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Pokies: the crack cocaine of gambling

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, April 21st, 2012 - 111 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, crime - Tags: , ,

A sad story in the Herald today of a man who got hooked on pokies. He spent all his money on them at pubs and SkyCity. Started borrowing from family and partners. Destroyed those relationships. Now lives in a car despite his large income. Started taking deposits from clients and not doing the work.

Don’t listen to the shills* who say ‘what’s the harm in the few more machines’? SkyCity wouldn’t want more machines if it wouldn’t get more business because of them. SkyCity’s boss wants more pokies because “if you come here on a Wednesday night [pay day] or a Friday night, the property is full… We clearly want to expand our business. There is clearly demand for it”

Key wants to let these scumbags addict more people to their gambling machines. They want to profit from destroying more lives, fueling more crime, and we get some shitty convention centre that won’t even pay for itself in return.

What’s next? An opera house built by drug dealers in exchange for our very own Hamsterdam?

This shit can still be stopped. The Government only has a one vote majority on this. John Banks, who is known to oppose gambling having seen what crime did to his family growing up, can vote against this dirty deal and save families from the experience he went through.

And the opposition needs to get stuck in too. They need to make clear that any legislative favours that National gives SkyCity will be reversed as a matter of priority in 2014/15. They also should take a leaf from the South Australian Treasurer, who responded to SkyCity’s ‘convention centre for law changes’ offer there by telling them they were “dreaming” and threatening to repeal their gambling licence.

The Greens and Labour need to not just oppose SkyCity’s expansion but to ask themselves why SkyCity’s cancer should be allowed to exist at all in the heart of our cities.

*(and how many of those shills are being paid by SkyCity, like Mike Hosking, or given special treatment as VIPs, or have other conflicts of interest, like Paul Holmes?)

PS. it turns out the 800 jobs promised by SkyCity from the white elephant convention centre is grossly inflated – twice what the larger centre in Melbourne employs and four times what other bidders said they would employ.

111 comments on “Pokies: the crack cocaine of gambling”

  1. Kevin 1

    Just another example of Herald tabloidism… This story has obviously been written by someone interviewing their keyboard. Not a single fact anywhere – a figment of someone’s imagination!

    [are you really claiming that the whole story was invented? If so, you should back up your talk and complain to the Press Council. Eddie]

  2. freedom 2

    “John Banks, who is known to oppose gambling having seen what crime did to his family growing up, can vote against this dirty deal and save families from the experience he went through.”

    see that’s what the world needs, optimism !!

    (w/respect to the Zet )

  3. aerobubble 3

    Just to be clear here, John Key has been rewarded by past law that removed the pollution of communities caused by pokies, and he is now setting the precedent that he can repollute by selling the option to pollute (pokies to Sky Cty).

    Every activist who wins a cause be warned, its not the first time Key has gone back on good faith understandings (e.g. mining). Key must be made to understand that increasing pokies and redirecting pokey profits to private investors, is directly opposed to the will of the people who want less pokies and money that does come from them directed to community causes.

    With National they will go back on what the community decides, often directly targeting those aims of communities, because there is ‘value’ accrued by virtue of the efforts of those communities. National take grassroots democracy and destroy their effectiveness by monetizing the benefit those grass roots groups have created.

    Welcome to the vulture capitalism party. e.g. Farmers grow the best of the best dairying industry in the world, Key and National target this profitable center and open the doors right up and down the dairy industry chain, from foreigners owning farmland, to lock stock and fully take over of Fonterra where rich land owners (some foriegn) who can buy debt of other Fonterra farmers.

    National represent the people who make profits from others labour by raiding companies, and nations, and stripping the assets to sell to the market, they represent the 100% investor party who never have to worry about pollution, debt, global warming, etc, because they just shift their fat weight over to the next hole in the dyke and wait to sell off the leak for a profit.

  4. Ed 4

    There have been comments about a lower proportion of amounts bet going towards taxes or community charities from casino pokie machines than from other pokie machines in local communities. Does anyone have a reference for that? Simple fairness suggests that the percentages should be the same; and that those community trusts also be totally independent of the operators of the machines.

    If Sky do not comply with their side of the deal regarding the creation of the promised jobs perhaps it would be reasonable for the number of licences to then be reduced.

    The discrepancy in staffing levels should have rung alarm bells with the public servants assessing the bids – or are lies able to be bought off for them as well?

    • freedom 4.1

      off the top of my head community trusts have to pay 37%, casino pays only 2.7 % ?

      • Treetop 4.1.1

        I have not once heard from Key’s mouth that the 2.5% that Sky City pay in community grants will be increaded to 37% which all bars with pokie machines payout in community grants.

        Pokie machines are the P (methamphetamine) of gambling, crack cocaine is not as addictive as P.

        Key’s policy is pushing P in the community.

        Will Banks have the backbone to stand up to Key when it comes to creating more hardened pokie addicts?

        Note: It is my view that pokie machines in casinos create more hardened pokie addicts as in a local bar the max bet is $2.50 a spin and the max spin limit is much higher in a casino.

        Does anyone know what the max spin bet on a casino pokie machine is?

      • The Baron 4.1.2

        This keeps coming up. My understanding, and I have no references, is that SkYCity pays the same 37% off pokie machines as everyone else; but because pokies are a small part of their business, the percentage drops against the entire gambling revenues SC brings in.
        On that basis, this could well be apples for apples – just that charities see nothing from the Blackjack/Roulette/Poker tables etc. Someone could probably check all this rather easily – I simply can’t be assed.
        For clarity, this isn’t any apologise from me. Casinos are more trouble than they’re worth, AFAIC.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          Casinos are more trouble than they’re worth, AFAIC.

