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Peas in a pod: Family Fist, National, DPF

Written By: - Date published: 4:10 pm, February 26th, 2008 - 55 comments
Categories: child discipline, dpf - Tags: ,

National Party blogger David Farrar points to a criticism of the repeal of s59 by Sacha Coburn (“a Christchurch businesswoman, lawyer and mother”):

The Government should read this column and be afraid… The whole column is worth a read. And Sacha Coburn will not be an exception – there will be many more like her – left leaning liberals who don’t like this law.

I’m sure there will left leaning liberals who don’t like this law but what about being true to principles every once in a while? You might think this is an especially good idea when kids are being beaten to death rather more frequently than we’d like. Perhaps political pragmatism is all National does now.

Of course Farrar is free to peddle the party issue of the day, but it’s worth noting his selective reporting – conveniently ignoring this from last Thursday where Professor Yanghee Lee (not a Christchurch businesswoman, probably not a lawyer and I’m not sure whether she’s a mother or not), the United Nations’ new Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child congratulates New Zealand on our stand against violence to children.

“I applaud all politicians who supported the new law and thank you for your excellent leadership and example to other countries,” Professor Lee says.

“New Zealand’s pioneering tradition in advancing human rights is well known.

“I believe its influence on other countries in the region and throughout the world in bringing about the new legislation will be considerable.”

55 comments on “Peas in a pod: Family Fist, National, DPF”

  1. slightlyrighty 1

    Again the spurious argument.

    Parents who beat, bash, burn and kill their children, who use unreasonable force on their children, will continue to do so regardless of the law. It was wrong before section 59 was repealed, and is wrong now.

    The law as it stands has the potential to criminalise parents who have done no more than use a reasonable amount of force. Force is always necessary when you are trying to impose your will on another human being, be that a child or another adult. That coersive force does not have to be physical but there has to be an allowance for the fact that children do not have the reasoning capacity of adults and as such have a special status in our society.

    Children cannot be held criminally liable. They do not vote, they have no voice and do not need one. The politics of the playground do not concern themselves with housing prices and macro-economics and it would be wrong of us to pollute thie childhood with such thinking. It is our role to train, guide, direct and protect, and one of the biggest things we have to protect our children from is their own misjudgement.

    The problem is that section 59 was improperly applied and throwing it out completely is a mistake.

  2. Daveo 2

    SR- Riding crop lady.

  3. Ruth 3

    I do hope this is not National’s position. If Key looks to repeal this amendment I won’t vote for him.

    Farrar has always been opposed to this – he appeared to soften his stance when Key changed his tune. I admire Key for that. But since then DPF has taken nearly evey opportunity to bash (so to speak) the law, which is working perfectly well.

    When Family Fist and other groups care about a life when it is OUTSIDE the womb they may be taken seriously. Typical Right – love your foetus–hate your kid.

    And that woman who wrote the column in The Herald is a disgrace. As if you should have to hit your child to get them into a car seat.

    But don’t get me started.

  4. Patrick 4

    I really find it amazing that there are people out there who are arguing to re-instate the right to beat their children. It is utterly disgraceful.

    What’s next? Removing the rights of women and Maori to vote? Somehow I would not be surprised to see someone arguing for that on Kiwiblog.

    While the applicaiton of Sue Bradford’s bill may not have been perfect, I can’t see anyone making any *logical* arguments for it’s repeal.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Yeah right Patrick people want to reinstate their right to beat their children grow up you arguements are childish and inane – the purported purpose of this bill was to decrease the level of child abuse it is not achieving that goal and to accuse the large number of people who have issue with the legislation of being child beaters is bombastic drivel.

  6. tom-tom 6

    Placard ideas please – Bring Back the Smack – Raise a Hand to Your Child – I’m with the Pro-Smackers – Smack, Smack, Smack, Bring it Back!

  7. Ari 7

    SR- if people weren’t being excused for beating their children with pieces of piping or riding crops, I might be inclined to agree with you. However, we’ve had some very dodgy cases that look quite transparently like abuse get excused by a jury because of the reasonable force defence.

