely and look at what it is intended to do. I was particularly intrigued about why there was ring fencing of future increases to education and health.

Parker’s egalitarian passion

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, July 5th, 2014 - 51 comments

2014-07-05 11.48.56

David Parker’s speech at Labour’s Congress today was passionate, comprehensive, and fully thought through. Respected for his intellect, Parker also said “My political heart lies in what has become something of a quaint  notion these days, the notion of an egalitarian society. Perhaps it’s because of my Southern Presbyterian roots. It’s not just about equality of opportunity. It’s about decent outcomes as well.” Amen to that.

Labour addressing digital divide

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, July 5th, 2014 - 135 comments

nexus 7

What stands out for me in the part of Labour’s education policy announced today, is the deliberate intent to make sure that all kids wind up with a personal network capable device both at school and home, and access to the net. At present we don’t. Much of the “voluntary” donations in schools is for computer equipment that kids need to learn from, but is not paid for by the state funding of schools. I was fortunate in that I started computing in 1976. Everyone needs that education now so they can pay for my retirement..

Blame the Officials

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, July 5th, 2014 - 7 comments

Bryan Gould working

Murray McCully doesn’t accept his responsibilities. He appears to see no need to do more than to blame his officials. Yet his job, under our system of parliamentary government, is to be accountable to parliament for the performance – and failures – of his department.  The McCully doctrine appears to be to suppress public discussion on difficult issues and to limit any adverse fallout for their party. Public officials are convenient sacrificial lambs if things go wrong. This is a bad idea.

We men do need to own the violence problem

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, July 5th, 2014 - 245 comments

domestic violence hurts all

Yesterday saw a social media attack on David Cunliffe based on six words taken out of context in a speech given on an important subject.  The debate needs to be about the subject and not on right wing framing of the six words.  And yes us men need to own the domestic violence problem and work towards solutions.

Open mike 05/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 5th, 2014 - 83 comments


Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

NRT: John Key pisses on public service independence

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 30 comments


One of the core principles of our public service is that Ministers have no role in staffing decisions. This is not the era of Seddon, where a Minister could stack “their” department with cronies and time-servers. For over a century, public sector heads have been statutorily independent in such matters. John Key appears to not understand that independence or just likes stupidly shooting from the hip. In the process he is opening taxpayers up to paying for his mistakes.

“Hope and Wire”: Disaster & collaboration

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 10 comments


Responses to TV3′s miniseries, Hope and Wire, based on the Christchurch quakes & aftermath, are mixed.  The opening episodes set up some universal themes: of wealth-seeking individualism versus community solidarity and collaboration.  Many in Christchurch are angry that their city, and it’s experiences, have been mis-represented.

Jared Savage still trying for more inches

Written By: - Date published: 1:23 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 12 comments

journalism school

I realise that journalists have to show some column inches sometimes to justify their existence on the payroll. However the “Investigations editor” Jared Savage at the the NZ Herald appears to be overdoing that. The latest is Jared’s attempt to puff up three routine immigration letters in 2005. He really must be desperate for those extra inches. There doesn’t appear to be anything about it that holds much public interest apart from a simple desire to smear. Hardly journalism.


Labour plans to win

Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 122 comments

2014-07-04 11.17.30

It’s true, Labour does have a plan to win this election. And the plan’s a good one. Campaign Manager David Talbot and Polity’s Rob Salmond presented it to members and media this morning at the Loaves and Fishes in Wellington, so it is out in the open. And it doesn’t depend on miracles.

Polity: Family violence: National views

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, July 4th, 2014 - 5 comments

family court

The Expert Advisory Panel on Domestic Violence reported back to the government this week. It says New Zealand’s record is not good enough, victims deserve better, and politicians need to show some real leadership to prevent an escalating series of national tragedies. In essence the governments response has been to ignore everything in the report. It really isn’t good enough.

Labour Policy release – Eliminating violence against Women and Children

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, July 4th, 2014 - 118 comments

domestic violence hurts all

Labour has today announced its policy on eliminating violence against women and children.

Let’s play blame the public servant

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, July 4th, 2014 - 49 comments

murray mccully peekaboo

John Key has announced an inquiry into how the ambiguity in New Zealand’s position relating to the Malaysian diplomat was created.  And he has already blamed the Public Servant involved while refusing to criticise Murray McCully.  Clearly we now have a situation where instead of there being Ministerial Responsibility for the performance of their Department the Government is now entitled to attack a public servant in an attempt to divert political blame.

Open mike 04/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:35 am, July 4th, 2014 - 291 comments


Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

NRT: National standards for pollution

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, July 3rd, 2014 - 15 comments

cow in river

Today the government announced the final version of its national standards for freshwater. They’re trying desperately to pretend that these will improve water quality, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is not a “balance” between the economy and the environment. It is destroying the environment for the profit of a few. And I’d like to see political parties making clear statements that these “bottom lines” will be improved, to outlaw pollution and make our rivers safe to swim in.

Local Bodies: Woman Experiences Sexual Attack, PM Gets First Apology.