          Well, that’s something we agree about.

        • Treetop 4.1.2.2

          I cannot find a link to support my statement but I wrote this down the other day when I heard it on the 6 pm news. Sky City give 2.5% profit back to the community or 0.8% of revenue. Gaming trusts give 37% of revenue back to the community. Sky City have a sweetheart tax deal and there are a number of links to support this statement.

          • The Baron 4.1.2.2.1

            If you’re referring to the discrepancy between 2.5 and 37% as a sweetheart deal, then as I’ve pointed out above you may be incorrect.
            There’s plenty not to like about this. Don’t do the argument a disservice by being lazy and jumping at things that may not stack up. Outrage only really works when you’re solid on your facts.

            • freedom 4.1.2.2.1.1

              here is the very first google search result for “skycity 2.5%”
              http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1204/S00212/deeply-unpopular-skycity-deal-may-involve-425-new-pokies.htm

              ” while other New Zealander providers of pokie machines are required to give approximately 37% of their takings to the government’s New Zealand Lotteries Commission to be given to charity, SKYCITY pays just 2.5% of its net profit to the private Sky City Auckland Charitable Trust.”

              Scoop’s integrity in reporting facts can hardly be questioned.

              Since it came up, What does SkyCity Auckland Charitable Trust do with all that money?

              since the opening date, February 2, 1996, the trust has donated the approximately $25 Million to 1300-1550 different charities and organisations. I say approximately because based on the Trust’s own website they themselves seem a bit confused.
              http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/About-Us/Community.html
              http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/About-Us/Community.html

              [$25 million] is certainly a lot of money over fifteen years, almost $2million per annum. Put against their paltry annual revenue of roughly $400 million we can see why they can only afford to pay 2.5%.

              • The Baron

                You’re missing the point. It’s really not that complicated.
                SC can still be paying the same 37% on pokies AND 2.5% on their overall. This is because their business is far more diversified than pokies.
                Do you know that that isn’t the case?

                • Treetop

                  I have not misunderstood your question. I rewatched part of The Nation this morning and Garner referred to the 2.5 and 37% being a tax. Then he made a comment that Sky City could be asked to pay the same. I am assuming that Sky City pay 2.5% tax on pokie machines and community trusts pay 37% on pokie machines as the profit Sky City makes appears to be coming from pokie machines.

                  May be Key can clarify “SC can still be paying the same 37% on pokies AND 2.5% on their overall.”

                  I would also like to ask Key how much the max spin bet will be on just one extra Sky City pokie machine?

                  A non casino pokie machine max spin bet is $2.50 and a casino pokie machine max spin bet is $100 (possibly more) or 40 non casino machines make $100 per max spin compared to 1 casino machine makes $100 per max spin.

                  I agree with you on how important the actual facts are and that they need to be known.

            • seeker 4.1.2.2.1.2

              @The Baron

              Try this link to back up Treetop’s comment concerning the 2.5% v 37%. Skycity does not pay the same as others as it is not a charity. It is its own “charity” and it’s profits go to it’s
              beneficiary shareholders apparently.

              http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/Campbell-Live-Thursday-April-19-2012/tabid/119/articleID/6232/MCat/73/Default.aspx

              • seeker

                Sorry Baron, didn’t add to my above TV3 Campbell Live link that the section concerning the pokies starts at about 7mins 20secs.. in.

              • Treetop

                Thank you for posting the link. I am on dial up so I did not check this as a source even though I knew I heard the info on the link.

                Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and to debate it or have it challenged.

        • lprent 4.1.2.3

          Casinos are more trouble than they’re worth, AFAIC.

          That is a first – we agree on something :twisted:

    • bad12 4.2

      ”The discrepancy in staffing levels should have rung alarm bells with the public servants assessing the bids-or are lies able to be bought off for them as well”?,

      Ed, good question,the answer= our Prime Minister Slippery by His own admission told the ‘public servants’ tasked to assess the efficacy of a ‘convention center’ to cease work upon the project,

      So,the ‘public servant’ at the center of all of this then became the Prime Minister and His office,I have forgotten the name of the particular individual,a close member of the Prime Ministers 9th floor staff who also has close and deep personal links to those who manage the Skycity New Zealand casino,but, it is obvious that between Him and our Slippery Prime Minister the present ‘deal’ was concocted,

      As to being ‘bought’ off over the lies so far told, I have no evidence of anyone having as yet discovered the money trail and could hardly comment until such time as that money trail is found…

  5. Rodel 5

    Is JK’s attitude..’Nuthing wrong wif gamblin’ is there? i’m r’laxed ’bout it an’ i got rich doin’ it di’nt I?
    Wassa problim?

    • Johnm 5.1

      Rodel
      Key made his dinero pile gambling as a currency speculator for the Ponzi outfit Merrill Lynch in the completely financially unregulated London office.
      London, The City, is infamous for its lack of any control over shady , insider, manipulative scam finance.

  6. RedLogix 6

    The booze barons, the ciggy killers, the money-men and gambling goons.. despicable parasites all of them. Why mince around ‘legalities’… these people get fat off the misery of others. Scum.

    As is our Prime Minister who cuts fat insider deals with them.

    • DH 6.1

      Yep. Our gambling laws were put there for a reason and unless the reasons are no longer valid then there’s no justification in changing them. It’s noticeable that Key & his corrupt mob haven’t even addressed the law & why it’s there.

      Much of Sky City’s restrictions revolved around their monopoly casino right which is also entrenched in our law. This is just giving them more monopoly rights to fleece people.