    HS- The purpose of the bill was not to effect the level of child abuse. That problem is not going to be solved just by making abuse clearly illegal. It was to draw a line in the sand to make it clear where abuse starts. The law doesn’t explicitly defend violence against adults, yet we don’t get prosecuted for playing a game of rugby and tackling someone. Likewise, it doesn’t have any practical issues for good parents who decide for whatever reason to lightly tap their child’s wrist or whatever.

    Accusing people of writing drivel isn’t a very good way of living up to your name, incidentally. Most commentators on blogs say things because they truly believe things- even if they’ve got their facts wrong, or there is sharp disagreement on an issue. A little civility wouldn’t go amiss.

  8. Did you guys actually read the article before you shot the messenger?

    It began:

    “I agree with Bob McCoskrie and Larry Baldock. Eight words which churn my stomach as I write them. When left-leaning, social liberals like me are forced to align with the fundies speaking in tongues and organising petitions, you know our little country at the bottom of the world has gone mad

    The problem for me is that I love the law and the democratic process. As a lawyer, I understand the benefits of obeying the law and the potential consequences of disregarding it. I want to parent within the law and I want to be able to use smacking as one of many parenting tools

    I don’t believe smacking is for every parent or every child. I don’t believe that it’s an effective tool once children get beyond four or five. I wouldn’t insist that you smack your child, but I don’t believe Parliament fixes anything by taking away my right to smack mine.”

    It’s not actually about “peddling the party line” -it’s about the freedom to hold and the freedom to express an opinion. Sacha Coburn has expressed her opinion, and David Farrar has considered that opinion newsworthy enough to include on his blog, which is his right. Not everything is politically motivated!

  9. tom-tom 9

    Smack ‘em up! – Jesus WOULD have smacked! – Mary smacked little Jesus!

  10. westmere 10

    National will not change the law, if elected.

    But it’s useful to let people think they MIGHT do it. That stops the Kiwi Party and others getting any momentum, and taking National votes. They could lose one or two seats because of “wasted” votes for so-called Christian parties, so a little ambiguity on the issue is useful. David Farrar is smart enough to try and keep the issue alive (and the votes on board for National), while Key commits his party to nothing. Basic “Big Tent” strategy – give your radicals an outlet instead of a promise.

    And of course the pro-smackers are stupid enough to fall for it.

  11. the purported purpose of this bill was to decrease the level of child abuse

    Actually it was to stop people who beat their kids from being able to walk away scott free and it’s done that.

    Time will tell whether the increased threat of conviction makes people think twice before taking to their kid with a riding crop, length of four by two or whatever else these psychos like to avail themselves of but as a rightie I would have assumed your belief would be that tougher law acts as a deterrent.

    I would also have thought you would be all for the government being harder on crims. I guess not.

  12. westmere 12

    Inventory 2, David Farrar understands politics far better than you do!

  13. BTW – is that a typo in the heading (Family FIST), or are you guys no different to the Kiwiblog Right you pilloried in the thread headed “Filth”? Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

  14. higherstandard 14

    You’re drawing an extremely long bow Ari to suggest that the bill draws a line in the sand to make it clear where abuse starts – I’m certain that the vast amount of people on both sides of the debate are caring parents, uncles, aunts etc but the bill seeks to tar all with the same brush while not solving the real issue which is the scumbags who really do abuse their children.

    Accept my appologies for my less than polite response before.

  15. Higherstandard 15

    Rob

    I’d avoid labelling prople as leftie, rightie or whatever I tend to judge individual politicians and politics on merit. There are persons on either side of the house that do a good job but they are far outweighed by the dross on both sides and in the middle who sit on their backside and live off the taxpayers rump.

    Yes I would like to see tougher penalties for criminals, however my position is the vast majority of parents who do give a child a smack on the bottom when the kids are clearly out of order and aren’t reposnding to other means are not criminals can we at least agree on that ?

  16. what – DPF/National whipping up ferment amongst the RWNJs for political gain – surely not?

    as has been said before, National are going to make a lot of enemies very quickly if they do gain power then reneg on their “commitments” to the ultra-right fundies.

