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Penny Hulse and the decriminalisation of cannabis

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, May 18th, 2014 - 52 comments
Categories: drugs, greens, labour, len brown, national, peter dunne, Social issues, united future - Tags: ,

Penny Hulse

Despite the difficulties caused by the breaking of the news of his affair with Bevan Chuang and the attendant fire storm that erupted mayor Len Brown has kept the Auckland Council functioning during this term and it has come through the disruption reasonably well.  If there is one person he can thank it is Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse.  She performs a very important function.  She has maintained relationships with all of the Councillors, built coalitions on all issues, and has generally kept the Council functioning reasonably well.  There has been the occasional act of belligerence by Cameron Brewer and regular episodes of stupidity by Dick Quax but otherwise the business of Council is being done.  Len has a lot to thank Penny for.

Interestingly I hear that Brewer is no longer the preferred Super City Mayoral candidate for the centre right and they are considering a woman who is not a current Councillor as their next candidate.  And John Palino has popped up again and says that he would have another go.  He also still asserts that he knew nothing of the attempted extortion of Len Brown and claims that Brown sympathisers in his camp undermined him.  The sense of unreality is strong here.

One particular issue the Council has had to deal with is the sale of synthetic cannabis.  Peter Dunne was in the habit of saying that it was a local government issue, whereas the reality was that all councils had been given rather limited tools allowing them to regulate where stores selling synthetic cannabis were located.  There has been a growing expectation amongst communities that Local Government should sort the issue out even though its powers are limited.

Peter Dunne’s and the Government’s backflip has created new problems such as stockpiling, dealing with withdrawal and managing the black market that was almost instantly created and this is something that Dunne and the Government need to wear.  For political reasons they decided to usurp Labour’s announced policy on the issue and the problems are all theirs to deal with.

There is an organic form of synthetic cannabis that does not have the same psychotic or habit forming qualities of the just banned stuff and my personal belief is that it is high time that this alternative was considered.  Yes ladies and gentlemen it is time to have a civilised debate about whether the decriminalisation of good old home grown cannabis should occur.

Penny Hulse said publicly that now is the time for this debate to occur.  From the Herald this week:

Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse says it is time to decriminalise natural cannabis because it is safer than the synthetic versions that were banned last week.

The veteran councillor and former industrial laboratory technician said she had always opposed decriminalisation, but changed her mind after reading scientific papers about the dangers of synthetic cannabis.

Yesterday, she told an Auckland Council committee drawing up a policy on “legal highs” that it made no sense to regulate when synthetic cannabis could be sold without considering safer alternatives.

“I think we need to take a deep breath in this conversation and say, ‘What are we trying to achieve? Are we going to deal with the issue that people are going to make choices to smoke things that get them stoned? Have we been able to stop people doing that?’ Absolutely we haven’t.”

Ms Hulse stressed she was speaking personally and not for the council …

[She] said she was speaking as “someone from a scientific background” with “a deep and abiding passion for science”. She personally loathed cannabis.

“I have two grandchildren. The idea that they would choose to smoke cannabis or any legal highs breaks my heart,” she said.

But toxicologists had shown that natural cannabis contained several compounds with an anti-psychotic effect to balance the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so it was less dangerous than synthetic products designed to match exactly receptors in the brain.

This is hardly a new proposal and Hulse’s description of the issue is a realistic one.  The issue is not whether or not drugs are bad for us, it is whether or not prohibition is working.  It may be time for society to treat it as a health issue and not a law and order issue.  Prohibition and criminalisation of possession always made me think that our drug laws are the ultimate example of Nanny State.

It is not as if decriminalisation is a radical proposal.  Throughout the western world nations and states have been exploring how to deal with issues caused by drug use and decriminalisation is a method that is being used more and more often.

It will be interesting to see how the parties of the left handle this issue during the election campaign.  Labour has always been cautious.  Its policy platform contains the following passage:

8.29  We will adopt the following evidence-supported measures to protect our communities from crime.

… Recognise that the problem of personal drug use is primarily a health issue and that the criminal justice system, especially prisons, only makes the problem worse. Labour will reform drug policy so it is evidence based and has harm reduction as its focus.