      This particular Convention centre is all about benefiting Sky City, they’re the ones who plan to rake in most of this promised extra tourist spending. It’s not just the pokies, everything in the design of their centre will be aimed at channeling convention business into the casino. They’ll incorporate easy access walkways to the casino in the building design, big windows facing the casino where neon signs catch the attention, signs & promotions everywhere, the usual marketing tricks that subtly nudge people towards their den of iniquity.

  7. ianmac 7

    Two things.
    1. If the pokie machines were off the table would there still be the huge concern?

    2. The Key interview with John Campbell last night on Campbell Live was a big surprise to me. Key dropped all pretence of mumbling, mis-speaking, dissembling and put his position forcefully and persistently. (He pointed to the same case being laid out in 2009 and no one had even noticed.)

    I am confused but adamantly against selling the law and against pokies.

    • Treetop 7.1

      I watched The Nation this morning on TV 3, (repeated at 8 am tomorrow). I also saw the Key Campbell interview last night. Key did not front on The Nation (the Sky City deal and how implicated Key is was discussed at length). Shearer also was interviewed and the best by far I have seen of him in front of the camera.

      1. The huge concern is increasing pokie addicts and any cost to the government for the build of the convention centre, (never mind the cost of new much more hardened addicts). Shearer does not want a change in the casino laws, he wants a retendering process of a national convention centre and for pokie machines to be decreased further in the community.

      2. In 2009 I doubt that Key let slip that Sky City has been to the District Court and High Court over 80 times due to restrictions in the Gambling Act. I need to check if 500 pokie machines were mentioned in 2009 and not just tweaking the law. Key says that pokie machines have been reduced in the community by several thousand but he does not say that the max spin bet on a casino pokie machine is $100 and possibly more.

      I wonder how many times Sky City have been to the District Court or High Court regarding restrictions in the Gaming Act since their meetings with Key?

      • DH 7.1.1

        Re 2. It was reported that Sky City haven’t taken any more court action from the day National got into power. Not sure how true that is but it would be very interesting to see a timeline graph of their court actions.

        • deuto 7.1.1.1

          Treetop and DH, I have just searched out the Herald article on this aspect that I recalled seeing earlier in the week, as IMO this is an important aspect to this whole dirty deal. As DH says, according to the Herald, Sky City have taken no court action since 2009 – ”

          Sky City wooed government after court failures”

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=10799633

          • DH 7.1.1.1.1

            Ta. This bit tells it all….

            “But the courts found the casino’s argument went against the intent of the law, which forbade any increase in opportunities for gambling.”

            Like all of our laws it has an intent and Key has thrown that intent out the window for a few pieces of silver. This really is dangerous territory for NZ IMO.

          • Treetop 7.1.1.1.2

            “SkyCity has not filed a court challenge since the National Government came to power in 2008.”

            Source link in 7.1.1.1 above

            I have to ask myself why not?

            It would not be in the interest of Sky City to bring attention to itself when meeting with politicians to negotiate/influence changes in the Gambling Act.

            For every pokie machine that is taken out of the community and added to Sky City, the damage of a Sky City pokie machine is 40 machines to one in the community.

            Community machine max bet is $2.50.
            Sky City machine max is $100. (Possibly even more).
            100 Sky City machines = 4000 community machines.
            You do the math on 200, 300, 400, 500 Sky City machines.

            Profit going back to the community is reduced by 34.5% if the 2.5 and 37% figures are used which community trusts get.

            Key has commented about Labour being soft on gambling. Drongo talk.

      • Treetop 7.1.2

        Correction in 7.1 paragraph 3 required on line 1. Sky City has been to the NZ Gambling Commission and not the District or High Court 86 times due to restrictions in the Gambling Act.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      2. The Key interview with John Campbell last night on Campbell Live was a big surprise to me. Key dropped all pretence of mumbling, mis-speaking, dissembling and put his position forcefully and persistently.

      When you’ve got your line memorised then it’s easy to say them forcefully and persistently. The thing that I noticed about that interview is that he didn’t have a single argument in favour of his position.

      • ianmac 7.2.1

        DTB.I guess on top of the Casino thing, there is the difference of persona. Sure Key had his lines memorised but his fluency was a huge change from those awful deliveries of set speeches and the fuzzy rambling of previous so called interviews. Wolf in sheep’s clothing by his previous deliveries?
        It does present him as a ruthless personality rather than an amiable friendly guy next door. Dunno.

        • seeker 7.2.1.1

          I think Cambell got the full -frontal -Forex trader/sales man treatment. Horrible to watch in it’s mesmerising, caught like a possum in the head lights, mind stunning while being manipulated by a horrendous and probably corrupting seduction effect. Even you were confused Ianmac.

          http://www.3news.co.nz/John-Key-on-the-Crafar-farm-and-Sky-City-deals/tabid/367/articleID/251223/Default.asp

          Campbell did try to fight back early on in the interview when Key tried to say that Kiwis did not want the Crafar deal because they didn’t like the Chinese. Campbell tried to stop Key on this saying this was not true, it was foreign ownership Kiwis did not like and to say otherwise was “underhand and disingenuous” . Key stopped for a second to say he wasn’t being underhand and disingenuous and than carried on, in his well rehearsed reasonable, “trader/dealer tone “, to be ……..underhand and disingenuous, by repeating his scripted mantra that Kiwis did not like the Chinese. After that it was full steam ahead on the “get them to believe you and trust you at any cost, then exploit them ” Key express.

          Campbell had tried to stop Key earlier when key tried to obfusticate and imply that if his Government had not taken the Crafar deal they would have been breaking the law! BUT,Cambell missed a beat, tried to head him off at the “underhand” point above and failed! It was down hill all the way after that. The ‘pokie’ questions gathered no moss.