Written By: - Date published: 3:16 pm, July 3rd, 2014 - 42 comments

Jan Logie

A young woman was attacked in her own home by a Malaysian diplomat. He attempted to rape her. Despite Malaysia being prepared to have the diplomat tried in New Zealand the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade suggest that Malaysia may use diplomatic immunity and have the man returned home. The relationship with Malaysia was […]

NRT: The police are still ignoring electoral crime

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, July 3rd, 2014 - 17 comments


The Electoral Commission is saying nothing about apparent police inaction on breaches of the electoral law. Information provided by the Commission reveals that since the beginning of 2011 there have been 113 breaches of the Electoral Act that it’s referred to police for investigation. Not one has resulted in a prosecution. In November, then the prosecution time-limit will kick in, and people will escape justice.

McCully is in trouble

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, July 3rd, 2014 - 151 comments

murray mccully cowering sheep

Murray McCully’s Ministerial career must be close to being finished.  The ineptitude required to allow a diplomat to use diplomatic immunity when clearly Malaysia was completely indifferent to this happening is considerable.  And McCully, who is known as a control freak, claims to have no idea what was happening within his Ministry.

Open mike 03/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 am, July 3rd, 2014 - 248 comments


Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

“Why did you not ask?” – Apologies & culture

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 56 comments

domestic violence hurts all

In its handling of the case of the Malaysian diplomat accused of attempted rape in NZ, the government has marginalised the concerns and sensitivities of the victim.  Their own arse covering was given a higher priority.  Jan Logie argued for the victim in the House today – government MP’s attacked her for it. [Update#2: the survivor of the attempted rape, spoke to Jan Logie]

Phil Goff: Contemporary China Research Centre

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 9 comments

phil goff

It isn’t that often that we put up speeches by politicians. They’re usually aimed at the general public and don’t really get into the guts of the issues in the way that our activist commenters like to argue at – they tend to be political and in this site preaching to the converted.  However this speech by Phil Goff is exceptional. It was made at a centre looking at China, and looks at the benefits and risks of our current and future relationships with that country. Worth reading

NRT: Dysfunctional

Written By: - Date published: 5:48 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 6 comments


In short, a report on our intelligence services says that they don’t know what they’re doing, they don’t know why they’re doing it, and they’re not doing it well. NZSIS can’t do its core job – security vetting – in a timely fashion, GCSB can’t even count, and they hate each other. Plus they’ve got poor financial management practices and no idea of how much stuff they own to boot. And then they wonder at the level of public hostility?

Labour will end the farce of “voluntary” school donations

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 188 comments


Labour’s latest education policy announcement is fair, practical, and an answer to my (childhood) prayers.

Polity: Who do the “missing million” like?

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, July 2nd, 2014 - 17 comments


National appear to have been indulging in wishful thinking for some time based on dubious analysis of voter turnout.  Their latest round of silliness comes from kiwiblog. Sure there were some National supporters who chose not to vote in 2011 out of complacency. But it is probably a minority, and that most of the new non-voters (who voted up to and including 2008, and then stopped) are lefties. The survey evidence points that way, and so does the E9 evidence when looked at properly.

Polity: Today’s Herald editorial

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 33 comments


The NZ Herald has been particularly stupid recently, especially in its editorials. Now some of the anonymous editorial writers appear to have descended to not even reading their own paper. Today whoever wrote the editorial are suggesting that Labour release a particular policy, one that their political gallery writers wrote about on Wednesday. I guess that ‘anonymous’ couldn’t stand to read their own paper when it refers to Labour? Now that is really being biased.

NRT: Overstretched

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 9 comments

large_The ombudsman in NZ

The Office of the Ombudsman has budgeted to deal with 800 Official Information Act (OIA) complaints. Last year it got 1913. Other areas of its operations are also underfunded.  The Ombudsman is our watchdog against the government. If we want it to do that job effectively, it needs to be funded properly. Watching government departments drag out OIA requests may be fun for ministers, but it doesn’t help the transparency that our democracy needs.

Dairy prices keep dropping

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 90 comments

arrows down

Dairy prices have resumed their slide, falling 4.9 per cent at the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight. The drop was the ninth fall out of the last 10 auctions. It looks to me like the boom is over. Looking at the rise in production for whole milk powder in China, and increased exports from other countries, I think that it will continue to decline. In the meantime National have been allowing our other export industries to stagnate.

Open mike 02/07/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 185 comments


Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step up to the mike …

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  • Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes A new survey finding most parents believe class sizes are too big shows Labour is right to reduce them, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Positive and Solution Based Politics
    It has been a fascinating month – at times depressing – to be watching New Zealand politics from afar. Over here in Pakistan where I am currently working we have seen the Government begin a military offensive in North Waziristan...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Let’s be honest about National’s education policy and ‘lolly scramble...
    Let’s be honest about National’s education policy shall we? It’s got nothing to do with student achievement, that’s the bait National are using, what National’s Charter School fetish and National Standard league table obsessions are all about is injecting a...
    The Daily Blog | 07-07
  • Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions Police are being instructed to charge fewer people in order to meet National’s crime reduction targets, Labour says. “Front line police and others in the...
    The Daily Blog | 07-07
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