The Greens have always been more supportive of discrimination.  Their current policy requires them to “monitor and evaluate the effects of the removal of personal penalties for cannabis use, drug education programmes, drug addiction treatment programmes, and pharmaceutical controls” presumably with a view to lessening harm.

Given the chaotic nature of politics currently and the hunt for headlines that occurs in election years this may be an issue we hear of more this year.  But respect to Penny Hulse for bravely speaking her mind on the issue.

52 comments on “Penny Hulse and the decriminalisation of cannabis”

  1. Paul 1

    Another disgraceful sly interview by Espiner on RNZ
    Penny Hulse a brave woman.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2595999

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    When a person like Penny talks about cannabis the conservatives may hopefully take a little more notice. I don’t partake but I sure hope medical cannabis is around soon as I get older and more likely to possibly need it.

    Decriminalised and regulated would be the approach to try. I did not grow up in Sunday school and can report never having felt uncomfortable or threatened in the company of smokers, the reverse in fact from drinkers and speeders. The worst effect was several rather leisurely rides home down the Auckland motorway late at night.

    “one toke over the line sweet Jesus…”
    –Brewer and Shipley

    “Legalise it, don’t criticise it…”
    –Peter Tosh

  3. my archives on this topic/subject..

    http://whoar.co.nz/?s=cannabis

    they are both substantial and extensive/comprehensive..

    • Are there specific posts which you think would be relevant to this conversation, or are people just expected to read every single thing you’ve ever said on the subject?

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        what would you like to know..?

        ..there is a little box up in the righthand corner..

        ..where you can further refine yr search..

        ..(i did say the archive is large..the rest of our media just seemed to ignore all of that stuff..

        ..as it rolled on by..

        ..so thought i should take note..

        ..for moments like this..eh..?..)

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    It is excellent that Hulse is playing a part in a conversation which is moving into mainstream political discussion. From a law enforcement, justice and corrections standpoint there are benefits to decriminalisation of marijuana, and even from the standpoint of taking revenue off organised crime and moving it into the mainstream economy.

    HOWEVER the use of marijuana does have health risks and would need to be well regulated in any event. Long term users of marijuana, especially those who started in adolescence, have a measurably increased risk of mental health problems including depression, schizophrenia and psychotic episodes. Some of this may be linked to genetic vulnerabilities that some people have.

    Having said that, marijuana is far safer than the “legal highs” products and it is a quirk of our society and legal system that somehow the more dangerous ‘legal highs’ are accessible for purchase in main street stores, while marijuana is not.

    • weka 4.1

      “HOWEVER the use of marijuana does have health risks and would need to be well regulated in any event. Long term users of marijuana, especially those who started in adolescence, have a measurably increased risk of mental health problems including depression, schizophrenia and psychotic episodes. Some of this may be linked to genetic vulnerabilities that some people have.”

      Or people with mental health vulnerabilities have a greater tendancy to self medicate and therefore show up out of proportion in stats on cannabis use and acute psychiatric problems. We don’t know which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Better to use education and harm minimisation with both cannabis and mental health. By all means put an age restriction on legal cannabis, but the tighter the regulation goes beyond that, the more commerce becomes involved and the more likely we are to fuck it up. We would be better off regulating for personal use and keeping commerce out of it altogether.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        On that point, from the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists:

        Three major studies followed large numbers of people over several years, and showed that those people who use cannabis have a higher than average risk of developing schizophrenia. If you start smoking it before the age of 15, you are 4 times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder by the time you are 26. They found no evidence of self-medication. It seemed that, the more cannabis someone used, the more likely they were to develop symptoms.

        Why should teenagers be particularly vulnerable to the use of cannabis? No one knows for certain, but it may be something to do with brain development. The brain is still developing in the teenage years – up to the age of around 20, in fact. A massive process of ‘neural pruning’ is going on. This is rather like streamlining a tangled jumble of circuits so they can work more effectively. Any experience, or substance, that affects this process has the potential to produce long-term psychological effects.

        Recent research in Europe, and in the UK, has suggested that people who have a family background of mental illness – and so probably have a genetic vulnerability anyway – are more likely to develop schizophrenia if they use cannabis as well.

        http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinformation/mentalhealthproblems/alcoholanddrugs/cannabisandmentalhealth.aspx

        As for “keeping commerce out of it” yes you can do that but it does make it a whole lot harder to regulate and monitor activities associated with the trade (and marijuana will still be bought and sold on the grey market even if shops aren’t allowed to trade it).

