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Protest! Asset Sales – TPPA

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 8th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: activism, assets, greens, labour, mana, Privatisation, trade - Tags: , , ,

Yesterday evening there was an Aotearoa is Not For Sale, anti-asset sales protest in Auckland city, that included an anti-TPPA element.  It was a curtain raiser for a TPPA Day of Action today, with protests in Nelson and Auckland.  Friday evening’s demonstration celebrated getting close to the target number of signatures required on the petition for a referendum on Asset Sales.  It was also to encourage people to re-energise for the last push to reach the target number of signatures.

The anti-asset sales march began outside Britomart Station, central Auckland a little after 6pm, with a chill wind blowing and blustery showers.  The march of several hundred people (I’m hopeless at estimating crowd sizes) walked noisily up Queen street and arrived in Aotea Square in the calm evening sunshine.

At the beginning, the guy on the megaphone welcomed the women from the on-going state housing protest in Glen Innes. He praised the women for being at the forefront of the fight against asset sales.The participants in the march included people from the Green, Mana and Labour Parties, Socialist Aotearoa, someone carrying a nurses banner, some people with climate change placards, one dressed as the climate change “elephant in the room“, and many others: a diverse and lively crowd.  On the walk up Queen Street we often stopped to chant in front of passersby, sometimes blocking intersections – this seemed to annoy one of the car drivers who sat on their horn for a long time.

As we neared Wellesley Street a group of Hare Krishnas walked on the pavement beside us, singing their chorus with drums and hand cymbals.  The competition with our chants was festive and energising.

At Aotea Square we gathered on the grass in front of the town hall for some short speeches.  Russell from the Maritime Union spoke first.

 

Then the women from Glen Innes, leaders of the struggle against asset theft, took a stage call. They were introduced with reference to the introduction of state housing back in the 1930s.  The Labour Party people responsible for that were largely working class men. Today the majority of those at the forefront of the struggle against the removal of state housing are women.

 

Gareth Hughes was commended on his big effort in enthusiastically leading the gathering of signatures for the referendum petition.  He said they now had 350,000 signatures, and that the target of 410,000 should be reached pretty soon.  Meanwhile Laila Harre continued to gather signatures at the edge of the crowd.

 

As well as speaking against asset sales, Phil Twyford called the government out for many of the unacceptable things it was doing, including the demonising of beneficiaries.

Sian from Aotearoa Is Not for Sale, and Socialist Aotearoa gave her first ever speech, saying that our assets shouldn’t be run for profit, but should be run for the people.  Hone Harawira, who had a tangi to attend, sent a  message of support, and John Minto spoke for Mana.

Jane Kelsey repeated some of the things she said in the last 2 Citizen A‘s.  She said TPP would shut down the use of the Internet in an easy and affordable way. (See Geoff Cumming, NZH article this morning on Internet & copyright issues.) Kelsey also said that Key’s government wanted to sell off the assets so that TPP would lock them in.  It would be almost impossible to get them back without multinational corporations suing the NZ government.  Kelsey directed her accusing eyes at the Sky Tower needle that looms behind Aotea Square.  The TPP negotiations are being conducted in secrecy in Sky City.  It was there that she was looking when she lead the chant – Shame! Shame! Shame.

Kelsey said that the march today would be leaving Aotea Square promptly at 2.00 pm, because they needed to arrive at Sky City by 2.30 pm to deliver the Avaaz petition.  Someone suggested people should aim to get to the Square around 1.30 pm.  Kelsey announced there would be some street theatre at Sky City.

Some background on the TPPA in the latest edition of Werewolf (#36: 28 Nov 2012).

Actions – in the next few days in NZ (mostly Auckland):

Sat 8 Dec Nelson 12 NoonMarch Millers Acre to the 1903 site.

Sat 8 Dec Auckland 2pm:   Major rally and presentation of Avaaz petition on TPP …, meeting at Aotea Square at 1.30-2pm: leaving promptly at 2pm to march to entrance of Skycity casino, Federal St. ..