          Moral of this sad tale of ‘the dealer that got away’- don’t let them get away with even the tiniest detail- question, pursue, question,follow up, pursue, and demand answers and don’t let them get away with a script. (Mike Hosking did this well once – ironic, considering his links to SkyCity!)
          Slippery people need to be impaled on a truth stick.

          • Uturn 7.2.1.1.1

            Key’s best argument seemed to be that because Campbell and the media in general was crap at their job and didn’t pull him up in 2009, it was ok for Key to do as he pleased now. Classic Godwin stuff.

  8. Nick K 8

    Zetetic thinks the convention centre will be a white elephant. So what? It’s Sky City’s money, and its shareholders. If you think it’s gonna lose money hand over fist then don’t buy shares in Sky City and don’t use it. I’ll tell you what is a white elephant – Kiwi Rail. Purchased by Michael Cullen for an grossly inflated amount. The convention centre is using no public money. Why are you against a shark like Sky City losing money? If it loses money it might go out of business and then there are no pokies.

    [Another damaged RWNJ fuckwit who doesn't understand the difference between book value and market value. ..RL]

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The convention centre is using no public money.

      The taxpayers will be the ones paying to clean up the mess that SkyCity creates so, yes, it will be using public money – just not directly.

    • infused 8.2

      Fuckwit… such good manners there RL. Leading by example again.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        The “Cullen paid too much for Kiwirail’ is a perenial RWNJ fuckwit argument that has been trashed over and again. I feel no need to waste good manners on it.

        • infused 8.2.1.1

          Maybe, but at the same time, you are trashing this place too. I don’t understand why a considerable number of mods/admins/whatever here feel the need to do this, when they tell people not to do it.

          Case of do what I say, not what I do.

          [ Your concern is duely noted...RL]

          [lprent: You still haven't read the policy yet have you? Here, I will help your hapless arse out..

          We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

          What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.

          Where in there does it say that we want to conform to your twee manners? Just because you are a fool who wants to hide behind some kind of fake politeness does not mean that the rest of us are required to follow your dickhead ways.

          And that is for commentators. Moderators are explicitly told to be quite immoderate if they have to expend effort on someone. That especially applies for arguments that are raised that have been endlessly raised before, refuted, and are generally used by morons who are too dumb to realize that repetition is not the answer to everything. They just cause flamewars and the standard way to fight any fire is to firebreak it. In a blog setting that is pointing out that it isn't tolerated. ]

  9. Treetop

    I agree with you on Shearer’s performance on TV.

    But if that’s the best he can do somebody should get hold of him and show him how to handle it.
    He can do better I’m sure.
    Please, he has got to, to show himself as the next New Zealand Prime Minister.

  10. infused 10

    Key murdered Campbell last night.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Because he knew he was fighting for his political life.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      He failed to make any valid points while talking over Campbell. In fact, he brought up the false argument of racism again despite that this has been proven wrong several times.

      • seeker 10.2.1

        @Infused

        “Key murdered Campbell last night”

        Not just Campbell but the entire country with his profligacy. He has to go -or go and be treated for
        his ‘Prime Ministerial dysfunctional behaviour’ condition.

  11. Dave G 11

    It seems suddenly, readers and the Journo’s want the Government to BAN anything that MIGHT cause personal harm through the choices one makes.

    This gentleman could have simply sought help, turned off the internet, stayed home, and stopped. Hard yes, but achievable, compared to those with cancer, and heart disease etc etc.

    There is something called personal responsibility, its about taking care of ones own destiny, something the bleeding lefties seem to forget. Lets look at the overall benefit to NZ and the community froth convention centre and a few more Pokies, remembering there care still LESS than under the Clark led Labour government- its bloody massive, 1000 Jobs under construction, almost $100 mill every year, international exposure, and many more benefits for the hundreds of small businesses than supply goods and services to the Convention centre in construction, tourism, hospitality, services, food, cleaning etc etc………. The list goes on and on.

    If the Standard and left leaning Journo’s take this to the extreme, we would ban all cars, as someone might get hurt, someone might suffer. We would be far better spending the effort over this person, on helping a cancer sufferer, or the elderly. No one has complained yet, this convention centre is likely to serve alcohol, and MY GOD, there could be a car crash from that, someone might be injured. Yes, its a possibility.

    Please – find the guy, offer him a hand, and others like them. Move him to Ruatoria, or Nightcaps, no internet, mobile phone etc, and give him a crossword to do every day. Might improve his grasp of the english language as well.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Like all right wingers you’re big on personal repsonsibility when your talking about other people’s problems.

      The casino makes money ultimately off the loss and misery of others. They happily take big big bucks off these people… but as always are very silent on taking responsibility for the consequences of their own actions.

      • Dave G 11.1.1

        No, they DO NOT take the money of them, these people GIVE their money readily, as they take a calculated risk.

        FYI I am not right wing, i actually have supported labour in the past, but can’t abide by either poor leadership (which labour have suffered from for years) or those who want a nanny state to look after anything and everything while they drink smoke and gamble themselves to deaths door. Illness is one thing, addiction is another.

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.1

          Well I’ll take your word about not being a rightie then. In my world if you make money off doing something, then you are responsible for the consequences… intended or otherwise.

          Many years ago I dated a woman who was a perfectly responsible and capable person, with her own home, family and professional career. By no stretch could you describe her as a ‘weak-willed loser’… quite the opposite I dare say.

          But one evening out she as we entered a pub she told me quite clearly that if I found that later that she was in front of one of the pokie machines in the side-room… I was to absolutely strong-arm her out of the place. Fortunately it didn’t come to it that evening, but for her it was a risk she was going to have to live with the rest of her life. She loathed the sodding things and everything to do with them.

