web analytics
The Standard

Polity: X more thoughts on poll bias

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, February 26th, 2014 - 26 comments
Categories: national, nz first, polls - Tags: , ,

Rob Salmond at Polity has some changing thoughts on the subject of poll bias.

Whenever the media report on polls, they get accused of all manner of biases by the blinkered commentariat. Most of it is nonsense, of course. But some criticism of the polling methods themselves may have more merit that I first thought.

I have been keeping track of the polls in New Zealand for a few years now, mainly trying to get the rightindustry average level of support for each party, and figuring out ways to account for the biases in individual pollsters’ methods. Polity’s Poll of Polls is part of this work, as was the academic work I did uncovering bias in the old version of the Colmar Brunton poll.

But both Danyl at the Dim-Post and Gavin White at UMR have been looking at something more fundamental – is the polling industry biased as a whole? There is certainly a small enough number of competing firms in the market, and enough limitations on their work (e.g. the cost of calling mobiles) for bias to conceivably sneak in. For example, the best information I have seen suggests that the New Zealand population with access to a landline skew about 1.7% more towards National than the population as a whole. Calling a random selection of landlines, even if you do some weighting by demographics, can easily give you a result reflecting this bias.

Is this what is happening in New Zealand? Using quite different methods (but the same raw data), Danyl and Gavin both come to the conclusion that the New Zealand polling industry overstates National, modestly overstates the Greens, understates New Zealand First, and gets Labour about right.

I can see reasons other than poll bias why election results for the Greens may not reflect their polling. It could easily be that the young people who make up a lot of the Greens’ support base are just not very reliable when it comes to turning out in elections.

And the mechanism most people give for poll bias – the non-representative subset of the people who have landlines, should lead pollsters to overestimate New Zealand First with its older support base, not underestimate them. The underestimate of New Zealand First does not seem to fit the causal story people are telling.

But the fairly consistent results on National are harder to dismiss. In each of the last three elections we have been left staring at the chicken bones trying to explain how National’s support seemed to fall away in the dying days. A delayed Brethren effect? Collective panic at the thought of one party government? Maybe. Or maybe these are just the stories we tell ourselves in order to feel comfortable with the polls.

(Having said that, the polls in 2008 and 2011 did actually show a late-term decline for National, just not one big enough to account for the actual result. So the pollsters were not at all surprised in either case that National’s support was lower than its early campaign peak, but they were surprised just how far National had fallen.)

I was caught short in 2011 relying on the polling industry average by falsely projecting that National would get enough votes to govern alone, and that New Zealand First would not break 5%. I was wrong on both counts, and in exactly the direction that Danyl and Gavin would predict. Some might say that is all the evidence you need of bias.

Ultimately, however, I am not sold just yet on the notion of industry-level bias.

The studies Danyl and Gavin have done here can claim as many poll-level observations as they like, but in an important sense the number of elections is the number of observations, because that is the number of times you observe the true value of the things we are busy estimating. Which means right now we are operating on N equals three. Making conclusions on an N this small is risky.

While I’m not yelling “fire” at this stage, I do think there may be smoke. I did not think that three years ago.

If later this year we have to wave our hands at yet another inexplicable final week decline for National, and again marvel at Winston’s ability to sneak up on everyone at the last second, then that will substantially strengthen the claim of industry-wide bias.

If we find there is this bias down the track, then we will have to look very carefully at the way in which a slanted perception of the political reality today impacts on voters’ minds, usually through the journalistic filter. Do they unfairly nurture the reputations of over-estimated parties like National and the Greens, and unfairly tarnish New Zealand First. Does it have real consequences for those parties at the ballot box in an MMP environment? And, of so, is that political speech that should be protected, or protected against?

26 comments on “Polity: X more thoughts on poll bias”

  1. Blue 1

    Do they unfairly nurture the reputations of over-estimated parties like National and the Greens, and unfairly tarnish New Zealand First.

    The media don’t really care what the poll results are when it comes to how they represent certain parties. Witness two pieces in the Herald today focused on the 0% wonder.

    Their beef with NZ First is mostly journos having personal feuds with Winston Peters.

    If anything, the poll results which overestimate National simply give the media more of an excuse to downplay Labour, which they do anyway.

    • Crunchtime 1.1

      That doesn’t necessarily hold true when you are talking about a party with a large support base. If it looks (falsely) like a foregone conclusion that a party will win a majority vote, or close to, then it’s likely to demoralise and demotivate those who might vote against them.

      I’m not saying this is entirely to blame for the record-breaking 800,000 who didn’t vote last election, but I would suggest it’s one of many contributing factors.

    • Crunchtime 1.2

      …in addition, isn’t there the type of person who tends to vote with who seems to be the “winner” in order to give a “stable government”?

      If so then polls that show National as reasonably far ahead will have a gravitational effect, as it were, on future poll results favouring National, including the ultimate poll results of the election.