  17. Higherstandard 17

    r0b I’d suggest that many ordinary parents do feel criminalised/marginalised. All the while we’re still seeing kids being hospitalised and their caregivers couldn’t give a flying for legislation forgive me but I can’t see how the legislation is going to do anything to stop these people at the fringes behaving like animals

    While it’s easy to admire the intent of the legislation it was poorly conceived and written and certainly it didn’t help when Sue Bradford and others continued to berate anyone who disagreed with her that they were supporting beating their kids.

  18. r0b 18

    Accept my appologies for my less than polite response before.

    Well HS I don’t agree with your politics, but I admire your attempt to raise the tone of your contributions. Would that we all did the same!

  19. Higherstandard 19

    Fair enough Rob

    But I would answer the questions differently

    1 What does the politician intend to do – yes we are agreed that the intent is fine

    2 Does it work – No I don’t believe it does

    3 see 2 above

    The legal defence arguement as the ratioanl for repeal of S59 is a red herring even though some members of the judicary are indeed hopeless if a child is beaten and the parents are in front of the judge they are going to get convicted this occured before S59 was repealed and will still occur (assuming the judge is not senile,demented, drunk etc.

    Despite our differences I suspect we are not poles apart it’s just sad that there is no easy answer to stop the real thugs out there on either side of the political spectrum.

    Although I would be support any party that made certain that once someone was convicted of this kind of crime they never got the opportunity to do it again.

  20. r0b 20

    HS: I’d avoid labelling prople as leftie, rightie or whatever

    OK. I do use such labels, and my initial reaction to your posts and your somewhat pretentious choice of nickname puts you (in my mind) to the right of the spectrum.

    however my position is the vast majority of parents who do give a child a smack on the bottom when the kids are clearly out of order and aren’t reposnding to other means are not criminals can we at least agree on that ?

    I’m think everyone agrees with that – I certainly do. But this legislation was never about criminalising ordinary parents, that’s just a “straw man” scare tactic.

  21. r0b 21

    r0b I’d suggest that many ordinary parents do feel criminalised/marginalised.

    HS, if that is the case, then those who opposed this legislation should look to their tactics and their rhetoric for creating this false impression.

    I can’t see how the legislation is going to do anything to stop these people at the fringes behaving like animals

    Neither can I in extreme cases. But I do see how it removes a legal defence of their actions that seemed to be used too generously. And that may be enough to affect less extreme cases.

    While it’s easy to admire the intent of the legislation

    Ok, good!

    it was poorly conceived and written and certainly it didn’t help when Sue Bradford and others continued to berate anyone who disagreed with her that they were supporting beating their kids.

    That may be true – I didn’t follow it all that closely. But please get back to the intent of the legislation, on which we are agreed.

  22. r0b 22

    I’d avoid labelling prople as leftie, rightie or whatever I tend to judge individual politicians and politics on merit.

    I’ve been thinking about this further HS, and I wonder if it is as true as you would like to believe. In terms of S59 you seem to be hung up on lots of irrelevancies (many created by the bill’s opponents) rather than judging it on its merits (its intentions, which you admire).

    Truly judging things on their merits is an excellent strategy, and I try to apply it too. My questions:

    – What does this politician / legislation intend to do?

    – Does it work?

    – Does it help people or harm people?

    For me these questions help cut through a lot of the irrelevant BS. The answers to these questions in most cases lead me to overall support and work for parties on the left of the political spectrum.

  23. r0b 23

    2 Does it work – No I don’t believe it does

    We can all of us believe whatever we like (note that a majority of child support organisations believed that it would help). The only way to find out is to try. Isn’t it worse to do nothing?

    The legal defence arguement as the ratioanl for repeal of S59 is a red herring

    Why exactly? (It is all that the legislation does, after all.)

    Got to go, but it’s been good chatting to someone who seems open to reasonable discussion!

  24. Tell me pleaase – is that a typo in the heading (Family FIST), or are you guys actually no different to the Kiwiblog Right you pilloried in the thread headed “Filth’? Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

  25. Simeon 26

    and no I shouldn’t add links with my comments. The moderators hate it

  26. Simeon 27

    Robinsod,

    Can you give some idea of the number of parents who walked away “scott free” under the original S59.

  27. Strange then isn’t it that they chastise the “Kiwiblog Right” – here’s the opening sentence of that thread I was referring to:

    “It looks like the nasty little insecure creeps who inhabit the Kiwiblog Right are creeping into the mainstream.”