          And yes, like almost all addicts, she hadn’t gotten to that point of responsibility without hitting rock-bottom first.

          But of course the owners and operators of these vile machines NEVER take any effective responsibility for the consequences of what THEY are doing. They hide behind the exact same argument you are using Dave.

        • joe90 11.1.1.2

          these people GIVE their money readily,

          Oh really, their money?.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      There is something called personal responsibility, its about taking care of ones own destiny, something the bleeding lefties seem to forget.

      I’d like to see the Board and senior management of SkyCity take some personal responsibility for the den of misery they run.

      When’s that going to happen, buddy?

    • Treetop 11.3

      Dave G you are correct in saying that there are now less pokie machines about than when Clark was PM. May be this is part of the plan to dupe the public in order for Key to get a national convention centre paid for by Sky City. In my above post 7.1.1.1.2 I point out that one casino pokie machine is = to 40 non casino pokie machines. I am left thinking how far back the Sky City deal with the government may have been raised as Sky City have not filed any court action to increase gambling at Sky City since the National Government were elected in 2008.

  12. unpcnzcougar 12

    Out of the tens of thousands of people who go through the casino every year, exactly how many are addicts? Can someone answer this. And will 500 more machines create more or will the number of addicts remain the same?

    The benefit of having SkyCity build a convention centre which costs the tax payer nothing will result in a massive benefit to tourism and the Auckland economy.

    • r0b 12.1

      upc – this stuff is well known:

      However, Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Graeme Ramsey said research showed for every gaming machine, there was 0.8 of a problem gambler.

      “So it’s almost one for one. There’s a very clear correlation between availability of machines and the number of machines, and the number of problems.”

      Forty per cent of the money lost in machines came from people with gambling problems.

      “The harm from gambling is all about pokie machines. For over 70 per cent of people who come to us, it’s about pokies.”

      THe benefits look good – but only if you don’t count the costs.

      • unpcnzcougar 12.1.1

        Thanks Rob. I like numbers – research not so much. I do gamble myself. We peaked at 25221 machines in 2003, during 2008 – 2011 they declined from 19739 to 18001 so if they go to the max of an extra 500 which I don’t believe they will due to public pressure then that is 18501 below what they were when Key came to power and well below the peak of 25221 in 2003.

        So if the research is correct then the addicts would have decreased since 2003 – yes?

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1.1.1

          Specious arguments to defend the indefensible.

          There is no argument that says that selling New Zealand legislation (ie: sovereignty) is anything other than rank treachery. There is no argument that says that an increase in misery is a good thing.

          There is no rock for this corrupt Prime Minister to hide under.

        • Treetop 12.1.1.2

          It is not just about bums on pokie machine seats, it is about how quick the money is taken. Government will not restrict Sky City to have the same bet per spin as played on a non casino pokie machine as pokie player/addicts can do the rounds else where.

      • Dave G 12.1.2

        And, of course that is properly researched and the research is audited, not just the ramblings of the CE pushing his organization.

        Please think carefully. Lets establish the Problem drivers foundation, and the Problem Smokers Foundation and take the same tact.

        “So it’s almost one for one. There’s a very clear correlation between driving and crashes. Every 10 km travelled by a drunk driver results in an injury accident. We propose to ban all cars and make people walk everywhere so there can’t be accidents from drunks driving cars….

        Better still, It’s almost one for one. There is an undeniable correlation between smoking and Cancer. 80% of Smokers suffer cancer at some point in their lives, and this not only destroys their lives, it severely effects the lives of those around them, and costs the country billions a year in health and other costs. Let’s BAN all smoking.

        Get real people, fix the cause, not the effect – I challenge all the smokers to admit is is bad for them, and give up prior to commenting on the gambling issue. its not nearly as serious as smoking!!

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      In other words, having a few casualties from Key’s gambling plans, most of whom are from the poorer part of town, is no problem.

      • unpcnzcougar 12.2.1

        Originating from the poorer part of town myself and now living in a “nicer” part of town I can say one thing for certain. People do what they’re going to do anyway. Adding more machines is not going to create a traffic jam on the southern motorway. The machines are never full. You saw my stats – yet you chose not to comment on those. Why not? The peak of machines was under a Labour Government. Auckland needs a convention centre. Sometimes roads need to be built and houses have to go. People drink and drive. People do what they’re going to do.

        • DH 12.2.1.1

          You seem a little confused here. Auckland doesn’t need a convention centre, it wants one. Just like Auckland wants another harbour crossing, more roads, better public transport… etc etc. Want & need have very different definitions.

          In terms of economic benefits to Auckland a Convention Centre doesn’t even show on the radar, it simply isn’t important to the Auckland economy whether we get it or not. So it might bring in a few million dollars more. Whoopee, big fucking deal. GDP in NZ is some $170billion and Auckland accounts for a large part of that so lets get some scale here.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      The benefit of having SkyCity build a convention centre which costs the tax payer nothing…

      It won’t cost nothing – it will cost the destruction of the lives of several hundred people.

      • unpcnzcougar 12.3.1

        Please explain.

      • DH 12.3.2

        It will cost taxpayers and/or ratepayers a fortune. What the glib-talking salesmen have forgotten to tell people is that the centre will run at a substantial loss in at least the first 3-5 years of operation… if it ever does make a profit.

        The report by MED on the convention centre mentioned that the big conventions that will make us all rich beyond our wildest dreams are normally booked 4-5years in advance. Auckland won’t get many big booking confirmations until the centre is near completion so we’ll have a good 3-4years of big operating losses to pay for before we start seeing the promised thousands of conventioners and their big spending antics. Guess who’ll be paying for that.