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.1

          there is one statistical-fact that blows yr cannabis-causes-schitzophrenia-scare-story bullshit out of the water..

          ..that is that the schitzophrenia numbers as a proportion of population..

          ..are the same now as they were before the wholesale taking up of cannabis..

          ..how does that fact blend with yr ‘theory’..?

          ..cannabis is the safest intoxicant of all..and by a country-mile..

          ..and also has many health/healing-qualities..

          ..just the opposite of this bullshit you and weka constantly push…

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            ..that is that the schitzophrenia numbers as a proportion of population..

            ..are the same now as they were before the wholesale taking up of cannabis..

            Which country is your statistic from? The Royal College of Psychiatrists is quite clear – young people using cannabis presents a signficant mental health risk. You wouldn’t sell a 14 year old a dozen beer why would you want to sell a 14 year old 50g of marijuana?

            • phillip ure 4.1.1.1.1.1

              the stats were from america..(and will be in my archives..)..

              and i’m not saying you should..’sell’ weed to 14 yr olds/children..

              ..where the fuck did you drag that up from..?..given what i said..

              ..but now that you mention it..

              ..the realities of life in nz..here/now/2014..is that the 14 yr olds know where the tinny-houses are..

              ..so they currently have 24 hr/7day access to blackmarket weed..no age-restrictions..

              ..whereas legalised/regulated/taxed..would go some way to changing/tightening up that..

              ..how could it not..?

              ..and as for wekas’ half-arsed prescription..(based on some primitive idea that ‘commerce is the devil’..)

              ..is a total mess of an idea..

              ..a worst of both worlds..that will still see organised-crime doing the growing/distribution..

              ..the cops still pissing all that money/time up against a wall..playing cops and robbers..

              ..and that ’14 yr old’ still having 24 hr/7day access from tinnie houses..

              ..as i said..a half-arsed/ill-thought-out idea..

              ..plus..and it’s a big plus..legalised/reglated/taxed would mean liscenced-growers..

              ..and their product would be tested..and not able to be sprayed with whatever vile crap blackmarket growers sometimes use..

              ..(hint:..if the pot gives you a headache..it’s been sprayed with some vile/poisonous muck..)

              ..so of course..wekas’ idea also falls at that hurdle..eh..?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          The brain is still developing in the teenage years – up to the age of around 20, in fact.

          So why are we allowing alcohol to be sold to 18 year olds when alcohol has similar effects on the developing brain?

          • felix 4.1.1.2.1

            That may well be evidence of a cultural and legal hypocrisy, and it may well be an argument against alcohol, but in no way is it an argument in favour of cannabis.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1.1

              No, it’s in favour of decent regulation – same as applies to alcohol.

        • weka 4.1.1.3

          “On that point, from the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists:”

          Thanks CV. That’s an argument for regulating use by people under 20, which I agree with. Beyond that, what regulation did you envisage when you said “HOWEVER the use of marijuana does have health risks and would need to be well regulated in any event.”?

      • Huginn 4.1.2

        +1 here, Weka

  5. red blooded 5

    It’s also worth noting that the Dunedin longitudinal study has shown that long-term smoking of marijuana has negative impact on IQ, especially when people start smoking early (i.e., teens). People actually lose mental capability. To be honest, that doesn’t surprise me – any substance that alters your brain function significantly is going to have an effect on the living structure and connectivity that creates thought.

    I have very mixed views about legalising dope (what an apt name…). Yes, I know that alcohol and tobacco cause greater harms (at least in part because they are legal and used regularly by a higher proportion of people), but it’s hard to imagine a legalisation regime that wouldn’t increase use and see a greater percentage of younger kiwis going to extremes, as they do with alcohol. All the talk about regulation is fine, but people can grow their own dope; it’s not hard.

    Arguments about medicinal uses can be answered by creating products that utilise the useful ingredients without the elements that get you high.

