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Polity: The Greens’ proposed pre-election deal

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 58 comments
Categories: greens, labour, MMP, nz first - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnThe original of this post by Rob Salmond is here.

Last night, via One News, the public became aware that the Greens had proposed a pre-election coalition with Labour, but Labour had rejected it.

To understand the contours of the possible deal, you need to know a little about pre-electoral coalitions in general:

First, pre-electoral coalitions are quite common. According to Penn State political science professor Sona Golder, about 20% of post-WW2 elections in advanced democracies result in a government that was conceived in a pre-electoral coalition. There have been over 240 pre-electoral coalitions of parties running together in advanced democracies since 1946. So there is nothing weird about the Greens’ proposal.

The proposal for a proportional cabinet, by the way, is also entirely normal in other PR countries. The political scientists have even christened a law called Gamson’s Law that describes this very common method for sharing out cabinet seats.

Second, however, pre-electoral coalitions are more common in electoral systems that are not quite like New Zealand’s. New Zealand has an especially pure, fair form of proportional representation (so long as you can pull 5% of the vote). A single national district for sharing out list seats, along with the Modified St Lague method we use for assigning them, are the elements that make New Zealand’s system so fair.

In many other proportional systems, there are various ways to provide disproportional rewards to the single largest party or bloc. Sometimes these are based on electoral formulas or districting schemes tilted towards the largest party/group, sometimes there are even explicit bonuses. Prof Golder finds that it is in electoral systems featuring more of these Biggest Group Advantages where pre-electoral coalitions are most effective, and most widely used.

The basic idea here is that a pre-electoral deal is an especially good idea if it gives the group of parties a leg-up in the mechanical process of transferring votes into seats.

New Zealand does not have any of those advantages for the Biggest Group, so the incentive to form a pre-electoral deal, rather than just wait and form a government post-election, instead, is not as strong as in many other countries.

So while the Greens’ offer is nothing unusual internationally, New Zealand’s comparatively fair electoral system doesn’t provide Labour much incentive to accept it. Which, I think, makes Labour’s rejection of the proposal much less noteworthy.

58 comments on “Polity: The Greens’ proposed pre-election deal”

  1. blue leopard 1

    A deal between these two parties would have have provided a clear illustration of the good working relationship between them. As I mentioned elsewhere, as the larger party Labour could have responded to the Greens idea by asserting areas that they were not prepared to share. This would have made it much clearer to voters where Labour stands and a good idea of what path a Labour/Greens government would be taking.

    Instead we are, yet again, left in the dark as to where Labour really stands.

    There comes a time, Labour, where you have to define yourselves. I really don’t think prevaricating and keeping your options open is really going to get you the popularity you both crave and need. I think people really like and want something and someone a bit more assertive and defined to govern their country. If you continue to be like floating leaves on the wind – that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence as to how the country will be run under your party.

  2. Tracey 2

    a pre election coalition would make it harder for labout to be national lite. the hilarious thing is that labour believes being national lite will win them the election.

  3. Some will see it as Labour not wanting to scare middle NZ.
    Some will see it as Labour hedging their bets to go with nz1st or the greens depending on the vote post election result.

    Some, like me, will see it as a missed opportunity to show a united front against national and all their dodgy coalition prospects.
    Personally, I’d like to have seen all the opposition parties (pre mana selling itself to .com) sit around a table and tell it like it is, stating we will work together after the election to get key out, so a vote for any of us, whatever your flavour, will achieve this.
    The only variable left is cabinet seats to divvy up according to the share of party vote, and that’s up to the voters on election day.

    How effing hard does it have to be?

    • Tracey 3.1

      yup, labour too scared to work together to bring down national. maybe they are scared greens will push 20%

  4. fambo 4

    Probably a mistake for the Greens to ask and a mistake for Labour to be so blunt in their rejection. It just gave an easy point to the opposition

  5. George 5

    Who is in the “leadership group”?

  6. Ant 6

    What’s in it for Labour? it just means that they’ll get bogged down having to defend all their own crap and all the Greens crap as well.

    99% of the people who support it seem like Green voters who ignore any downside to Labour because they only care about the upside for the Greens.

    • Zorr 6.1

      Agreed with this

      Despite the hay that is currently being made by the MSM off this it is nothing compared to the material that would be thrown against Labour if the ShonKey Python thought he could tie Labour to Greens.

      • blue leopard 6.1.1

        Zorr and Ant,

        If Labour could come out and say exactly what policies they will agree to of the Greens and what they wouldn’t work with – that would cut Shonkey’s spin down to the ground. This proposition of the Greens could have been an opportunity to do just that. But hey, why make things clear for potential voters when you can simply obfuscate?