        • higherstandard 12.3.2.1

          “Guess who’ll be paying for that.”

          Sky city and their shareholders ?

          • DH 12.3.2.1.1

            Don’t be stupid. Sky City are only paying for the building, they’re not funding the operating costs.

            • higherstandard 12.3.2.1.1.1

              I think you’re mistaken, have you got a link to confirm your comment ?

              • DH

                Give it some thought mate. If Sky City run the centre then they control the downstream business; all this wonderful tourist spending they’re yapping about. The convention space is the first thing that gets booked. The organisers of conventions like having a package offered to them to save hunting around for accommodation, dining & all that goes with conventions.

                Hand control over to Sky City and the conventioners would stay in Sky City hotels, eat at Sky City Restaurants, entertain at Sky City Casino…. yada yada yada. Auckland would really benefit from all that wouldn’t it.

                • higherstandard

                  Well most large conferences I have attended overseas have a range of accommodation choices along with various add on options for excursions the vast amount of which have little or nothing to do with the convention centre or convention itself.

                  As I enquired before, do you have any reliable information to back on your assertion that Sky City is only paying for the building and not funding the operating costs ?

                  If so this would be a poor deal for Auckland ratepayers.

                  • DH

                    I worded that wrong. I meant Sky City wouldn’t be funding *all* the operating costs, there will be Govt subsidies in various forms. Eddie has another post covering it.

                    It goes without saying that the Govt will want some measure of influence over the operation of the centre. Sky City aren’t building just a convention centre, to them it’s also a regular supply of fresh meat for their casino & other operations. The 500 pokies is likely the amount of new casino business they predict the centre will bring in.

                    Only way the Govt can exert some influence is by ponying up some of the running costs.

  13. seeker 13

    @Dave G. 2.18pm.

    “these people GIVE their money readily, as they take a calculated risk.”
    No Dave, gambling is addictive and as such can become fully blown destructive addiction just like heroin, alcohol or smoking. For an addiction to become fully blown – where all reasonable control, thought, calculation and volition flies out of the window – it needs to be introduced to the addict in the first place and then fed.

    Places like SkyCity introduce it purely for profit, and then they feed it, with more and more machines-had they been allowed by the law. Pokies have been called the “meth amphetamine” of the gambling world in today’s Herald.

    Now SkyCity, aided and abetted by John Key, Stephen Joyce and all who support this deal are about to give an extra large feed, via many more pokies and a law change,to further fuel the ghastly, destructive, rabid addiction of many more poor souls (and I do mean poor in both the economic and mentally vulnerable sense).

    Stilll tempted by a $350 million dollar convention centre and a few hundred possible jobs Dave G.et al ( or should I say other ‘blind’ als) at the expense of the lives of others?

    Friedman,Joseph, Thatcher, Reagan, Douglas etc.did their evil work well by mutating and corrupting many minds of a generation, a generation who now has no problem putting profit, lust and self service ahead of human lives. The new all pervasive morality of the moneyworshippers is productivity and competitiveness at all cost (so said PhilO’reilly on Close up tvnz,29..2.12). Harden your heart forget you are human, sell your souls -you won’t notice they are gone after a while.

  14. Dave G 14

    Colonial Viper…… Why is it a problem. Is smoking a problem created by the government. Are car crashes created by the government. No, not at all.

    So why is any gambling the problem of the government, no matter how many Pokies are in existence.

    Gambling has been around long before Pokies were a feature of pubs and clubs in NZ. I can recall the illegal bookies in pubs many years ago, and the TAB’s taking punters money of them, often they had to go home to their families to tell them there was no money for the week.

    Was that the Governments fault, should they have banned all breeding of Horses for racing to stop Gambling? No. No matter what you do some fool will be stripped of their money via some form of gambling – its about working with the gamblers not restricting any choice they and others have.

    As you see so concerned and genuine about problem gambling, you volunteer to help the problem gamblers ?? if yes, I salute you, well done. If not, your another hypocrite!!

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      As you see so concerned and genuine about problem gambling, you volunteer to help the problem gamblers ?? if yes, I salute you, well done. If not, your another hypocrite!!

      Yeah I am concerned, very concerned.

      My bit to help in this is to make sure that National die in a ditch over SkyCity.

      Satisfied?

      Colonial Viper…… Why is it a problem. Is smoking a problem created by the government. Are car crashes created by the government. No, not at all.

      You’re sorta thick, right? You know, ignoring the role of Government in reducing access and desirability of things like smokes. Of ensuring the safety and maintenance of cars.

      Of limiting gambling activities.

  15. sdm 15

    Explain how a non problem gambler, who wasnt a problem when we had 25000 machines, suddenly goes and becomes a problem, because of these extra 500 machines

    • unpcnzcougar 15.1

      @sdm Thank you. That was my point. Let’s stick to the facts and the hard numbers rather than the shrilling which is making my ears hurt.

    • higherstandard 15.2

      Well if they were not at a site which already had a surfeit of pokies people may have a case that more gambling addiction may occur however the vast majority of wailing is politically motivated, which is understandable.

      • unpcnzcougar 15.2.1

        Yes, think it is a classic case of minority squeaky wheels. Build it, everyone will forget it about and the majority won’t have a problem with it, especially the businesses and tourism industry that benefit.

    • Uturn 15.3

      Uh, it’s called progression of time. Are there more people in NZ since then? Yes. Is gambling more popular? Yes. Is there a drive to promote gambling by Sky City? Yes. Do people’s life situations change? Yes.

      Lets start out easy. Explain how many P addicts there were before P turned up here. Now how many after a few P labs were busted. Now how many after a few more P labs opened.