Sat 8 Dec Auckland 6-9pm. TPPA? No way! Awareness raising concert at St Kevin’s Arcade, K’Road.

Sat 8 Dec Auckland 6-8pm: Creative Freedom: Protecting NZ’s copyright Act. Toto Restaurant, public event on the TPP, featuring a number of flash talks, performances & displays (see information at the link)

Mon 10 Dec Auckland 5.30pm: “Trading away our future: TPPA and the Environment”, … Refreshments provided. 5.30 at Green Party offices, 17 Mercury Lane, Newton. http://www.facebook.com/events/562836617066132/

[I hope today’s protests go well.  I am unable to go]

[Update] I have not seen one MSM report of last night’s peaceful and good humoured demonstration.  Today’s demo makes headlines because there was violence.  There is a little mention of the reasons for the protest buried at the bottom of the article.  And of course, it’s the protesters who were being violent according to the MSM.

Reports from RNZ, 3 News (there was more focus on the violence in the 6pm TV news), NewstalkZB, Stuff.  John Minto is critical of stupid and provocative policing.  Video in support of allegations that a woman protester was punched in the face by a police officer. GPJA claims it was stupid and provocative policing that caused the violence. Bomber says the media only turned up after they heard there was violence happening.

49 comments on “Protest! Asset Sales – TPPA”

  1. ak 1

    Top job Karol. To anyone with the minutest skerrick of optimism left for the future of this great country – watch Citizen A again, gather some cobbers and get down there this avo.

    Remember mining. Not just a shot in the arm for your own soul, a real chance to be part of a ripening world.

  2. Johnm 2

    Good real Kiwis. I’ve done my bit: I’ve signed the petition and made a submission, essentially selling off our assets is : “Daylight Robbery”. Well done Protesters let’s put a spanner in the works of Goldman Sachs John and keep our land for us not International Vulture Capitalists who want to pick over profit remains here. :-)

  3. TighyRighty 3

    Shit, better tell police about our 1% march. We need marshals and protection with so many protestors out. Auckland better look the fuck out.

  4. TightyRighty
    Regarding the value of protest, you might be interested to read this:

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/consuming-democracy.html

    • karol 4.1

      Actually, I think the Glen Innes women’s protest points to part of the answer to productive activism.  it’s localised, flax-roots, on a pressing issue that the MSM don’t want ot take much notice of.

      And they are linking in with the wider campaigns like Aotearoa Not for Sale. 

      Networks of small groups working on specific local issues, linked into a broad movement of other local campaigners and takers of positive action. 

  5. TightyRighty 5

    Robert, are you trying to bore me into accepting your beliefs?

    That article, as with most if the anti-America, world is ending rubbish completely ignores the abundance of entrepreneurship and innovation at the wests disposal. Far better of course to make everyone poorer fr ideological reasons than believe that we can be rich and awesome. A prime example of why the left always loses the minds of the voter, too negative.

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      The right don’t have minds to lose, just investment portfolios and a bunch of foul prejudices. Sadly, in the Aotearoa of today, this seems to go down well.

      • TighyRighty 5.1.1

        Another broken record, how do you think the wealthy get that way? It’s not by being stupid.

        Murray Olsen = clod

        • Viperous Descendant Of Smith 5.1.1.1

          Nah I’ve met plenty of stupid rich people and plenty of intelligent poor people. It”s not about intelligence. You already know that though.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.2

          No-one said they had a low IQ. It’s the amoral misuse of that intelligence that’s so striking to the rest of us.

          And few have much problem with someone who gains wealth by creating something new or more effective; entrepreneurship has a very real and useful place.

          But of course that’s not how most wealth has been accumulated. Is it?

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.1.3

          Actually pork pie, considering what they’ve done and intend to do to our planet, I don’t mind calling most of the rich stupid at all. I’d guess you’re not one of them though, you just like lubing up your slug gun to Ted Nugent videos while you dream of your rightful place as John Key’s limousine driver.
          I’d say at least 75% of the problems we face have come about because most of us believe people with smart suits and big wallets know what they’re talking about. One day we might evolve enough to consider content rather than form, but for many of us that day will never arrive.