    I work with teenagers and boy, you can sure tell when one of them starts smoking dope regularly! They lose energy, lose concentration, disconnect and start to drift. I know that my reservations aren’t fashionable, but they are real. The current situation reminds me of the arguments that were proposed in favour of lowering the drinking age some years ago (under Jenny Shipley, if I remember correctly). “People are doing it anyway”; “Prohibition doesn’t work”; “We need to teach our young how to drink more responsibly”; “This is a health issue, not a legal issue”; “Other countries have lower drinking ages”; “The law is old-fashioned”… Back then, I bought it. Since then (and starting then), I have seen binge-drinking rocket amongst the young people I work with and the students in the university city I reside in. I wouldn’t like to see us rushing into another “reform” that our culture isn’t ready for.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Familiar wowser arguments, the young are more vulnerable to a lot of things including suicide, operating motor vehicles, general high risk behaviour and drug use. But that is no reason for not pursuing harm minimisation strategies and legalising cannabis for adults.

      I see Westies chowing down on all manner of greasy takeways (can anyone cook anymore? or just the middle classes perhaps) washed down with energy drinks or 2 litre sugar blast soft drinks and shake my head, but I am not going to lecture them.

      Doctors prescribe a lot of perfectly legal drugs that later on prove to be highly troublesome for some people or dodgy in combination with other drugs–statins, some anti depressants, pain medicines. Cannabis has been around for a lot longer and it is indeed strange that “Kronic” and the alphabet soup of other legal highs were allowable but home grown is not.

      • red blooded 5.1.1

        So, what are your “harm minimisation strategies”, then? (And how would they stop people growing it themselves…?) How effective do you think such strategies have been with alcohol?

        You don’t have to be a “wowser” to be concerned about long-term brain damage to young people. And, by the way, I’d rather be a wowser than an addle-brained stoner (or someone who tacitly encourages others in that direction).

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          (And how would they stop people growing it themselves…?)

          The same way as today – where it’s illegal to grow it yourself. In the US states where it has been legalised often only certified growers and retailers are permitted to supply it.

          Also, decriminalisation is not the same as legalisation anyways.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        Familiar wowser arguments

        Important arguments more like. Unless you want to step up and defend how alcohol use and abuse amongst the under 20 crowd has improved over the last 10 years, or how those in their 20s now who grew up in the decreased drinking age regime are using alcohol more responsibly because of it.

    • @redblooded..

      “..Yes, I know that alcohol and tobacco cause greater harms (at least in part because they are legal and used regularly by a higher proportion of people)..”

      ..sorry..no..they cause harm because they are poisonous/addictive/life-shortening/ruining muck..

      ..whereas cannabis is the safest intoxicant of all..plus it has proven healing-qualities..

      ..(people on chemotherapy..vomiting their guts out..here/now/nz today..who cannabis it has been proven would help..they would probably disagree with you..eh..?

      ..and yr brain-drain theory is also a load of horseshit..

      (..as a personal example..after smoking shedloads of pot for decades..i went and did academic studies..

      ..had i been boozing to that degree,for that length of time..i wd be drooling about now..)

      ..and the rest of yr thesis is discounted by that fact that 14 yr old currently have no age-restrictions) tinny-houses..

      ..so..if you think for more than a nano-second..

      ..you will see that legalisation/regulation/taxation..helps/answers yr stated-concerns..

      • red blooded 5.2.1

        “and yr brain-drain theory is also a load of horseshit..

        (..as a personal example..after smoking shedloads of pot for decades..i went and did academic studies..”

        So what? Anyone who has done academic studies should know that one example doesn’t prove or disprove a theory. There’s solid academic evidence for the negative effects of long-term cannabis use on IQ:
        http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/803197

        (Side note; did anyone in your academic institution ever mention the practical benefits of punctuation to you? It’s a courtesy to your readers to let them follow your flow of thought fluently. Not the point under discussion, but something that would make it easier to actually have a coherent discussion.)

        “they cause harm because they are poisonous/addictive/life-shortening/ruining muck..”

        Hmm… It could be argued that in this way cannabis and tobacco are pretty similar. It’s not the actual tobacco that’s addictive, it’s the additives that are mixed in because this is a legal product, sold by companies keen to maintain their market share and keep people coming back for more (just as there would be if cannabis was legalised). And yes, tobacco causes cancer and I am in no way condoning it (I hate it), but smoking dope also causes cancer (although not to the same degree).

