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Public service broadcasting and politics

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, November 25th, 2012 - 23 comments
Categories: broadcasting, democratic participation, Maori Issues, Politics, tv - Tags: , , , , , ,

Public service broadcasting and commercial TV tend to cover politics in different ways.  News on public service broadcasting internationally, tends to cover political stories and policies in more depth.  Internationally, news on commercial channels has become increasingly ratings driven, sensationalistic, Murdoch-style, infotainment since the 1980s. Sky TV’s new public service channel, Face, seems like a contradiction in terms.  Universally accessible public service TV is essential for democracy to thrive.

In a recent speech, Nicky Hager convincingly argued that there is a need for “democratic renewal” in NZ.  To help achieve this, we need,

long-term funding and statutory independence for non-commercial television, radio and, eventually, print public news media.

This would help bring back good journalism, which Hager said, should  relentlessly “seek out truthfulness in politics“, especially when the truth or facts are hidden.  It should go beyond the political manipulations and PR distortions that passes for much of mainstream journalism these days. In today’s news media, as argued by Glenn Greenwald, the attempts to present “both sides” of the story are superficial, and that, in the interests of democracy and truth-seeking, it is preferable that a journalist be openly aware of their own biases.

I was particularly saddened yesterday, to see that  some of the remnants of our free community and public service TV are being taken over by incorporated into Face:

Sky Television is to host a new public service channel on its airwaves after striking a deal with Stratos Television founder Jim Blackman. …

… his Auckland-based Triangle TV channel would be the basis for Face TV’s schedule.

Blackman said Face TV was different to Stratos and Triangle because it would have more of a public service focus, although the exact programming schedule was not yet decided.

Public service broadcasting in NZ took a fatal hit when the government closed TVNZ’s Channel 7, followed by the disappearance of Stratos from Freeview.  Next year I will no longer have the option to watch Auckland’s Triangle on analogue TV. Not being a Sky subscriber, I will (fortunately) be left with Maori TV as the only Freeview public service channel.

The shift of Martyn (Bomber) Bradbury’s show Citizen A from Triangle to Face, will be a loss to those of us with only Freeview TV access.  He has a flare for expressing left wing views in colourful and engaging ways, even if I don’t always agree with him (though I agree more than I disagree).  His shows have provided some very good political analysis and helped some people elected to Auckland Council become more visible.  Bomber responded to my rather blunt misgivings about Face, by tweeting.

sadly this Government has destroyed public broadcasting and this is as good as it gets for now

It’s possible that the Face will help maintain and develop the skills and technologies required for good public service television, rather than putting them into indefinite cold storage.  However, the revitalisation of democracy needs public service broadcasting that is available to all, and, as Peter Thompson states (in the above-linked Stuff article), universal access cannot be provided by pay TV.

Public service broadcasting services democracy because it puts a lot of focus on policies and issues.  In contrast, commercial TV news makes more use of the “strategic framing” of politics as Game playing, while also putting a lot of focus on drama, conflict, and personality politics.  This was shown in Margie Comrie’s study, which compared the political coverage of TV One, TV3 and Maori TV in the run up to the 2008 elections. She concluded that, of the three channles, Maori TV was more like public service broadcasting in many ways. TV3 and TV One’s coverage was more personalised, used more visuals of the leaders, and tended to use more strategic framing of politics as a “game”, in which

poll positions and horserace aspects were emphasized in many stories.

Rather than use experts to provide analysis, TV One and TV3 made more use of “live-crosses” to journalists, who talked to the camera from the campaign trail. They posed as “experts”, providing summaries of “winners and losers”. This was “topped and tailed” with editorial comments in the studio. MTS, in contrast, used more voice-over analysis, “summarizing policies and providing contextual information”.

International studies cited by Comrie, show that the “strategic”or “game framing” of politics is destructive, because it minimizes political information and portrays politicians as “self-interested”.  This results in significant numbers of people becoming cynical about, and disengaged from, politics (although other international sources contest such findings).

It is possible to incorporate some public service, and good journalistic values into programmes on commercial TV, especially with current events programmes like Campbell Live.  However, they still operate within a ratings-driven framework.  This is underpinned by values that favour personalities over policies, poor analysis, and a focus on the strategic game playing of politicians over the interests of ordinary members of the public.  My concern is that, in spite of the positive PSB values that Face aims to embrace, in the long-term the logic of the ratings-driven market will predominate. The result could possibly continue to undermine true public service broadcasting, quality journalism, open debate, and democratic participation.

It is also very likely that cynicism about politicians, and political disengagement, will continue to rise among those who don’t subscribe to Sky.

23 comments on “Public service broadcasting and politics”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    An outstanding piece, Karol, one which focusses on some of the core infrastructure needed to keep a real democracy functioning and citizens informed and thoughtful – the Fourth Estate.