  6. Rodeo 6

    I like the Glen Inness women’s expression, ‘Asset Theft ‘.
    It’s much more powerful than the old ‘Asset Sales’ expression and tells what the issue really is about.

  7. karol 7

    And, of course, last night’s totally peaceful protest got no news coverage, at all.  

    And now the main coverage today’s demo gets, is all about the violence, and little about the reasons for protesting! 

  8. Disgusting behavior from the usual 150 protestors that turned up.

    You guys arent the 99%, your not even the 1%

    • xtasy 8.1

      Hey, do NOT accuse the 150 number of participants in the protest ALL of “bashing” and whatever you may like to call this!

      It was likely more people than that who went to the march and before the convention centre, but you are applying “collective guilt” and imply justified “collective punishment”.

      That disqualifies you for a start, to be taken serious.

  9. Once again the left wing protest movement proved how
    violent and disgusting they’re are.

    Two police officers got assaulted, one female officer
    was repeatedly kicked in the head, by a female
    protestor.

    The usual suspects were involved in this ugly protest,
    Green party MP Catherine Delahunty, activist John
    Minto, the other 148 protestors were from the usual
    Socialist/communist parties and various anti Israel and
    various union groups.

    Jane Kelsey who (organized the protest)
    like most socialists tried to blame the police.

    The protest was against free trade, and as usual, they
    tried to burn the American flag.

    Well here is a message to all those protestors who
    protested…

    You guys aren’t the 99%, you guys arent even the 1%
    your a handful of people who have an ideology that
    99.9% of kiwis DISAGREE with.

    How dare you, try to dictate to the country, how this
    country should be run, and how dare you be violent
    towards the police and members of the public.

    YOU DON’T GET TO DO THAT!!!

    Heres hoping justice will be done, and the people
    who attacked the police will be bought to justice.

    I anit holding my breath though.

    • karol 9.1

      Do you have evidence of what actually happened at the protest, Brett?  A long rant, but short of evidence.

      And how do you explain a week of peaceful protests?  And I saw no reports of Delahunty or Minto being involved in any violence.

      • Brett Dale 9.1.1

        Hey carol, yep tv3 had some footage and arrests have now been made!

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          Brett, I saw it on the 6pm news, and watched it again online.  It shows is a lot of people pushing and shoving, and no evidence of how it started.  No evidence of Delahunty or Minto being involved in violence.  So what evidence are you saying “yep” to?

    • Viper73 9.2

      I hope the policewoman apologizes for any damage done to the protestors foot

    • Morrissey 9.3

      Poor old Brett Dale is at it again….

      Once again the left wing protest movement proved…

      Once again YOU have proved how little you know about anything, including politics.

      Instead of boring everyone here with your foolish right-wing nonsense, why don’t you go back to your sad little blog and put up yet another anti-football rant?

      • Brett Dale 9.3.1

        Morrissey [deleted]

        And you have been boring people ever since your days on usenet. Oh I love Football, i dont like rugby union.

        Why not speak out about violence against woman, but then again that doesnt bother you.

        • Morrissey 9.3.1.1

          And you have been boring people ever since your days on usenet.

          Ha! Even from someone who was mildly competent, that would be a desperately inadequate attempt at a rejoinder. From you, though, it’s exactly what one would expect—limp, witless, and totally off the mark.

          Oh I love Football, i dont like rugby union.

          You really are bewildered. That moronic comment just confirms it. By the way, nobody, other than you and Murray Deaker, uses the term “rugby union”. It’s simply “rugby” or “football”. Are you actually Murray Deaker?

          Why not speak out about violence against woman, but then again that doesnt bother you.

          What a totally idiotic non-sequitur.

    • xtasy 9.4

      “Violent” and “disgusting” accusations thrown at the “left” protestors here, what a load of bloody nonsense?

      So you accuse Delahunty, Minto and others to be responsible for all this? How can they be responsible for every individual at a protest, who may or may not have acted outside the law?