        I have never voted Greens, by the way Ant, so although people may ‘seem’ like a Green voter when they disagree with Labour’s stance on this one – it might have more to do with how you are drawing your conclusions than any accurate assessment.

        • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1

          Or just possibly the Greens shouldn’t have tried to strong arm Labour by bring the media into what are unexceptional pre-election negotiations. It just comes off looking desperate.

          • blue leopard 6.1.1.1.1

            It might have looked desperate to you, it doesn’t to me.

            I hadn’t considered that Greens would have informed the media – that is certainly plausible. I appreciate the way the Greens consistently communicate with the public and keep us informed.

            Now that I realise that Labour are targeting soft centrist voters I shall be focusing my attentions on the parties that are more closely aligned with my views; Mana and the Greens. Parties that focus on soft centrist voters are too compromised for me. And perhaps Labour need to do fixate on those wishy washy types, or perhaps they don’t. Regardless of that, I would prefer a more cooperative manner from them toward the 3rd largest party in Nz and the largest party they will be working with.

            • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Brecht saw this third way rubbish coming way back:
              Would it not be easier
              In that case for the government
              To dissolve the people
              And elect another?

              • Populuxe1

                Brecht was an outrageous hypocrite at the best of times. He had his “worker” shirts made of brushed blue silk

            • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1.1.2

              What you prefer and what will rid us of this National government are entirely unrelated

              • blue leopard

                I’m unclear what you are asserting here.

                Are you saying that you think Labour can rid us of this government alone?

                Or that Labour and NZ First can do so alone without the approx. 14% of support that the Greens bring to the table?

                • Populuxe1

                  It’s more whether centre and swing voters are entirely relaxed about the Greens even now

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      70% of Labour members support it and see it as being good for both parties.

      • Populuxe1 6.2.1

        More like 70% of Labour members want National out at any cost, which is fair enough – it has very little to do with being in love with the Greens

        • blue leopard 6.2.1.1

          Draco didn’t mention anything about being in love.

          • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1.1.1

            Nah, Pop just makes shit up all the time.

            The poll the ‘circa 70%’ comes from said 68% of Labour voters would prefer a deal with the Greens to one with NZ first, given a choice.

            Overall 52% of all NZ voters would prefer Lab/Green to 38% for Lab/NZF

            Pge 17 here: http://t.co/Xfic6BlANX

            Pretty obvious which of draco and Pop is closer to mark in describing it.

            • felix 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Curwen seems to think Pop is one of theirs. Makes sense innit.

              • Pascal's bookie

                heh.

              • Populuxe1

                Really failing to see what that has to do with anything, I still want National out and in all likelihood NZF will still be part of a Labour-Green coalition in some for or other. Do you have a point or are you just farting at the mouth again?

            • Populuxe1 6.2.1.1.1.2

              Labour voters = people who want National out.
              Prefer Greens to NZ First = not neccissarily in love with Greens, it’s called pragmatism.
              Not really seeing what you’re getting at.

              • Pascal's bookie

                No one said ‘in love with Greens’ Pop, and a deal with the Greens is preferred to one with NZF by voters at large, and overwhelmingly so by Labour voters.

                And it’s not ‘pragmatic’. It’s a choice about preferances, not dead rats. Hooking up with NZF and his muddle headed gaing of wogistan spouting loons may be necessary, but it’s not popular choice at all, but a pragmatic realisation.

                There are options though, and things that could be done to make the decision unnecessary.

                • Populuxe1

                  “No one said ‘in love with Greens’”
                  Yeah, least of all me – I was referring to the implication that Labour was idealogically obliged to marry the Greens. NZF looks easily to be hitting five percent which rather suggests it is indeed a popular choice, and trying to portray that idiot Prosser as representative of the entire party is like saying Taito Philip Field represents Labour on immigration, race relations and same sex marriage.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    What people are saying is that Labour cannot form a govt without the Greens, absent some amazing thing happening in the polls. It’s a pragmatic recognition of reality. And it’s about about a marriage, which would be a joining of the parties, but about showing that the two can work together in the way that will have to if there is to be a non-National government after September.

                    Is Prosser being dropped from the Party? It’s not like NZF has great depth, what with Horan needing replacing, and god knows what they will do about Asenati Lole-Taylor, who I assume hasn’t exactly been a great success. What wonders will ya’ll deliver for us next term.

                    And the fact NZF looks like it will get 5% is by-the-by. What we are talking about is whether they are a popular choice to hook up with. Labour voters overwhelmingly would rather not, and a slim majority of the public at large concur.

            • blue leopard 6.2.1.1.1.3

              @ Pascal’s Bookie,

              I was looking for where that 68% info came from everywhere and had been unsuccessful, thanks for providing the link.

            • weizguy 6.2.1.1.1.4

              “70% of Labour members support it and see it as being good for both parties.”

              This isn’t the same thing. I absolutely would prefer a deal with the Greens, but not before the election.

              I don’t see how a Labour/Greens coalition can successfully form a government if Labour doesn’t win votes from the middle. Labour and Greens are different parties that attract different constituencies. It appears to me that the same voices who complain about the media’s failure to understand that “largest party” is less relevant under MMP are the same voices who are now trying to nullify the benefits of being able to attract different groups in an election.

              That said, populuxe is also wrong. It’s not a National out at any cost – the question doesn’t even consider that. It asks who you’d prefer to work with in Government.

          • Populuxe1 6.2.1.1.2

            I see you are unfamiliar with rhetorical style – this is known as hyperbole, it is used for effect

  7. Tamati 7

    If these two parties refuse to negotiate some sort of coalition or memorandum of understanding before the election what credibility do their respective policies have? What would be the point in either party (but especially the Greens) releasing major policies if they can’t stand by their promises.

    There needs to be some formal agreement on what policies a Labour/Green government would bring forward and where the two parties would agree to disagree. It’s fine to negotiate cabinet portfolios after the election, when the number of MP’s are known, but they need to agree on some core policies prior to the election.

    • Populuxe1 7.1

      All potential coalition partners do this anyway – it’s standard negotiations. One party puts something on the table, the other considers it, and may reject some or all of it, and then you renegotiate. It seems to me the Greens overplayed their hand by bringing the media in on the assumption they could shame Labour into agreeing to all of their conditions, and Labour wasn’t playing.

      • Tamati 7.1.1

        Without any formal arrangement neither Labour nor the Greens will be able to deliver any concrete promises to electorate during the campaign. Key knows this so will hammer it home for the entire campaign.

        As I said before, what use are policies if you can’t promise the electorate that you will deliver them?

        • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1.1

          Same of course goes for National and whatever deal(s) it finally gets around to announcing with Dunne, Whyte, and Craig.

          Will Craig be given his bottom line of binding referenda, being foremost IMO. A fairly major constitutional change.

          • Tamati 7.1.1.1.1

            Not really. National will always have options when passing legislation so will rarely need to compromise on any of their policies. If they make a promise, they can deliver.

            For Greens and Labour however, they need to agree on pretty much everything. If one of them pulls out, the legislation falls flat. (Nats may occasionally help Labour out though. eg. TPP legislation)

            • weizguy 7.1.1.1.1.1

              “National will always have options when passing legislation so will rarely need to compromise on any of their policies. If they make a promise, they can deliver.”

              If that were true, why would any party support a National-led government? If you’ve paid any attention to the last few years, you will know that they have made concessions, despite having options.

              • Tamati

                Why would any party support a National led government?
                Well, a ministerial salary and nice shiny car and driver for a start. Pet projects and the right to call themselves the Honorable?

                If you’ve paid any attention to last six years you’d know that National has pretty much free reign over legislation. The only concessions they’ve really made has been splashing out on Whanau Ora and Foreshore and Seabed. Key, was probably pleased to ditch the Brash era racism anyway.

                Charter Schools? They wanted them all along.

                Entirely different ball game c.f. Labour/Greens.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  NZF and Colin Craig aren’t the same as Dunne and ACT though.

                  They have actual constituencies for a start

  8. Wyndham, George 8

    The Greens are a white middle class party whose core emotion in conservative: no growth, no change, not in my back yard.

    Cunliffe has a duty to undo the damage to the Kiwi workers and families over the past 30 years by that other Conservative party; National.

    Cunliffe knows that the core Green member is anti economic development. Cunliffe has to achieve rapid and sustainable economic development when he is PM. Cunliffe has to be real to the core Labour supportes: PAYE workers, the disadvantaged, the marginalised, and the new ethnic groups.

    An alliance at this stage with a narrow spectrum white middle class party will not help.

    • Naturesong 8.1

      In other words, you have no idea what the Green party stands for, or the background of the people which comprise their membership.

      You are corrrect however in that there are a reasonable proprotion of academics and small business owners, some of which come from the middle class.

    • framu 8.2

      “Cunliffe knows that the core Green member is anti economic development”

      im guessing you wouldnt know a core green member from a bar of salt

      you make the classic, all to regular and utterly idiotic mistake of thinking opposition to certain kinds of business is the same as opposition to all business. Its not – not by a long shot

      its the same strand of thinking that tries to claim no holds barred, neoliberal capitalism is the only form of capitalism

    • karol 8.3

      I was talking to an elderly woman recently – came from a solid working class family, and still stands by original Labour Party ideals – grew up in one of the 1940s state houses. Says she now votes Green.