      Explain how you won’t get sick in the future because you aren’t sick now, despite their being more, or less, diseases and more, or less, doctors to an earlier point.

      Explain how you won’t ever have a car accident because you haven’t in the past, despite car ownership fluctuating.

      Explain how it is that your brain thinks that because something didn’t happen to someone in the past, that it will never happen to anyone again, despite irrelevant indicators.

      • felix 15.3.1

        Right wingers who post here never seem to be able to factor time into their equations. Their faith in a static universe is laughably cute.

        In other news, the question of whether more people will develop spending problems is moot anyway. The only definite outcome which can be predicted with absolute certainty is that there will be more spending.

        Whether this is via more people developing problems or via people with existing problems spending more is irrelevant to this particular argument. We know for certain that the result will be more money sucked out of our communities and into pokie machines.

        How do we know this? Because if it weren’t true, SkyCity wouldn’t want them. Doh.

  16. seeker 16

    @higherstandard 4.27pm

    “vast majority of wailing is politically motivated, ”

    Wrong!!! It is morally motivated.

    Surely with the name you have given yourself you should be able to recognise this.

    • higherstandard 16.1

      If that were the case I would’ve expected far more of a debate about the banning of pokies and restricting the activities of the TAB and Lotto – unfortunately the debate has centred on the political ramifications and political prejudices as demonstrated by your earlier post.

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        You want a discussion on gambling? Go to a gambling blog site.
        You’re disappointed because people who comment on a political site discuss political ramifications of things.

        • higherstandard 16.1.1.1

          I was replying to seeker above making the point that the vast majority of faux moral concern is politically motivated.

  17. Uturn 17

    This is what it comes down to: no one can predict the future with accuracy.

    Some people tend to notice events creating trends, resulting in general outcomes.

    People who prefer to err on the side of caution, in most things, realise that money is nothing compared to the source of real wealth – actual resources. If the result of a decision is that five hundred people will die, but $50 million will be made, these people empathise with the loss, calculate and note the significance of social costs. If they can’t find an alternative, they decline the action and say we probably don’t need the money anyway.

    Other people use basic numbers to measure dynamic situations that cannot be measured with static rules. They don’t care if 500 people die if $50 million is produced and as long as they are not one of those who die. Because they confuse increase of money as an increase of wealth and general social health, they think that making money will solve all problems, thus anything that makes money is good and need not be questioned.

    In NZ, one group asks: What’s good for people in general and how can social costs be reduced? Another group asks: What’s good for me and how much money can be made?

    I hope you have enjoyed this brief outlilne of why things are the way they are.

  18. marsman 18

    Just saw a cartoon from the NZ Herald on Facebook.
    Key’s proposition to SkyCity:-
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news-cartoons/news/article.cfm?c_id=500814&objectid=10799641

  19. xtasy 19

    When the Sky Tower was built and opened to the public, I could not believe what was going on in NZ. Yes, it was casino money paying for it, and now we have that same international corporation about to press the government to accept a deal to increase their pokie machines by about a third. John Key is warm for the idea, he even invited them to present their “offer” and conditions, looking at it very favourably.

    Change the law a bit, so Sky City gets about a third more in one armed bandit machines, the proved most addictive form of gambling, generating at least 40 per cent of revenue through problem gamblers, and this government wants to sign this off!

    Where do we live? This is unbelievable. I understand that casinos overseas face stricter controls and higher levies than in NZ. We expect other operators to contribute over 30 per cent of revenue to the community to address gambling and other problems. Yet Sky City already gets let off with a mere 2 or 2 and a half percent on profit.

    John Key is showing his true colours here. He is in with the big players in business, bad or not so bad. As long as there are “economic gains”, which means nothing but “profits” for the operators, it is considered healthy and justified.

    So Sky City wants to build and operate a convention centre that some feel NZ and Auckland needs. Fair enough, but what were the terms others (e.g. Infratil) offered, to give us as the public a fair view on this?

    Well, the government and Council may hav e to pay a bit towards other deals, but that may also mean saving millions in addressing social and health costs that will result from increased pokies at Sky City. Does anybody give that a thought? No, and it is the same with other issues. NZ is behind in thinking pro actively in many areas. OK plain packaged cigarettes may be a solution, but what about addressing gambling and alcoholism, drug addiction, poor dietary solutions and so forth also?

    It is ignored, due to lobby companies putting the pressures on. That is the bloody truth. Stop this damned rot and send a clear message to your MP, perhaps make submissions and protest, to stop this rotten government selling this country short. Throw J. Key out next election, that is the minimum to be expected now.

  20. Anthony Bull 20

    Do you guys realise that there are now 7,000 less pokie machines in the country than when Labour was running the country?

    It kind of makes you guys look like a bunch of hypocrites – or of rather small intelligence, that you are getting your knickers all worked up about this.

    As a related point – watch John Key completely take John Campbell to pieces over this – absolutely brilliant……

    http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/Campbell-Live-Friday-April-20-2012/tabid/119/articleID/6262/MCat/73/Default.aspx

    • felix 20.1

      I think you’ve posted the wrong link, Mr Bull.

      • Anthony Bull 20.1.1

        That link shows Campbell being made to look like a hack – whats so wrong about it?

    • KJT 20.2

      What makes you think we all support Labour?