      Where then is the Prime Minister’s responsibility for the GCSB and some police thugs, who in some cases abuse the law and deal to NZ residents and citizens they dislike or find as being easy targets to “keep and eye” on, or spy on, in some cases also harass or beat up dissenting protestors.

      Add the SIS perhaps.

      Where is the PM’s responsibility for an MP accused of lying, supporting his fragile government in Parliament?

      Maybe that is why there is not much “right wing” protest action in NZ, because a lot of “right wing” action is applied “legally” under the umbrella of the present “state”?

      Maybe join your mates on Whaleoil’s blog, he must “love” your sort of one-eyed hater.

    • geoff 9.5

      How dare you, try to dictate to the country, how this
      country should be run…

      Yeah exactly! You ‘orrible lefties should leave that up to the Transnational Corporations, eh Brett.

  10. BM 10

    Did see some cop smack out some wanker out on the news, Bang, that prick will be eating via a straw for the next couple of months.

    • Jester 10.1

      Yep and that guy will still be more coherent than Mumbles Shearer!

    • Brett Dale 10.2

      Any concern for the woman police officer that got her head kicked in? or do peace activists like your self and minto turn a blind eye to that, as long as the person doing the kicking has the same ideology.

  11. karol 11

    Ustream (BIG PUSH AGAINST #TPPA FULL) has a continuous video taken of the demo, but it’s not clear what happened.  It looked peaceful outside Sky City at 1hr 30mins.  Then at around 1 hr 33 mins the protesters set fire to the petition.  There’s a scuffle, but it’s hard to see what happened.

    • Brett Dale 11.1

      The police officer currently in hospital because of the thugs, might be able to shed the light on the matter, im guessing it was members of socialist aotearoa.

  12. Phil 12

    Hey Brett, do you actually know anyone from S.A? Be a huge surprise to me if it was any of those people, maybe you can let us know what you base your “guessing” on? Or should we simply bow to your superior……..thing
    As for provocation, just who was that guy walking around at the Nats conference protest a few years ago screaming “Shame” in everyone’s faces, you remember eh? Remember a nice calm Wharfie drawing a police woman’s attention to the poorly suited fool and having him escorted back to the lobby of the hotel frothing and trying to pull away. Needed a hand from another police man just to get him safely closeted away.

    Oh BTW, TV One reporting this
    “ANFS event organiser Miriam Pierard told ONE News, that “we’ve actually spoken to lots of National voters who have come out in support of us and have said they are ashamed of voting National.”

    Wonder if what you saw was another chocolate soldier from the NACTs trying to reclaim his or her vigor without the aid of viagra…

    Oh, and this from TV One as well;
    “Police say that there had been no issues reported in Auckland’s CBD in relation to today’s march”.

    Anyway Brett, Merry Christmas, hope the Christmas message softens your heart, and pray that your family never need more than they can afford.

  13. Drakula 13

    How about a nation wide strike? I think we should instigate the final showdown!!!!! Like Spain, like Greece and all the other European countries that held the Europe wide strike!!!! Let’s kick these bastards out once and for all!!!!!

    • Saccharomyces 13.1

      Good luck with your nationwide strike, with union membership at only a shade above 17% of the workforce it ain’t going to have much effect.

  14. xtasy 14

    More LIES and bullshit from the NZ mainstream (misinforming) corporate media:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10852773

    Just read the lines:

    “A handful of police and SkyCity security staff were overwhelmed by more than 150 protesters, forcing the on-the-ground commander to call in reinforcements from around Auckland.

    “Police staff moved in to prevent escalation and two officers were separated, attacked and kicked numerous times. Fire appliances were called to the scene to help,” police said in a statement. “Two arrests were made. One of these arrests was a female that stomped on a constables head.””

    Added further down in the article a range of names of prominent protest participants, including Auckland Uni professor Kelsey, Auckland City councillor Casey, Green MP Delahunty are mentioned, almost suggesting, they participated ALL in a violent attack on “a handful” of police and security officers.

    What a load of rubbish. There were on TV3 certainly many, many more than a handful of police and security officers to be seen, and given the location, the event and announced protest, police always make sure they have enough numbers there, especially with such high level, international meetings. Surely, not the whole protest group of 150 would have pushed to try to get into the convention centre at Sky City Casino.