      Furthermore isn’t this a big reason why Labour has been polling so poorly for the past half decade, because it has been well publicised as being “divided” and therefore “unstable”? To be fair, Labour haven’t really done enough to dispel that notion.

  2. McFlock 2

    It also seems to me that there seems to be a bit of a bias towards the government of the day. No real data to back it up, though

    • Tracey 2.1

      I agree and think it is probably related tot he amoun to fmedia exposure a PM gets, compared to a LofO. Understandably the PM is a go to on many many things.

      I wonder, what would change, if anything, if published polls were outlawed in an election year?

    • Pasupial 2.2

      McFlock

      Polls do generally favour the incumbent. Most of the research on this is from a US setting, which I can’t be bothered churning through right now. This is the closest that I’ve been able to find to a NZ example thus far:

      http://www.digipoll.com/library/election-polling

      You can see the higher digipoll numbers than votes achieved on election night for the incumbent National in 2011 (51% vs 47%) and Labour in 2005 (45% vs 41%). The transition years contradict this however; in 1999 Labour was favoured in the poll (40% vs 39%), in 2008 National (48% vs 45%). Plus in 2002 National was favoured in the digipoll (23% vs 21%).

      I really need to get more NZ data on this though. The digipoll numbers seem to be averaged across the election year. Online; Roy Morgan only goes back to January 2012, and; Colmar Brunton to February 2011.

    • JK 2.3

      that didn’t happen with Helen Clark in her final term ….. media were very biased against her.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “And the mechanism most people give for poll bias – the non-representative subset of the people who have landlines, should lead pollsters to overestimate New Zealand First with its older support base, not underestimate them. The underestimate of New Zealand First does not seem to fit the causal story people are telling.”

    Do elderly living in rest homes have their own individual phone lines? I’d suggest not all of them would.

    • Tracey 3.1

      If it is like other types of residential care there is a main line with a voice message allowing you to input the extension you require or else wait to get the reception?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Right, in which case there would only be 1 number in the phone book which would cover all residents, rather than 1 line per resident.

        So that would help to explain some of why NZ1st is under-represented.

  4. Ant 4

    How many people have their numbers listed these days anyway?

    • Pasupial 4.1

      Ant

      They don’t need a phone listing – they’ve got computers configured to generate random 7 digit numbers (plus area prefix). Or in Colmer Brunton speak; “Nationwide random digit dialling of landline telephones using stratified random probability sampling”.

      • Ant 4.1.1

        Cheers for that, for some reason I had it in my head that calling like that was legislated against and they had to use public information.

      • jaymam 4.1.2

        The random phone numbers are driven by a table for each telephone exchange that shows the telephone numbers actually in use. If those tables have not been updated since the program was supplied (by me!) to the pollster, the newly added numbers and new exchanges will not be polled. Those will tend to be in the outer cheaper suburbs where they are more likely to be lefties.

        • Pasupial 4.1.2.1

          Cheers for that info jaymam. Any idea how often those number tables are updated in the company you’ve had dealings with? [to remained unnamed obviously]

          • jaymam 4.1.2.1.1

            The director that I gave the program to ended up suing the programmer for a lot of money, for a different program. So I doubt that the tables have ever been updated. It is very possible they use a different program now, but they possibly think that nobody would notice if they don’t call all the new numbers.That director has now fallen out with the company that bears her name and now does some polling on her own, which has been widely criticised.

  5. fambo 5

    I wonder how difficult it would be for external agencies to manipulate polls to destabilise a government. They could, for instance, pump large sums of money into setting up their own polling company. Or ferret their operatives into positions of importance in extant polling companies.

  6. rain33 6

    Polls Shmolls, who can forget the embarrassing fail of the right wing, namely Dick Morris and Dean Chambers who had Romney winning the 2012 US election right up until the night of the election? Their methods of ‘unskewing’ the polls sounded quite justified, by re-weighting the sample to match what they believed the electorate would look like in terms of party identification, but as history has proven were completely off the mark.

    I would highly recommend the book The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail – but Some Don’t – by Nate Silver the ‘god of polling’ and American statistician, who in the 2012 US Presidential election correctly predicted the outcome of all 50 States and the District of Columbia, that same year his U.S. Senate race predictions were correct in 31 of 33 States, in 2008 he got 35/35

    Individual polls are an indication of a moment in time. However, when polls start to indicate a trend, that is worth paying attention to. That should be of a concern to Labour. The debate regarding cellphones versus landlines etc was discussed ad-nauseum in the US but became a mute point. For all we know people who have landlines are more likely to turn up and vote at the election booth than people who don’t have landlines. You will get giddy trying to work out all the variables. Instead Labour should be focusing on getting a cohesive message out to the voting public.

  7. Whatever next 7

    Do our polls use the same polling techniques as Nate Silver?

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Nate Silver didn’t perform any polling himself, he just aggregated and number-crunched the polls that others did.