        “..whereas cannabis is the safest intoxicant of all..plus it has proven healing-qualities..”
        And so does alcohol. Big deal. We are talking about the balance of positive to negative, and I am exploring some of the negatives that people 20 years behind in terms of understanding of health effects don’t seem to want to mention.

        “..(people on chemotherapy..vomiting their guts out..here/now/nz today..who cannabis it has been proven would help..they would probably disagree with you..eh..?”
        How about you actually read my comment again? Did you miss this bit? – “Arguments about medicinal uses can be answered by creating products that utilise the useful ingredients without the elements that get you high.” Perhaps you’re not concentrating too well. Gosh, wonder why that might be…?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      All the talk about regulation is fine, but people can grow their own dope; it’s not hard.

      Brewing your own alcohol is actually easier -unless you decide to grow your own hops as well.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    Certainly if the argument can be made that the synthetics should be legal – which garnered broad support in the house – then the safer natural product should be legalised immediately.

    But when did an absurdly costly hypocrisy ever trouble our troughers?

    Guess Dunne’s lad has a synth lab not a hydroponics suite.

    • red blooded 6.1

      To be fair, the synthetics law was supposed to be based on the idea that only those that could be proven to be safe should be legal. It seems that they were pretty sloppy in just assuming that only those with the most reported (short-term, immediate) side effects were unsafe, so they were allowed to continue. It took more experience of long-term effects to see that many of these were also definitely unsafe.

      This law veered about from pillar to post because it was based on anecdotal “evidence” and not solid research-based evidence. Some people argue for marijuana to be decriminalised or legalised from a similarly sloppy, ill-informed position. If dope had to pass the “safe for use” test in the synthetics law, I doubt it would make it onto the shelves. Maybe that’s the lens through which we should view this issue…

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        “.. If dope had to pass the “safe for use” test in the synthetics law, I doubt it would make it onto the shelves. Maybe that’s the lens through which we should view this issue..”

        and even more easily disproved bullshit..

        ..cannabis has been used for thousands of years..

        ..and there was the head of a&e @ hosp on tv the other nite..

        ..noting they never see cannnabis overdoses/patients..

        ..legal-high ones..yes..pot..no..

        ..who should we believe..?..him..?..or a bullshit artist like you..?

  7. karol 7

    So, Hulse is looking like a strong contender for next akl mayor?

    • mickysavage 7.1

      She does not want to and the candidate needs $500k minimum to campaign properly. One problem with super city is that it gives those with money that much of an advantage.

      • Tiger Mountain 7.1.1

        Too true, I supported Minto for Mayor–free public transport and a living wage whats not to like? But he had close to a zero budget so could not get sufficient traction.

      • phillip ure 7.1.2

        are politicians allowed to crowd-source/kickstarter to raise funds..?

        ..if so..and if money is the barrier..only 50,000 individuals out of our teeming-population..who would like to see her as mayor..

        ..they only need to stump up ten bucks each..

        ..and she will be off and running..

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          Crowd sourcing is what political donations are.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.2

          ..if so..and if money is the barrier..only 50,000 individuals out of our teeming-population..who would like to see her as mayor..

          Which sounds OK, until you realise that only 340,000 Aucklanders voted for Mayor last time around, and you would be lucky if 10% of them donated anything whatsoever to a candidate.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.3

        One problem with super city is that it gives those with money that much of an advantage.

        Yeah the regs need to be changed on this count, big time. It is extraordinarily anti-democratic. Reminds me of Hilary Calvert’s successful campaign down here in Dunedin for DCC councillor. It looked to me like she had outspent her next nearest council (as opposed to Mayoral) rival by at least 2:1.

    • Penny Bright 7.2

      If you want more ‘democracy for developers’ and the Auckland region run by the unelected Committee for Auckland.

      Seems many of you are unaware of the backing of Penny Hulse by the Committee for Auckland former Chair – Sir Ron Carter?

      Read it for yourselves – the following ‘Open Letter’ I sent Penny Hulse:

      24 June 2013

      ‘Open Letter’ from Auckland Mayoral candidatePenny Bright to Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse:

      “Are you a genuine community advocate or corporate /property developer MOUTH PIECE?”

      Dear Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse,

      In the 2010 Auckland Council election, you stood as an ‘Independent’, and quoted the following glowing endorsement from Sir Ron Carter, about your ‘commitment and ability to look after business interests’ :

      http://www.elections2010.co.nz/2010/candidates/penny-hulse

      Commercial Activities

      I think the endorsement of my campaign for Auckland Council by Sir Ron Carter speaks volumes about my commitment and ability to look after business interests. Ron says “Our city needs Councillors who will apply their knowledge and experience for the good of all. A great Council team will be built from those who respect and commit to each other.Penny’s wisdom and consensus style will help create a Council for all Aucklanders. We need her on our Council.”

      Who is Sir Ron Carter:

      In 2010 – Sir Ron Carter was the Chair of the Committee for Auckland:

      http://www.unitec.ac.nz/news-events/ftf/unitec-forum-for-the-future-2010.cfm

      Session 1, July 20th – Why? – What’s the case for creating a super city? Why do we need to change regional governance structures to do so?

      Panelists:

      Peter Salmon, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance,
      Bob Harvey, Waitakere City Mayor, and
      Sir Ron Carter, Committee for Auckland Chairman.

      Who are the Committee for Auckland:

      http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/

      “Our vision: Auckland as a global city.

      In 2013 we will be an influential voice for all of Auckland, creating cross-sectoral solutions to the city’s issues and

      Focusing on a future beyond the electoral cycle helping New Zealand’s only world-ranked city to achieve its potential for the region and the country

      The Committee for Auckland (CFA) has played a prominent role in galvanising positive change for our city. Our members are all specialists in the city’s issues and fervent advocates for its success. Having contributed significantly to the new shape of Auckland as one city, 2013 is the platform for a re-focused Committee to drive the agenda for Auckland as a world leading destination as well as the welcoming gateway to New Zealand.”

      Membership of the Committee for Auckland:

      http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership
      “Membership to the Committee for Auckland is by invitation. Members meet quarterly and are invited to be involved in those aspects of the work programme that interest them.

      Members are Chairs of Boards, Directors and Chief Executives

      Corporate Membership annual fee $10,000. ……”

      The current list of members of the Committee for Auckland:

      http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership/member-organisations

      (It is interesting to note how members of this VERY powerful private lobby group are intertwined with Auckland Council and Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organisations’ (CCOs).

      For starters…………….

      Doug McKay Chief Executive Officer Auckland Council

      Brett O’Riley Chief Executive Officer ATEED

      Robert Domm Chief Executive Officer Regional Facilities Auckland

      Mark Ford Chief Executive Officer Watercare

      John Dalzell Chief Executive Officer Waterfront Auckland
      Also, how the Committee for Auckland includes key members of the NZ Property Council and property developers, such as…………)

      Connal Townsend National Director Property Council of NZ

      Evan Davies Chief Executive Officer Todd Property Ltd

      On the face of it, Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, your range of ‘community credentials’ appears impressive:

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/about-us/about-penny-hulse/

      About Penny Hulse

      Penny-Hulse

      Penny has strong links with her community and cares passionately about the Auckland region.

      Her community involvement includes Patron of Waitakere Special Olympics, Community Waitakere Charitable Trust, Henderson Riding for the Disabled, The Trust Waitakere Brass Band, Northern Football Association, Trustee of Swanson Railway Station Trust, Waitakere Anti Violence Essential Services and former Director of EECA Board.

      Penny’s special areas of interest are Climate Change, Sustainable City Development, Environmental Advocacy, Community Development and Youth. …………”

      However, the reality, in my considered opinion, is that you cannot work simultaneously both for the community (the ‘99%’ ), and corporations/property developers (the ‘1%’).

      It is my intention as a 2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate to continue to ‘blow the whistle’, against the the ‘corrupt corporate coup’ which set up the Auckland ‘Supercity’, and those who are serving the interests of the ‘1%’.

      In my considered opinion, Auckland Council Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, you are NOT a genuine community advocate – you are in fact, a corporate /property developer MOUTH PIECE, working for the ‘1%’.

      No disrespect – but I shall ‘call it as I see it’.
      (I don’t expect you to like it).