    Indeed, some scuffles appear to have broken out between a few protestors, who according to also present MP Hone Harawira appeared to have been provoked by excessive police force. One police officer that fell to the ground had a helmet on! Of the other one, not much could be seen. If someone actually kicked an officer, then they will naturally face charges and must stand before a court.

    I would guess though, that the trouble started, because police objected to some boxes with refused petition papers being set on fire in the middle of the street. Instead of containing the incident, something must have happened to lead to scuffles, which could be seen on TV3 news. TV1 treated the incident with much less attention to detail, but more bias, as far as I would say.

    Increasingly some of the MSM appear to be joining other forces to prepare for the further tightening of laws and suffocation of public dissent, yes bringing this country closer to a de-facto kind of elite ruled dictatorship. Protestors have already been stigmatised and intimidated frequently before, be this a protest at the Auckland region WINZ and MSD office not long ago, the filming of the protests against the benefit cuts in Henderson, West Auckland, by constantly associating protesters with antisocial and “beneficiary” elements, tending to create “disorder”.

    It will serve NatACT and their tough law and order talk, same as the beneficiary bashing, serving as another opportunity to create a link between “rent a crowd” protesters living off benefits, and a justification for tightening criminal law and the benefit laws.

    Get prepared for the next major law changes, more police powers, and better also prepare for the tight ship “Fuehrer Shearer” will run, should he ever win an election with his largely submissive caucus “committee”.

    Shutting up dissent on blog-sites is just the beginning.

    Times to be very, very afraid!

    • karol 14.1

      Agree, xtasy.

      Police managing a pre-planned demonstration, and not a very large protest at that, should be well able to enable it to stay peaceful.  There is a science to managing crowds, that is well-known to those in the crowd management business like the police.  And yet, they engaged in provocative behaviour.  Either yesterday they had an incompetent officer or two in their ranks, or they deliberately set out to provoke the crowd.

      Sometimes police deliberately set out to provoke a protest in order to discredit it.  There’s a well known term when the police, or other state agencies, employ agents to help with such provocation.

      There was a second incident yesterday, when the police zoomed into a small group of protesters at Aotea Square and allegedly pushed protesters aside, then threw a woman to the ground. (video and description of the incident linked at the bottom of my post).  A woman protester was allegedly punched in the face by an officer.

      Whether it was incompetence or deliberate, such incidents enable to government to  reinforce dramatic headlines by denouncing the cause the protesters support.  In this case this will be an extra way, John Key will dismiss opposition to the TPP. 

      Once a crowd is provoked, some members will get angry and retaliate in a less than desirable way.  In one of the reports, Kelsey was urging protesters to stand firm.  Some clearly didn’t listen or hear.  But that’s what happens when a crowd is provoked – any crowd.

      • xtasy 14.1.1

        Going by the 3news coverage, which was brief, but showed a bit, I had the impression that something got out of hand during a standoff between police (and security) on Federal Street, and it seemed that some of the protesters actually tried to intervene and calm things down.

        Now why does this never gets mentioned.

        Protesters in NZ are increasingly treated as the “marginal” “rent-a-crowd”, who are a bit “mad” and “aggressive”, and not just the Police, but even the mainstream media feeds on this, as it delivers instant “headlines” when something even little goes wrong.

        I will wait and see what some will have to say, who may have been close to the incident and seen more than I could. Admittedly I could not make it to the protest, as due to time and financial restrictions my ability to participate is at times severely limited. I am sure many others are in similar situations. Hence the not so large turnouts (also due to some too afraid getting involved now).

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          Global Peace and Justice have issued a press release, claiming the violence started when police made the poor decision to intervene after protesters started the fire:

          The policing of the TPP protest gathering in Auckland yesterday afternoon was provocative and plain stupid. As the protest was preparing to leave Sky City, the most senior police officer intervened to stop a symbolic act of burning a number of cardboard petition boxes.
           
          With tensions running high after the refusal of TPP organisers to accept the 750,000 international petition against the negotiations, the police action added insult to injury.  It was unnecessary, highly provocative and it was inevitable a scuffle would break out with several people injured.
           
          To make matters worse, this same officer repeated the stupidity with the very provocative arrest of a young woman in Aotea Square a short time later.
           
          Another scrum was inevitable with further injuries.

          And Bomber has argued similarly.  He also says the media only turned up after they heard there was some violence happening – shame on the MSM.  Their thirst for drama, conflict and ratings skews the coverage of important matters.

          As I said above, there are recognised methods of crowd management, and it is always best to defuse tensions rather than provoke them (I learned a little of this when I underwent a short training to be a marshall for the Sydney Mardi Gras procession a few years back – I’m sure police have more intensive and in-depth training on it).
           
          I will add these links to the bottom of the post for future reference. 

          • xtasy 14.1.1.1.1

            That is along the lines of what I had expected to have happened.

            And where are the media reports now about the alleged “stomping” on a police officer’s head?

            I heard no comments from Police, the MSM, nor any other person about this.

            So all that appears to also have been VASTLY EXAGGERATED and possibly even been distorted again.

            It is disgusting that they get away with this, without making any correcting statements in a follow up.

            CRAP media is dominating the NZ media scene, and it is getting worse every year.

