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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. :smile:

  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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    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New