    • bad12 20.3

      I will refrain here from offering any critique of what i see as any of your personal short-comings, but, as you have in fact indicated that the reduction in the number of ‘pokie machines’ has only happened as a consequence of there being a National Government I can only suggest you take a long deep look at yourself in the mirror,(looking for any traces of a liar lurking within),

      The ‘sinking lid’ policy governing the number of ‘pokie machines’ was operating under the previous 9 years of Labour/NZFirst/Green Government, so we fail to see any hypocrisy inherent to the opposition to Slippery and Nationals current shady dealings with SkyCity,

      I would suggest that you re-view the Campbell Live interview with Slippery over His dealings with Skycity and take note of the points in the interview where the Prime Minister found Himself squeaking in a voice more fitting of a teenage girl in answer to a couple of Campbells more pointed queries,

      A forensic psychologist would tell you that such dramatic fluctuations in voice usually indicate either lying or someone under pressure attempting to inject an emotional plea of ‘believe me’ in answer to a given question where they know that their answer is of questionable veracity and a lot rides upon those seeing,viewing,or hearing the answer placing ‘trust’ in the person answering which is not based upon the actual facts of the answer as given,

      Sounds pretty Slippery to me…

      • McFlock 20.3.1

        The ‘sinking lid’ policy governing the number of ‘pokie machines’ was operating under the previous 9 years of Labour/NZFirst/Green Government

         
        What? Key claiming credit for initiatives introduced by labour?! I’m shocked, shocked I tells ya…
         
        Nah, not really. Par for the course from that slimey jerk.

      • ropata 20.3.2

        i wonder how much of this wondrous decline in pokies occurred as a result of destroyed pubs in Christchurch…

        • McFlock 20.3.2.1

          That would be a revealing stat – how quick the pokies were back as opposed to accommodation.

        • prism 20.3.2.2

          Good point ropata. It’s the sort of fortunate fact that would prove the old saying that ‘There’s a silver lining to every cloud’ that is manna to a politician.

    • Carol 20.4

      Erm…. it looks to me like Campbell puts it to Key….especially on Crafar farms. Dead, cold eyes their, Jonkey.

      So has the PM been to visit Betty Ford on one of his trips overseas? Otherwise, how the explain the startling verbal transformation?

    • xtasy 20.5

      Bull, that was agreed pliy for years, under the last and present government, to reduce over all gambling machines. Now suddenly, Mr Key and consorts want to have Sky City exempted from this, by allowing them a 30 or more per cent increase in pokies offered, while others have to cut down on them. Do you not get it, or are you such a brain washed Natiional Party supporter?

      Tonight I learn that even the supposed “anti gambling” John (hollow) Banks may support the deal. What a rotten state of affairs is NZ in?

    • Treetop 20.6

      Councils control the sinking lid policy on the reduction of pokie machines not the government.

  21. Roger 21

    Given the damage that problem gambling causes it’s not enough to say that there are less pokie machines now than there used to be. Also if supporters of the project believed in the laissez-faire approach then wouldn’t this be seen as a cost of business to be funded by the businesses that want to use the Convention Centre? Alternatively, if its not economic for businesses to fund, and its really a matter of national strategic importance, then it should compete with other government priorities for full public funding. There might be a case for PPP’s under certain circumstances to help build socially useful infrastructure. Whether pokies and a Convention Centre qualify is another question altogether.

  22. bad12 22

    Hell how can anyone discuss ‘pokie machines’ in terms of economics, such things are the anti-thesis of economy,

    Pokie machines simply remove capital from the economy while providing no productive basis for having done so,(unless of course anyone can consider a few flashing lights and a musical jingle as production)…

  23. prism 23

    Key says it is fiscally neutral. We taxpayers haven’t had to pay anything. Those addicted to chasing impossible dreams only live in the poorer part of town and in a sort of virtual apartheid so will not visit Sky City. Wrong on all counts.

    The taxpayers will pay for each gambling addict’s treatment. Their families suffer and pay as they are deprived of money needed to service the family’s needs and any unexpected windfalls will be sucked up till they come up empty. Gamblers will steal (embezzle) from their workplace, their clubs, their charitable connections or borrow from gullible family. Humans in general find it hard to say ‘enough’ to the promise of hopeful gains from gambling, and it is not just the low income people.

    Lastly embracing this type of gambling demonstrates the amoral attitude of free market business people and their fellow travellers. They will take from vulnerable people till they have nothing then disdain them when they have insufficient left to manage their lives.

    Pokies were introduced in 1991 – they had not been part of the mix before. The politicians who did so are money-machine-men who will take money from anyone, making a profit is a moral act to them, and the less restrictions on asset stripping either companies, their shareholders, the nation and its people, or the individuals who can be tapped is fair game. They are ‘smiling assassins’ except they tend to look grave and wise and act like reliable people with broad knowledge and high integrity. Whatever they say or do, look for their ulterior motives.

  24. ochocinco 24

    Even if the extra pokies caused zero harm, the issue would be this: Key sold NZ to corporate/capitalist interests. Which he should not do.

    • felix 24.1

      Too right. The pokies themselves are a side issue, a small dirty piece of a much bigger dirty puzzle.

  25. henry olongo 25

    Dave G your posts on this topic are absolute drivel. You are in denial- the reality is that addictive gambling on pokie machines is a new feature in our society. It requires eradication through regulation.

  26. lynette 26

    John key selling the law is just ridiculous. and in favour of machines that take jobs, unbelievable. Profits going goodness knows where. Whats the country comming to.
    Pokies are addictive hypnotic devices that rob people blind while giving them deception and adrendalin. they are programmed to take your money whilst you are in a hypnotic state. It isnt ‘gaming’ it isnt ‘entertainment’
    It is a real social issue. How the government has got it this far is beyond me. Please wake up democratic NZ and stand up.
    I wrote a book called ‘pokies, even when i win’ order it from a bookshop and read it. Its good and honest and took a lot for me to put it out there.Lynette Whale. published by Steele Roberts.

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  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • 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
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • 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
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