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  • When a levy isn’t a tax and Greens aren’t green
    Bill English has a degree in English, which should have inculcated respect for correct word use — if he hadn’t become a politician, a breed which bends language for good and ill. So in claiming not to break an… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    10 hours ago
  • Uncap the budget
    Two things that may seem unrelated, but aren’t: how we fund special needs education in public schools, and the axing of a current affairs show by a commercial television network. One is about how society draws on shared resources to… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    15 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Cullen Review of our security service
    Whatever the conflicts and point scoring between them on other issues, National and Labour have always spoken virtually as one on free trade and the role of the security services. Therefore, the recent appointment of former Labour Finance Minister Sir… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK
    It's a funny thing. One of the most viral news items concerning the UK General Election on May 7th 2015 came from my constituency of Montgomeryshire. Apparently, someone took the time and trouble to draw a remarkably detailed sketch of a… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Shit Happens! An Open Letter to John Campbell
      Shit happens, John. I’ve been “let go”, sacked from more broadcasting jobs in New Zealand than I care to remember. And, more than once, with absolutely no warning.  To add insult to injury, the sackings generally occurred at… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Unions stand together on rejection of poor pay offer
    The Public Service Association (PSA) supports the decision by New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) members to reject the settlement offer made by DHBs in their Multi-Employer collective agreement, announced earlier today. ...
    23 hours ago
  • An 8-bit Subway Delay Story
    A great 8-bit video from New York’s MTA showing how incidents on PT can quickly lead to long delays plus what can be done to mitigate them. Of course we don’t quite have the same frequencies as the New York… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Housing, sustaining today by denying the future
    When I attended primary school over four decades ago the importance of saving and being financially secure was strongly encouraged from an early age. Our little deposit books from the Post Office Savings Bank had a squirrel on the cover… ...
    1 day ago
  • Delightful, humorous, harmless fun or racist icon?
    Dolls are objects that we have very special relationships with. We own them. We exert control over them, doing pretty much what we want to and with them. We may love them deeply and treasure them but we may also… ...
    1 day ago
  • The escape of exnzpat, Part 30
    Big trouble under the shadow of the Tower   The tower loomed ahead in the dark like an ancient, druid obelisk.  It was a lonely thing, and in the fading light it took on the color of desolate gray; it… ...
    The PaepaeBy exnzpat
    1 day ago
  • Envirologue: Fool me Once: Lessons on the TPPA from Free-Trade History
    We should ask Canada and Mexico whether free trade deals are a good idea. Last week, Barack Obama’s free-trade deal went from dead in the water to full steam ahead in the space of 24 hours, thanks to last-minute horse trading… ...
    1 day ago
  • Britain now opposes freedom of thought
    Earlier in the month, UK Prime Minister David Cameron reminded us all of what an illiberal place Britain had become, with the super-villain-esque statement that "for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Why are we still dragging our feet on climate change?
    Climate change deniers have well and truly been given the flick yet political commitment to policies to reduce carbon footprints remains limp. Given the Government’s quick and dirty climate change consultation (it is 4 weeks long, logically flawed and doesn’t… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • Welcome to the mushroom farm
    Mediaworks management has determined that viewers are bored with the earnest, campaigning style of John Campbell and his team.  Campbell Live hasn't attracted enough viewers to keep it financially viable.  It needed to move with the times, get with the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland Transport May Board Meeting
    The AT board meet today and as I do every month, I’ve gone through the papers to pull out anything I’ve found new or interesting. First up the closed session which normally contains the most interesting papers and for which… ...
    1 day ago
  • The eternal name suppression debate
    Name suppression cases are always a good conversation-starter in NZ. There are the (to me) very clear-cut cases where giving the accused name suppression is necessary to protect the identities of their victims – though some anti-suppression diehards don’t even… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 day ago
  • Collective Efforts
    In his recent post, Too quick to take the credit? Morgan Godfery argues that it was a “crass” move by the Māori Party to put out a statement taking credit for the $790 million hardship package included in this years… ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 day ago
  • Supply-side – housing edition
    In recent months, National has been really very clear on the best solution to the crisis they deny is happening in Auckland housing. To them, the best solution is increased supply. There aren’t enough homes, so more should be built.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Left behind
    Ireland voted for marriage equality over the weekend, becoming the first state to approve it by referendum. Its a sign of how the cultural tide has shifted in the former theocracy, but its also putting pressure on other countries to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Left behind
    Ireland voted for marriage equality over the weekend, becoming the first state to approve it by referendum. Its a sign of how the cultural tide has shifted in the former theocracy, but its also putting pressure on other countries to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Forget that $1000 Kiwisaver kickstart
    The Government has canned the $1000 KiwiSaver kickstart programme. Photo: 123RF The Government is being accused of stealing from future generations by scrapping the $1000 KiwiSaver kickstart payment. Legislation cancelling the payment was one of a number of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Training an army that doesn’t want to fight
    Last week the Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to ISIS. The reason? Iraqi forces fled rather than fighting:US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said the rout of Iraqi forces at the city of Ramadi showed they lacked the will to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Making mountains out of scientific mole hills
    Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet speaking at the Global Health Metrics & Evaluation conference 2011. (Photo credit: Vimeo.) The controversial Lancet editor, Richard Horton, has produced an opinion piece which some are interpreting as an attack on medical science,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Introducing: October
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music.Your time ... starts ... Now!  Photo: Connor Hickey Name: October Age: 18 Hometown: Blenheim Sounds like: My… ...
    1 day ago
  • Keynes
    “We’re all Keynesians now” declared the most identifiable anti-Keynesian of the latter 20th century, Milton Friedman. National has - partly at least - adopted Keynes’ ideas in its fiscal policy, too. It wasn't afraid to run deficits during bad times,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • The Peer Review: Emily Mabin Sutton
    As well as being a maker and creator herself, Emily Mabin Sutton is helping other scientist make their ideas reality.  To say Emily Mabin Sutton has her fingers in many pies would be an understatement. The 23-year-old is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Protect Your Signature!
    There’s always something comical about American corporations’ union-busting videos. They wouldn’t be out of place in between news clips on Starship Troopers. And if you’re looking for a conspiracy theory, there’s something eerily similar about all of them – with… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 day ago
  • The cupboard is bare, says Dear Leader
    . . The latest on Budget 2015; Prime Minister John Key is lowering expectations about measures to combat child poverty in this week’s budget. Mr Key says there’ll be “some support” for those suffering material deprivation. “But you’d appreciate that… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago

  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    20 mins ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    40 mins ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    47 mins ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    54 mins ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    4 hours ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    24 hours ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    1 day ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    3 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    4 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    4 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    4 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    4 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    5 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    5 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    5 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    6 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    7 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    7 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    7 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    7 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    2 weeks ago

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