  2. Slartibartfast 2

    You can of course watch Citizen A on Bomber’s blog site and there are links from Scoop and Live News too. Is this the real future of public tv?

    • karol 2.1

      But will the online videos be available once Citizen A goes to Sky/Face? Sky/Prime doesn’t make any of it’s content available free online, ondemand at the moment.

      I like to watch Al Jazeera news on Triangle, which is likely to go to Face as past of it’s international programmes. AJ does have low resolution live streaming online, so I guess I’ll be watching that eventually.

      • Slartibartfast 2.1.1

        Um…. hadn’t thought of that.
        Make sure it’s in your contract Bomber!

        Perhaps we need a PIRATE public broadcasting website.
        Kim.com could help. 🙂

  3. Bomber working for Murdoch, that will be fun to watch

  4. higherstandard 4

    I’m tempted to say that Martyn Bradbury is the ultimate waste of broadcasting monies but when you see the shite that passes for entertainment and attracts NZ on Air funding you’d have to suggest that money spent on him would be good value in comparison.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      even I can appreciate that perspective.

    • Chalupa Batman 4.2

      But but but hes the voice of the left!

    • karol 4.3

      If you’re not that into Bomber, Citizen A also has some excellent commentators like Selwynn Manning. It regularly has Chris Trotter, and sometimes includes people like Julie fairey, Penny Hulse (Auckland deputy mayor), and many other people who are worh watching.

      I also haven’t seen what other Triangle shows are going to Face, but David Beatson is a good journalist – an old style conservative: he is well informed on the topics he covers, and is familiar with diverse views on them. He makes an honest attempt to draw interviewees out, rather than just trying to bludgeon them into saying something that will support his views – unlike several off the mainstream neoliberal journalists.

  5. QoT 5

    I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate live crosses. That is all.

    (Also, great post!)

    • karol 5.1

      Thanks, QOT, and CV

      Those live-crosses are a bit of an infotainment con trick – keep changing the scene to make it look like loads are happening. And it helps the journalist to pose as an “expert” – on the spot, as though s/he is in touch with all the action.

      TV One and TV3 news tend to have shorter interviews and reports than MTS – part of the infotainment, and encouragement of short attention spans. I’ve noticed these days that TV One News reports are also shorter than those of TV 3.

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    excellent writing in my ‘umble opine

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    btw, clever photo shop! “I’ve seen the nights filled with bloodsport and pain…the bodies obtained…
    the bodies obtained…where will it end…where will it end…

    -Atmosphere (don’t walk away in…Silence…don’t walk away)

    It’s not a circus you know son, it’s PG tips

  8. xtasy 8

    Thanks for this good summary of relevant details to consider re public and private broadcasting.

    As a regular Triangle viewer I am also dismayed about the developments.

    Maori TV only offers some programs that generate my interest, and we know what happened to TVNZ in general.

    This new channel on Sky will never meet the standard of true public broadcasting. The trend worldwide has been towards direct or indirect “commercialisation” – going hand in hand with a total ratings focus, which again determines prospective advertising revenues.

    Bring back something like TVNZ7, and add another truly publicly funded channel to that for a slightly different focus, offering diversity for various interest groups cherishing true, fact based, independent reporting and information!

    I do generally agree with what Nicky Hager has said re this kind of topic.

    Democracy has become a farce in NZ and other “western” and not so western countries, which shows itself in the mediocre, always “balance” seeking (and with that sadly often fact ignoring, apologetic) shows we have for news and current affairs.

    Also 60 minutes is being phased out, and what else is there in current affairs now? Stuff all. The government and so far lacking opposition get away with far too much.

  9. Tim 9

    I’ve already commented on the latest Citizen A “@” a Tumeke post. If people think Face is going to be “PSB” they’re deluding themselves. There’s a fundamental problem too with JUST relying on social electronic media (such as the internet). For an underclass, that’s going to be a luxury for quite some time as well. The problem though is that its subscribers only ever SOLICIT information (news and current affairs in particular) they prefer.
    The Media Studies students I once tutored not too long ago), I’m sad to say, were heavily reliant on Stuff ffs!. Worse still, most concentrated on entertainment and other bullshit sections of the site. If ever I wanted to wring necks it was then. I kept thinking “open you’re fcking minds!, allow yourselves to encounter and digest things you might encounter UNSOLICITED”. They might even encounter alternative political views but at least 50% had esprayshuns of becoming a Jack Tame or a du Plessey-WhatsherName, or a screaching One Network News Max Headroom doing a live-cross to somewhere on the Desert Road (just because they can). And worse worse still, they progressively became the high-mark achievers in a tertiary system where there was some obvious manipulation at play come moderation time.

    I’m afraid Face (as Bomber Brad says) suggests, might be the least worst thing though, until we actually take back power abd force representative gubbamint.

    • xtasy 9.1

      Tim

      You raise serious concerns I have had for quite some time.

      While there are so many praising social media sites, alternative and not so alternative blogs (incl. this one), thinking all this will forever be “independent” of sorts, offer “true” information and grow to compete with and outsmart the commercial and still in part state run media, I think you will have another thing coming!

      We are still in what I would call the “end phase” of the “free” internet adventures, where much content is still freely accessible.

      The mainstream media are already starting to abolish print editions and to instead offer more online services, which in some cases already is only offered on a “user pays” kind of basis.

      This will become the norm soon. The NZ Herald will be on their way to follow the NBR and SST, to make at least a fair bit of content “chargeable”. Users will have to register and establish accounts all over the sites they will use for private and in the end “public” media, or what will be left of it.

      While there will be forums like TS still available, regulation may make life difficult for themselves and their users. Also information will (as it already mostly is) be gathered by the main corporate, private media companies, held by them and only published selectively and for charges.

      So how are the wider public going to get information, access forums for debate and whatever, when so much information will be a chargeable commodity only some will be able to afford? Forums like this often have commenters insert links to other media, to access more information. That will become limited, as information may not be so freely available to all anymore.

      The internet will become predominantly commercially focused, and users will be “hand fed” with bits of information of little substantial value, so “discussions” will tend to become more and more “trivial”. Facebook is thriving on this, but where does the user’s info go, where does the money get made? Some are increasing power, while most will become dumbed down, manipulated users of media and information.

      Indeed there is a HUGE threat for true democracy ahead of us! I also see and meet so many people, not having much of a clue about anything, let alone political debate. It is shocking, but that will be the future.

      John Key and consorts will just “love” this.

      Only widely available, free broadcasting can offer this, as the internet is going to be for “selective” use and consumption, splitting society in part with over-individualised, brainwashed, manipulated idiots (that is most).

      • Tim 9.1.1

        Thumbs up. Hopefully I’ll get to reply in proppa-like fashion soon. Can’t right now though.

    • karol 9.2

      It is pretty depressing, Tim, that the neoliberal take-over of news media has done it’s job for now and the future.

      Most of those characteristics that Comrie associates with commercial TV news pretty much support neoliberal values.

      And they can be seen in the coverage of politics daily – including the coverage of the Labour Party conference: focused on personalities, dramatic conflicts, officially leaked LP PR, and, most importantly, politics as “strategic (game) framing”.

      It focused little on the background issues: eg concern about the political direction of the LP, the weaknesses in the current leader and failure to be an effective opposition; failure to get opposing policy-positions into the media,etc.

      Thanks for the tip about the comments on Bomber’s blog. I see he commented that Citizen A will continue to be available online after it goes onto Sky.

      http://tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/citizen-with-mike-lee-julie-fairey.html

  10. Tim 10

    ……just as a post-script, the NeoLibs, their sympathisers, those that have never ever experienced an alternative, the ideologues, the 3rd and 4th Reich will probably NEVER understand the concept of Public Service Broadcasting. They might be fully appreciative of the impact of media, but they won’t ever understand a 4th Estate.
    How do you ever deal with that? I’m not sure a Clare Curran has the capacity even though she might be well on the way. I suspect maintaining “I’m in with the IN crowd” though might just get in the way. It WILL Clare – completely and utterly

    Bullshit and Jellybeans!

    • One Tāne Huna 10.1

      “How do you ever deal with that?”

      You don’t. You just win the treasury benches and pass the bloody legislation. Trying to pretend that there are two “sides” to the argument, and that the right’s “opinion” has some merit, a possibility for compromise, is as pointless as the false balance the media is guilty of.

      That’s why the left needs strong articulate voices to challenge the useless backward status quo, instead of begging for crumbs.

      Great article Karol, thanks.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Hear hear. Have a clear agenda which represents your values, make sure that the benefits go to a very large section of the community, and then push the bloody thing through and make it happen.

      • Macro 10.1.2

        Absolutely and totally agree!

        Win the treasury benches and pass the legislation – only way. eg first Labour Govt.

        Yes a great article

  11. tc 11

    Sky and public broadcasting don’t go in the same sentence. Yet another content filler to lure subscribers over as it should be on freeview. It’ll have it’s moments but ultimately it’s got monopoly boy Fellett yanking the chain should it prove an irritant.

    They saw off SBS in may which came on the free view satellite if you had a box that decoded the 4 channels. It showed what utter crap we get served up here with its comprehensive news, high quality docos and also nailed all the major football events.

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    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days 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… ...
    12 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    17 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    19 hours 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… ...
    19 hours 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
    19 hours 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
    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
    4 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
    5 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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… ...
    7 days 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… ...
    7 days 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
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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