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1205

    And IrishBill’s first post says:

    “And before any of you little pricks start I should warn you that my tolerance for your filth on this blog is now zero.”

    ….then they maliciously change the name of Family First to Family FIST. There’s a word for that kind of behaviour – in fact there are lots of words – but the one that I’m thinking of is…..HYPOCRICY.

  28. AncientGeek 29

    lowerstandard:

    the purported purpose of this bill was to decrease the level of child abuse…

    The stated objective of the bill was to remove a defense ‘reasonable force’ for people assaulting children. That defense had been abused in the courts, and was preventing judges from giving punishments appropriate with the crimes.

    It made no difference to the ability of the police to decide whom to arrest and charge for assaulting children. It simply removed an impediment to their conviction.

    Since the number of cases that this affected was pretty low in the first place, as the police decide what is appropriate course of action (and always have done so). It was never expected to make much difference to the number of cases being brought forward. What it will do is to assist in conviction and sentencing.

    In other words – you are full of crap….

  29. AncientGeek 30

    Just to clarify where I personally stand on this act.

    My original position on this bill was that it was not required. The opponents of the bill convinced me otherwise. Frankly a lot of them make me afraid for any children around them. They still do.

    Sue Bradford went up considerably in my opinion after fighting this bill through the mob frenzy, to get it voted for by almost every MP.

  30. AncientGeek 31

    Actually after reading the article, I’m also terrified of people like Sacha Coburn. She seems to be saying that she doesn’t discipline her kid when it is clearly dangerous – riding around in the back seat of a car without a seatbelt. The excuse that she gives is that section 59 lets her off the hook.

    That is simply a cop-out, she is simply avoiding the responsibility of caring for her child.

    Legally, she is no more likely to be arrested or convicted for smacking than she was 5 years or 10 years ago. Especially in the case where danger to a child was involved. Unless of course she was using a piece of 4×2.

    As I said earlier, some of the opposition make me afraid for them to be around children.

  31. randal 32

    its just a red herring to beat the government with and also to allow the right wing old testament patriarchs to indulge themselves in their beating fantasies and proclivity’s

  32. Daveo 33

    I think it’s fair to call an organisation that defends violence against children in the home “family fist”.

    McCroskie and co have gone out of their way to defend riding crop lady and various other child beaters.

  33. westmere 34

    If anybody has a problem with the term “Family Fist”, they really, really need to find out who that group have supported and defended. Some background here:

    http://www.publicaddress.net/system/topic,957,hard_news_not_so_much_ironic_as_outrageous.sm

  34. r0b 35

    Iv2, Simeon, the world would be a pretty poor place if we did away with satire as a tool for making a political point. The question is, when does satire cross the line and become personal abuse?

    The authors of The Standard clearly believe that “Family Fist” falls on the OK side of the line (no individual is targeted), and the Castro cartoon does not (Clark is targeted, arguably with very unsavoury dog-whistling).

    If you want to draw the line somewhere else, fine for you, go start your own blog.

  35. Higherstandard 36

    Sue Bradford fighting the mod frenzy !! that would be a first her history has been littered with inciting mob frenzy.

    Ancient perhaps you are guilty of gorging on your own crapulence.

  36. milo 37

    For the record, I support this law. Good on Sue Bradford for introducing it, and Labour for supporting it.

    I think there are challenging political issues around it, but what the hell. It’s a good law.

  37. Dan 38

    John Key grew in many people’s estimation when he brokered the compromise with Labour and the Greens. He spoke sense, and spoke to the middle ground that the Nats so desperately need. What happens now that there is pressure to allow the “spare the rod” brigade back in? Was he making his call on principle, or was he plugging the most politically expedient for a short term political gain, before reverting to his tendency to the right closer to the election?
    He has lost a lot of votes (not yet registering on opinion polls) when Rich left; he will lose even more if he tampers with a sensible law for the protection of children. Sacha Coburn, get a life. Sue Bradford, take a bow.

  38. Matthew Pilott 39

    Milo – I’m taken aback, but I appreciate your attitude! It seems to me that too many pepole are taking a shallow view of this law – that it makes ordinary parents criminals.

    While I accept that this is an issue (no law is perfect), I believe that the compromise legislated at the 11th hour simply codified what was always going to be a reality. As Ari aid, you don’t get prosecuted for tackling someone in a game of rugby!

    Perceptions may be reality, but law cannot be drafted to cater for this phenomenon.

    I support the law change for two specific reasons I’ll put forward, which, in sum, far outweigh any objections I have seen by others, or personal misgivings I have.

    1 – Police are more likely to prosecute cases where they feel abuse has occured. Police stated, in the months leading to the law’s enactment, that sometimes they would not prosecute because of S59, despite believeing that an incident of ‘punishment’ had constituted abuse.

    2 – Changing attitudes. In a recent court case, a chile was briused after a parent lost their temper. The judge stated that the defendant “could have gotten away with this before, but not now” – concrete evidence the law is working. The debate has also shifted to non-violent forms of discipline – there is no way this can be a bad outcome for children.

  39. Matthew Pilott 40

    P.S Simeon – the number of parents walking free under S59 is not possible to count, as I mentioned under my first point – there’s no way to tell how many cases were not brought forward due to S59’s very existance.

  40. Camryn 41

    I’d be happier if the line around what’s acceptable was actually clarified. “Police have discretion not to arrest or prosecute” doesn’t tell me anything about what I can or cannot do to avoid the legal system getting involved.

    We definitely moved the line – no major problem with that – but it was from one vague situation to another vague situation, really.

  41. r0b said “If you want to draw the line somewhere else, fine for you, go start your own blog.”

    I have! I was merely pointing out the irony of you taking the moral high ground on one hand, and getting on your high horse (moral or otherwise!!) on the other!

  42. AncientGeek 43

    Cam:

    I’d be happier if the line around what’s acceptable was actually clarified.

    But that is the case with all law. In the end it is up to you to decide what you do.

    For instance, the law doesn’t say that you aren’t allowed to speed, thieve or murder. It just says that if caught there will be consequences. The consequences are often vague (there is a lot of sentencing discretion). The probability of getting caught is not really well known.

    It is up to each person to decide what they consider to be acceptable behavior and risk levels. The legal system just provides a framework for judging those risks.

  43. r0b – satire is fine, and as you say, there is a fine line. I’m sure I’ve crossed it myself, but from enthusiasm rather than malice.

    BTW – did you see that Family First are now admitting that they were wrong to be so supportive of the woman from Timaru? At least they are publicly prepared to ‘fess up.

  44. I think the issue is IV2, that they are not ‘fessing up so much as denying they ever supported her at all. In a sane world that would discredit an organisation but it seems the memory hole has no limit.

  45. vto 46

    The state physically disciplines people constantly. They should stop beating these people with horsewhips and police fists. Bring in a new law.

  46. Matthew Pilott 47

    So Bob is now pretending he didn’t support the case in Timaru? He is scum. Family First is a mindless, reactive organisation with no scruples and it/he will say whatever it has to in order to discredit and denigrate this law. Bob McCoskrie came out swinging for the case I mentioned above in Masterton, until the truth came out. Then he went silent, obviously lurking until the next case he can try to trump up. When is this travesty of a human being going to realise that:

    A) the law isn’t making good parents criminals;
    B) the law is working to prevent child abuse, and increase its reporting rate;
    C) law can’t differentiate between ‘a loving smack’ and a parent losing their temper and smacking their children in anger, thus opening the way for more serious forms of child abuse?

    He disgusts me and given the above, I think it os more of an ego thing. I hope he gets his fucking referendum, and gets thrashed in it by honest New Zealanders who put children’s welfare before their own egos.

  47. r0b 48

    I have!

    So you have, good for you.

    I was merely pointing out the irony of you taking the moral high ground on one hand, and getting on your high horse (moral or otherwise!!) on the other!

    I only count one hand there Iv2, but I think I know what you mean. There is no inconsistency in supporting and using political satire but not crossing the line into personal abuse.

  48. Tim 49

    I don’t actually believe the repeal of s59 was necessary and it’s not going to stop child abusers hitting their kids, but what really frightens me is how worked up some people (eg Family First) get about it. I mean, honestly, aren’t there bigger things to worry about in the world today than whether you can smack your kid or pay for sex? A billion starving people for example?

    I don’t actually see what’s wrong with the Clark/Fidel cartoon, all politicians should be legitimate targets of mockery. While it might be offensive, satire has always been a part of the political process. It’s a moronic cartoon anyway, comparing Clark to Castro is a bit like comparing Key to Chavez.

    Equally, “Family Fist” is fine with me and other similar groups like the “For the Sake of our Children Trust” (wtf?) should be subject to continual mockery to expose the shallow inanity of their policies and purpose. People should be as free to mock religion as they are to believe in it.

  49. r0b 50

    r0b – satire is fine, and as you say, there is a fine line. I’m sure I’ve crossed it myself, but from enthusiasm rather than malice.

    After your piece on HC’s birthday yesterday I’m prepared to believe you on that.

    BTW – did you see that Family First are now admitting that they were wrong to be so supportive of the woman from Timaru?

    No, I didn’t catch that, this is not an issue I follow closely.

  50. Aj 51

    “”Police have discretion not to arrest or prosecute’ doesn’t tell me anything about what I can or cannot do to avoid the legal system getting involved.”

    Don’t assault anyone, including your kids?? !

  51. “I’m a left leaning liberal but…”

    Kind brings to mind “I’m not racist but…”

    (indicently I’m finally back into my blog!)

  52. higherstandard 53

    Where’s the sense in this

    You get arrested for clipping the ear of a ten year old, but leave a 2 year on the street naked while you go to the pub and that is okay. (so long as you don’t smack them)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4440229a11.html

  53. Pascal's bookie 54

    HS.
    On the face of it I’d say it’s ridiculous.

    But then again, police often use their discretion about who to charge and who not to charge based on the totality of the facts. Which is IMHO a good thing.

    For various reasons they choose not to share all those facts with journalists, who write stories anyway. As is their right.

  54. higherstandard 55

    Pascal

    On Monday, police said the woman locked her two-year-old daughter and 10-year-old nephew out of her house to go the pub.

    Despite the decision not to prosecute the parents, police will not explain why the parents are not to face charges.

    They deny the reason is because they got the initial facts wrong.

    Police also back the mother’s claims to them that she did not call the Waikato Times this week saying she had been “given the bash” by her partner.

    One can only say God help the children in this family

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    Last week, I took an empirical look at construction cost overruns for recent road projects in New Zealand, concluding that NZTA and regional transport agencies systematically underestimated the costs to build roads by an average of 34%. These findings are...
    Transport Blog
  • New Fisk
    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf...
    No Right Turn
  • New Labour lineup: 8/10
    As readers will have seen, Andrew Little has announced Labour's new lineup. Overall, I think this is a pretty shrewd list, seeking to build a united caucus team after the very close leadership election. It is not exactly what I...
    Polity
  • Labour’s exciting new line up
    New Labour leader, Andrew Little, announced Labour's exciting new line up today. Check it out now!...
    Labour campaign
  • A war on judicial oversight
    In response to a leak, the government has been forced to release its "temporary" anti-terror legislation - and reveal that its a lot less temporary than they said it would be. Rather than a one-year patch-job pending a review, John...
    No Right Turn
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist B...
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill...
    CTU
  • Hard News: Team Little: pretty good
    New Labour leader Andrew Little has announced his first caucus lineup and, with one or two questions, it would seem to be pointing the party in the right direction. A clearout of a few of the usual suspects is offset...
    Public Address
  • Class of 2008
    Labour announced its new lineup today, and the change in leadership has led to a significant change: their top 10 are now absolutely dominated the Labour's class of 2008, while the old guard of Mallard, Goff etc have been shuffled...
    No Right Turn
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
    Dental fluorosis is really the only “negative” side effect of community water fluoridation (CWF). It occurs in non-fluoridated as well as fluoridated areas but is often a little more common in the fluoridated areas. However, there is a lot of...
    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
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  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
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  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
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  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
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  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
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  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
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  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
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  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
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  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
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  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
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  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
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  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
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  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
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  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
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  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
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  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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