      So be it.

      Yours sincerely

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

      2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

      …………………………………..

      (For more evidence linking the Committee for Auckland with Auckland Council :

      http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OCCUPY-AUCKLAND-APPEAL-APPLICATION-BY-APPELLANT-BRIGHT-TO-ADDUCE-NEW-EVIDENCE-pdf.pdf

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Recognise that the problem of personal drug use is primarily a health issue and that the criminal justice system, especially prisons, only makes the problem worse. Labour will reform drug policy so it is evidence based and has harm reduction as its focus.

    So why don’t they already have a legalisation of marijuana process as part of their policy?

  9. “I have two grandchildren. The idea that they would choose to smoke cannabis or any legal highs breaks my heart,” she said.

    Statements like this always puzzle me. Is it the kind of thing said for the purposes of political arse-covering, or are there really people out there who’ve led such sheltered lives?

  10. felix 10

    You know how stoners always bang on about how much money the govt could make from “taxing” cannabis?

    Do you think they’re going to get a shock when they realise the tax will be added to the price?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      The present price of marijuana is kept high by prohibition by a) artificially decreasing supply and b) having to pay for the high risk of going to jail.

      So, yeah, the tax will be added to the price but the price will drop from a couple of hundred dollars an ounce to something more inline with a pack of cigarettes.

      • felix 10.1.1

        Tobacco is around $40 an ounce including tax. The net price is less than $20 an ounce.

        If you think legal weed is going to be anywhere near that price, you’re probably high.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1

          http://www.priceofweed.com/prices/United-States/Colorado.html

          Denver, Colorado $250 an ounce high quality May 18, 2014
          Denver, Colorado $20 an ounce high quality May 17, 2014
          Arvada, Colorado $400 an ounce high quality May 17, 2014
          Denver, Colorado $60 an ounce high quality May 17, 2014
          Denver, Colorado $60 an ounce high quality May 17, 2014

          Yeah, I think I can safely say that it’ll drop to those sorts of prices.

          Really, what else did you think would kill the black market for marijuana?

          • phillip ure 10.1.1.1.1

            the president of uraguay..(a man i am a big fanboy of..)..

            ..has decided to totally take the blackmarket out of the picture..

            ..the gummint will grow it..

            ..and it will be sold @ $2 per gram…

            ..(that’s $56 dollars an ounce..)

          • felix 10.1.1.1.2

            1) Not sure which price you mean by “those”, but I guess not the 400 an ounce one.

            2) there’s no indication which prices are for legal weed and which are for illegal weed.

            3) For that info to be relevant we would need to know what the price was in those areas before AND after decriminalisation.

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.2.1

              They look like spot prices so they’ll jump about a bit and it’s still early in legalisation – there’ll still be a while before prices settle down. Looks to me like the long run average will drop to about $50/ounce.

              There’s no more illegal weed in Colorado so those are legal prices.

              About the same as they were here or very close – around $200 an ounce.

  11. sabine 11

    25 Million in marijuana revenue in colorado

    http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/32018/colorado-over-25-million-in-marijuana-revenue-since-legalization/

    400 million euros in the Netherlands anually

    http://www.dutch-passion.nl/en/news-and-development/the-dutch-state-earns-400-millionannually-from-coffeeshop-taxes/

    how to regulate the retail of marijuana as is currently done in the Netherlands

    http://www.government.nl/issues/drugs/toleration-policy-regarding-soft-drugs-and-coffee-shops

    why are coffee shops allowed in thenetherlands

    http://www.government.nl/issues/drugs/why-are-coffee-shops-allowed-to-sell-soft-drugs-in-the-netherlands

    Portugal 12 years after the decriminalisation of all drugs

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/evaluating-drug-decriminalization-in-portugal-12-years-later-a-891060.html

    btw. it is legal in germany for a 16 year old to consume wine/beer and rtd., it is not legal to drink hard spirits, but surely it is less good a policy than the regular friday bingedrinking to death circus that goes down in NZ every thusday to saturday.

  12. millsy 12

    I’m not really a big fan of dope but we really need to ask ourselves if we want to keep dragging people through the courts for having a few joints in their satchels or having a couple of cones with their mates on a Saturday night…

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  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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