      • George 8.3.1

        9 long years of Labour, and we didn’t get the 40 hour week, or other basic rights enshrined in law. Now they’re suggesting these be ‘negotiated’ rather than legislated. Yeah, I want a left-wing party, so I support the Greens.

        • Ant 8.3.1.1

          What have the Greens done? It’s all good being high and mighty when you have never faced the reality of actually governing.

          • freedom 8.3.1.1.1

            Dear Ant. National and Labour were both first term governments once.
            Sure, getting rid of National is the primary goal, but let’s just see what NZ has in store?

          • George 8.3.1.1.2

            As I recall, they consistently and loudly advocated for minimum wages to be living wages, rather than minimal ones. Since they were shut out of government, they didn’t have the chance to make this or other things a reality.

      • Wyndham, George 8.3.2

        Many Labour people drifted to the Greens because of the weak leadership under Goff and Shearer. Greens developed some left wing stances when Bradford was playing a leadership role. As Cunliffe gets into his stride and it becomes clearer that the Greens are not a party of Socialist ideals those voters will come back to the Labour fold.

        • karol 8.3.2.1

          You really are going all out to smear the Greens, W,G, using dodgy statements about history.

          You show you know very little about the Greens. Socialist ideals have been a strong strand in the policies and values since way before they were joined by Bradford – goes back to the Values Party days, and then their involvement with the Alliance. They have incorporated socialist ideals with growing awareness of the challenges facing contemporary society such as those to do with the environment.

          The Green Party webiste on their history:

          In 1979 Values was also torn by internal debate about its political orientation with an Auckland-led environmentalist faction and a Christchurch-led socialist/unionist faction. Those strands are still there in the contemporary Green Party but they are in concert rather than opposition.

  9. Win 9

    Labour may be the majority party on the left after this election – lets hope – but they can’t do anything without the Greens. The wooing of Winstone is only possible if the Greens are with Labour. Labour needs the Greens end of story. At this stage Labour won’t have enough votes to govern with only NZF and Mana. Yip over Labour’s apparent want to ‘please all of the people attitude’, half there, half here approach. Agree totally with Gordon Campbell. SO FRUSTRATING LABOUR! I really want to vote for you! You haven’t got a show in hell of getting the 800,000 out to vote if you, as someone so nicely put it, appear ‘National Lite’.
    My preferred choice for government is a Labour Green government (although I do think the ‘coalition’ should have been discussed much earlier on), supported by Mana, the Internet Party and Winstone’s crew.
    Winstone comes across clearly, strongly, at times ‘interestingly’ and apparently he did do a great job as minister. So he’s not a complete waste of space. Interested husband (who is of the white, left leaning, variety – my litmus test) likes some of the things he says as do others I know – which never ceases to amaze me. And I too find myself inadvertently nodding
    Love the clarity and heart of Mana and can see the Internet Party being a ‘goer’ also. Not sure though about KDC. But yeah nah, if it works we should see something beautiful happen. (come on Māori Party – don’t play the ‘someone owns a Nazi book and therefore love Hitler, scare monger card’ – You know that some will react to innuendo and surface features as fact. Typical NACT tact!)

    But come on Labour open, up, put your foot down and lets get this show on the road. Pleeeassss?

    • blue leopard 9.1

      +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

    • fisiani 9.2

      Labour were actually quite correct to rule out a formal pre-election coalition with the Greens. It would signal that voters from either party could switch to the other. Labour being the bigger party has more to lose. Why would any party seriously wishing considered for government ally themselves with the Loony Ban Everything Greens. All their wacky policies would be linked to Labour. The Cunliffe was right. Did I actually write that? Wow.

    • rhinocrates 9.3

      Yeah, agree totally. I’d like a Labour-Green coalition… but is it going to happen? Labour has always shown an amazing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. There’s a Hell of a lot of talent in the back benches (Louisa Wall for example) and Cunliffe has potential, but the aspiring ministers? My God: Goff, Shearer, Thing, Mallard, Hipkins, Sio, Curran, Robertson, O’Connor and fucking Jones…

      I’d have QWERTYUIOP permanently imprinted on my forehead if my palm hadn’t intervened.

      They’re not getting my vote, however passionately I hate NACT. Those lazy, self-obessessed parasites are just not up to the job.

      I want a real opposition, now, please.

    • Win 9.4

      Sorry Winston. Not sure how Winstone got in there.

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    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
    by Denis Godard The movement of occupation of squares in France is [over] two weeks old. [1] Its evolution is difficult to predict, because it is open to many unforeseen events, even though its roots are deep. At this point… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    1 day ago
  • Some big news, for me
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    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    8 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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