      In the process he uncovered statistical proof that one of the polling companies was deliberately biasing their polls towards the republicans – they shut up shop after that IIRC.

    • Tamati 7.2

      As said above, Silver doesn’t poll. Silver uses what’s called Bayesian statistics. It’s a totally different way of looking at sampling and prediction and is very trendy ATM.

      Unfortunately it would be very hard to replicate here because we too few polls and under MMP you don’t have an absolute ‘winner’ like you do in FPP,

  8. swordfish 8

    Here are the Poll averages from previous Election years for both (1) February (to help anticipate 2014 Election result from current (February) polling) and (2) the 4-week period immediately before the particular Election (with Election Result comparisons):

    2011

    Nat (Feb average) 53% / Election 47% (minus 6 points)
    Nat (Final 4-weeks average) 52% / Election 47% (minus 5 points)

    Lab (Feb average) 33% / Election 27% (minus 6 points)
    Lab (Final 4-weeks average) 28% / Election 27% (minus 1 point)

    Green (Feb average) 8% / Election 11% (plus 3 points)
    Green (Final 4-weeks average) 12% / Election 11% (minus 1 point)

    NZF (Feb average) 3% / Election 7% (plus 4 points)
    NZF (Final 4-weeks average) 3% / Election 7% (plus 4 points)

    2008

    Nat (Feb average) 53% / Election 45% (minus 8 points)
    Nat (Final 4-weeks average) 47% / Election 45% (minus 2 points)

    Lab (Feb average) 34% / Election 34% (Equal)
    Lab (Final 4-weeks average) 35% / Election 34% (minus 1 point)

    Green (Feb average) 6% / Election 7% (plus 1 point)
    Green (Final 4-week average) 8% / Election 7% (minus 1 point)

    NZF (Feb average) 3% / Election 4% (plus 1 point)
    NZF (Final 4-weeks average) 3% / Election 4% (plus 1 point)

    2005

    Nat (Feb average) 37% / Election 39% (plus 2 points)
    Nat (Final 4-weeks average) 40% / Election 39% (minus 1 point)

    Lab (Feb average) 45% / Election 41% (minus 4 points)
    Lab (Final 4-weeks average) 40% / Election 41% (plus 1 point)

    Green (Feb average) 5% / Election 5% (Equal)
    Green (Final 4-weeks average) 6% / Election 5% (minus 1 point)

    NZF (Feb average) 5% / Election 6% (plus 1 point)
    NZF (Final 4-weeks average) 6% / Election 6% (Equal)

    Need I say more ? (I need not).

  9. Crunchtime 9

    I was trying to find some info about opinion polls prior to the 2002 election but can’t seem to find any on the internet. There’s a lot of info on opinion polls for 2005 but not the previous…

    All I could find was this story about how polls were pointing to an outright majority, but people “withdrew their support” to deny them this. Clearly, National didn’t benefit from this either, nearly slipping below 20% support, which I believe is far lower than Labour’s support has ever fallen.

    I also found some interesting food for thought: the “Electoral (Public Opinion Polls) Amendment Bill” 2002. This is to outlaw any publicity whatsoever 28 days prior to the election. Because OPINION POLLS INFLUENCE RESULTS. Interesting huh… As if banning them for 28 days is going to make any difference!

    Election results 2002:

    Labour 41.3%

    National 20.9%

    NZ First 10.4%

    Act 7.1%

    Green 7%

    United Future 6.7%

    Progressive 1.7%

    Possibly the most even spread of votes in NZ election history?

    It would be interesting to see what opinion polls were doing leading up to this result.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government has no credible climate change plan
    Today’s announced climate change target falls short of the ambition required to meet even our existing targets, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “The target announced today amounts to a decrease of only 11 per cent from 1990 levels. This… ...
    28 mins ago
  • Auckland house prices now 10 times incomes
    Auckland house prices have risen so steeply the typical house in our biggest city now costs 10 times the median Auckland household income, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Barfoot and Thompson reports the median house sale price in June… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Time for economic spin is over
     Business confidence in the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion falling to its lowest level in three years is yet another warning of a staggering economy that cannot be ignored, says Labour's leader Andrew Little.   “This comes on the back of dairy prices falling… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Bullying contributes to Auckland being stripped of ICU training
    Complaints of bullying and harassment by supervisors which have contributed to Auckland’s critical care department losing its training accreditation are further evidence of the appalling culture at executive level, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The department had its accreditation… ...
    3 days ago
  • Broadband failure sucks up more cash
    The Commerce Committee has blocked an inquiry into the $300 million rural broadband initiative (RBI) despite mounting evidence it’s a massive policy failure and waste of money, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “The Government is about to spend an… ...
    4 days ago
  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    5 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    5 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    5 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    5 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    5 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    5 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    6 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    6 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    1 week ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    1 week ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    1 week ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere