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Random impertinent questions for Judith Collins

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 56 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, national - Tags:

Judith Collins stock Judith Collins had a shocker in Parliament today and her responses to questions raised more questions than they answered.  The video of her refusing to answer questions follows.  Her chances of being the next leader of the National Party must be  tiny.  Cameron Slater will not be pleased.

Some questions that arise …

  1. Why won’t Judith Collins say who is the Chinese Public Servant who she had dinner with?
  2. Can this official help Oravida’s product entry into China?
  3. Has Judith Collins forgiven John Key yet for making her apologise?
  4. Is she really surprised that the media should be reporting on an issue where at least the perception of a serious conflict of interest involving a senior Minister exists?
  5. Doesn’t a minister have ministerial responsibility for handling their conflict of interest?
  6. Did Collins talk with anyone from Oravida about having dinner with the Chinese Official before she left New Zealand to travel to China?
  7. Does she realise that repeatedly saying “It was a private dinner and I have no Ministerial Responsibility for it” looks a bit suspect?

56 comments on “Random impertinent questions for Judith Collins”

  1. wyndham 1

    That photo. sends shivers up my spine Micky !

    Imagine crossing that !

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Thanks for posting this.

    From the video, it is obvious to see and to hear that Conflicted Collins is in big trouble, as confirmed by her colleagues’ faces shoved deeply and diligently into their pretend paperwork while, next to her, Ryall is looking like a deflated balloon.

    Why does it sound like she is digging herself deeper and deeper, into a larger hole of lies, with her venomous tongue?

  3. Naturesong 3

    Saw question time today.

    The tactic was for Collins to state that the dinner was private and thus outside her ministerial responsibility and then have Brownlee defend that position though points of order for the remainder of the supplementaries.

    Not sure if it was simply a tactic to delay for one question time session, or they are genuinely worried that once they customs official is named that an incredibly damaging relationship re: Collins, Oravida, Customs official that is greasing the rails for Oravida will become immediately obvious.
    I’m hoping for the latter, because it will eventually come out.

    Definately going to buy popcorn for the next time Robertson gets a question.

  4. David 4

    The thing is, say my husband was a director, one of just three, of a company, any company. And I was the Minister of Justice. well, I would be particularly careful, extra extra careful, that is, about any dealings I had as a Minister of the Crown, with that company in particular. I would be more worried about perceived conflict of interest around that company than about any other. I would go out of my way to not be seen as evoking Any conflict of interest with THAT company in particular, because that would be where I was most vulnerable to even perceptions of conflict of interest.

    But what do we get from this Minister? No special reticence at all about THAT company: not an iota. Falling over herself to literally go out of her way to muss with them in particular. Not showing even the slightest reticence, going as far as and further than all her colleagues (who are also Oravida beneficiaries, through campaign contributions to the Nats) to deal with them, letting her photo be used to endorse products. Using her Govt Minister position to impress everyone on her husband’s behalf: officials, etc etc, all to pave the path for her husband’s employer, the business he directs, to make hay in China. And signalling to everyone around, Chinese officials and business people, and still signalling to us back here, that this kind of behaviour is somehow ok for Cabinet Ministers? That, somehow, because everyone in the Nats seems to be in it, all sucking on the Oravida udder together, so it’s fine?

    At this point, you have to ask, how poor could a Minister’s judgement be? Or, how much interest did she and her hubby in fact have in this business and its dealings, that she would be so reckless? Or, how low have the Nat’s complicity and overall ethics slipped, that one so senior could think her peers behaviour is ok, and would sanctioned what she did?

    Either she is very very foolish and stupidly fearless, or she is in it donkey deep. And surely, if this is the kind of behaviour that’s routine and ok in Nat land, we’d better send them a message. Collins and all her cronyist mates need a Big Fat Reality Check.

  5. captain hook 5

    its not very nice when spoiled brats get their comeuppance.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    In my considered opinion, Minister for Justice Judith Collins is quite simply CORRUPT and should be sacked.

    FORTHWITH.

    New Zealand ‘perceived to be the least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark, according to Transparency International’s 2013 ‘Corruption Perception Index’.

    What a load of steaming BULLSH*T!

    Seen this?

    Where’s the Taxpayers’ Union on this one?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20140410_00000012/12-justice-minister%E2%80%94visit-to-china

    Justice, Minister—Visit to China

    [Sitting date: 10 April 2014. Volume:697;Page:15. Text is subject to correction.]

    GRANT ROBERTSON (Labour—Wellington Central) to the Minister of Justice: Does she know the name and employing department of the Chinese official that she had dinner with in Beijing on 20 October 2013 on her ministerial visit to China; if so, is the reason that she has refused to tell the House that information because she believes it is not in the public interest to do so?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS (Minister of Justice) : I have no ministerial responsibility for that matter.

    Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This question was submitted in the normal way through the Clerk’s Office and to you. It was accepted, therefore the Minister must answer the question. She has ministerial responsibility.

    Mr SPEAKER: Yes. I want to draw to the Minister’s attention the Standing Orders and Speakers’ rulings that say she has a duty to answer a question. That answer is far from helpful to the House. She can answer it in anyway she likes, but to simply say she has no responsibility when the question has been authenticated and processed to be placed on the Order Paper is, I think, most unsatisfactory. I will invite the member to repeat the question.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. What then does that do for the interpretation of Speaker’s ruling 153/1, which basically says that “The primary condition for asking a question of a Minister is that the Minister has ministerial responsibility for the subject matter of the question. If there is no ministerial responsibility, there can be no question. An opinion that is sought from a Minister must relate to a matter for which the Minister has responsibility.” Speaker’s ruling 153/3, on the same page, goes on to say: “The Speaker has no way of knowing which Minister is responsible, in the role of Speaker.” What I am concerned about here is that the only person who can fully know where ministerial responsibility stops and starts is the Minister themselves. If they say, in fact, they have no ministerial responsibility for that, in the past there has been a decision made that the public would make a judgment about that, not the Opposition.

    Mr SPEAKER: The difficulty I have with that argument from the member is that there has been a series of questions now for some weeks and the Minister has on many occasions addressed the questions to my satisfaction. So I do not think at this stage she can now claim she has not got ministerial responsibility. I do not accept that. I can equally refer the Hon Gerry Brownlee to rulings, particularly to Speaker’s ruling 173/1. It is a relatively lengthy ruling, but I will read it for the benefit of the Minister: “A Minister must give an answer ‘if it can be given consistently with the public interest’. The Minister is instructed under [Standing Order 383(1)] to consider the public interest in framing a reply. In considering consistency with the public interest, the Minister may address such principles as privacy, commercial sensitivity, or national security. But, ultimately, the judgment of whether a particular reply is consistent with the public interest is for the Minister to make. It is not a matter for the Speaker to judge. Nor is it a matter for the member asking the question to suggest that because the member considers the matter to be a matter of public interest, the question should be answered in a particular way.” I am going to ask the member to repeat the question.

    Grant Robertson: Does she know the name and employing department of the Chinese official whom she had dinner with in Beijing on 20 October 2013 on her ministerial visit to China; if so, is the reason that she has refused to tell the House that information because she believes it is not in the public interest to do so?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I have no ministerial responsibility to explain it.

    Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. In your ruling on the Minister’s first attempt to answer this, you made mention of the fact that we have had a number of questions about this. You also granted an urgent debate, in fact, around these matters because, as was put in the question, this was a ministerial visit paid for by the taxpayer. For the Minister to now decide that she does not feel like answering the questions is not acceptable. It is a breach of the Standing Orders.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I cannot assist the member to that extent. It is certainly not helpful for the Minister to take this attitude, but I want to refer to two further Speakers’ rulings in this regard. Speaker’s ruling 173/3 says: “It is not obligatory on a Minister to answer a question. It is certainly customary but there is no sufficient reason for saying it is binding.” Furthermore, Speakers’ ruling 173/4 says: “The Speaker cannot force a Minister to give an answer to a question and has no responsibility for the quality …”. I think it is a very unsatisfactory answer that has been given by the Minister. I am not responsible for that. This House and the public will judge that for themselves. But I invite the member to now continue with his supplementary questions, and I give him one additional supplementary question as well.

    Grant Robertson: Did she discuss with the directors of Oravida what the role of the Chinese border official was before she left New Zealand?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I have no ministerial responsibility for it.

    Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Sorry, I thought my colleague was going to take a point of order. It was a very direct question, and it asked about an action to do with a particular individual, and it had to do with before she left New Zealand. It was nothing to do with something that actually occurred at the dinner; it was a question about whether she received any advice on this matter from the directors of the company before she left New Zealand, and it has been established previously in the House that she had discussions about this dinner before she left the country.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: Speaking to the point of order, Speaker’s ruling 151(2) is also quite instructive here, inasmuch as it says: “The Minister primarily concerned is presumed to be the person to decide whether it is a question related to that portfolio or whether it is misdirected.”

    Hon David Parker: Speaking to the point of order—

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I do not need assistance on that point. I think today we have moved well past that with my saying that this question has been raised in various forms now for some considerable amount of time. At this stage of the proceedings, for the Minister of Justice to now claim there is no ministerial responsibility is, in my mind, as I have said to this House, a very unsatisfactory answer. I invite the member Grant Robertson to ask his supplementary question.

    Grant Robertson: Did the New Zealand ambassador tell her that he did not think it was appropriate—

    Hon Annette King: No, no, the other one.

    Grant Robertson: Oh, sorry, do you want the previous question?

    Mr SPEAKER: I am inviting the member to repeat his other question.

    Grant Robertson: Sorry, Mr Speaker, I did not hear you say that. Did she discuss with the directors of Oravida what the role of the Chinese border official was before she left New Zealand?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I took part in a private dinner. I do not have ministerial responsibility for that.

    Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister has previously admitted in this House that she should have made reference to this in her report to Cabinet after she made her visit to China. What is the remedy for the Opposition in respect of serious allegations where the Minister will just not answer any questions?

    Mr SPEAKER: The remedy available is for the member Grant Robertson to continue his line of questioning. I cannot force the Minister to answer the question. I am not responsible for the answer, but, as I said earlier, people will judge the answers for themselves.

    Grant Robertson: Did she tell the New Zealand news media that she should have put this dinner in her formal trip report to Cabinet, thereby making it a matter of ministerial responsibility?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Actually, I should not have, because the Cabinet Manual makes it very clear that only matters of importance should, in fact, be put in. In fact, when I had a look at the manual, I noticed that actually having dinner is not something that anyone would consider a matter of national importance, unlike that member might think it is.

    Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question was a specific one. I asked whether she told the New Zealand news media—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! On this occasion, I am ruling that the Minister has actually addressed that question. [Interruption] Order! I invite the member at this stage to continue his supplementary questions.

    Grant Robertson: Did the New Zealand ambassador tell her that he did not think it was appropriate for him to attend this dinner?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I have no recollection of the ambassador saying that to me.

    Grant Robertson: Did Stone Shi ask her not to name the official who was at the dinner?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: This was a private dinner and I have no ministerial responsibility for it.

    Grant Robertson: Why was she prepared to say that the official at the dinner was from a border control agency but she is not prepared to say which border control agency?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I advised the media because that was the advice I received from the Prime Minister’s office.

    Grant Robertson: Was the Prime Minister wrong to give her that advice?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: One day that member might realise that Prime Ministers are always right.

    Grant Robertson: Was the senior Chinese border official at the dinner someone who could influence whether or not Oravida’s products could enter into China?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I have got no ministerial responsibility for it.

    Grant Robertson: Supplementary question?

    Mr SPEAKER: I think in actual fact the member may well have found that his number of supplementary questions has expired.

    Grant Robertson: Given the ridiculous answers I have been getting, I seek leave to be allowed to ask one more question.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I do not think seeking leave would be a good idea for the member. Because there was some confusion earlier, I will allow one more question.

    Grant Robertson: Can she confirm that she believes she has no obligation to the New Zealand taxpayer to tell them the name of a senior Chinese official that she met with along with her husband’s fellow company directors at a dinner arranged before she left New Zealand, despite taxpayers shelling out $30,000 for her to go on that trip?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I have no obligation to discuss a private dinner not paid for by the taxpayer and at absolutely no expense to the taxpayer.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes, campaigning against corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region)

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  7. repateet 7

    The bit suspect that it looks, is a really really really BIG bit. So massive that it almost matches the size of her arrogance.

  8. ianmac 8

    Judith looks increasingly upset. She must have a really, really, really good reason to refuse the answer given that the pressure must be immense. Maybe the answer would condemn her so she has to tough it out or surrender her portfolio. The Government benches are not cheering her on. Strangely quiet. It may be that those loyal Nats are finding good excuses to be somewhere else and thus avoiding contamination.

    • Tc 8.1

      The apple never falls far from the tree known as shonkey corruptus which is a species that requires a lot of resources and favourable conditions to flourish and take over the surrounding environment.

      The species is also known to thrive in clumps often working together and has a well documented behaviour of viciousness and diversion when found to be well outside its designated patch.

      Higher standards in 3 2 1…….still waiting

  9. the pigman 9

    Looks like another hopeful who won’t make it into the “two bedroom motel unit” with Dunno”Smile&Wave”Keyo prior to September. Srylands and the fan club will be gutted.

    Just Joyce and Keys left sitting in the jacuzzi.. pretty haunting image. Here’s hoping they’re avowed heterosexuals like the good Dr. Brash.

  10. North 10

    What would happen if at some point there is the overarching ‘appearance’ that the purpose of Judith Collins’ ministerial visit to China was ALWAYS to mitigate Oravida’s difficulties with getting its product into China ?

    You know, if the striking commonalities seen in the Chinese justice system and the New Zealand justice system sort of failed to cut the mustard as an explanation for the personal presence of the New Zealand Minister of Justice in China ?

    That would give the ‘appearance’ of cardinal sin, would it not ?

    Just wondering.

  11. philj 11

    xox
    Penny, I attended a public meeting of Transparency Committee and the chair, Suzanne Snively. She announced that the main issue was that there was not enough corruption to be found! The audience aceppted unquestioningly.

  12. Roflcopter 12

    Yes Mickey, those are definitely random and impertinent questions.

  13. fisiani 13

    Judith Collins had a private dinner. Private. Not hard to understand
    The Cunliffe was given $10,000 by two mystery donors. Who were they? What influence did they try to buy. What is their job? What is The Cunluffe hiding.? Why will he not answer?

    • stever 13.1

      No…Judith Collins (alone) insists it was a private dinner…but then she would, shouldn’t she?

      Her demeanour and words make it clear she has something to hide…anyone with an ounce of commonsense can see that.

      So this “private” mantra is all she has left. She’s looks pathetic and is clearly not fit to be an MP, let alone a minister (of Justice ffs!!!)

      What a role model; what a fine, upstanding woman; what an embarrassment to all NZers!!

      But then…she fits right in with the prevailing lack of morals and decency that this government and in particular this PM has shown for some time now.

      Haven’t these people ever heard of leading my example? How they can lecture the rest of us on various moral questions (e.g. to do with social security) and behave like this I have no idea. Their children must be monsters if these were their parents and role models.

    • toad 13.2

      Apparently $30,000 of public funds were spent on her trip to China. Just because none of that was expended on the dinner itself doesn’t suddenly make the dinner private.

      And if the dinner were private, why was a senior Chinese border control official Collins won’t name present at it?

      A month ago, Key said:

      “Judith had a responsibility when she was asked the questions not just to answer the question directly but to tell me and the New Zealand public everything that had gone on,” he said.

      After her performance in Parliament yesterday, surely he has to sack her.

    • framu 13.3

      “Judith Collins had a private dinner.” – with oravida staff and chinese border officials

      now – also keep in kind the claims or conflict of interest re oravida visit, that oravida donated to a charity which turned out to be the nats, that oravida donates big time to the nats, that collins attended a planned and announced visit to oravida, that oravida has pics of the nats plastered around their offices, that collins and her husband stand to gain from oravida doing well in china and that all of this happened on a taxpayer visit in her role as justice minister (not trade minister)

      do you understand that? It would appear you dont.
      if i drew two dots in front of you could you join them with a pen? – it appears you cant

    • felix 13.4

      You’re quite right fisiani.

      Judith Collins took an official publicly-funded Ministerial trip and used it – along with her Ministerial status – for private meetings to advance her private interests.

      That’s kinda the whole point.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.5

      But but but…”Hollow men!”

      Hope that answers it

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.1

        So, your answer to Judith Collins’ corrupt behaviour is to allege that “Labour did it too.” Which just goes to show that when you wankers bleat on about personal responsibility, you’re lying.

        • Puckish Rogue 13.5.1.1

          No my answer was that the left, when faced with any response to their claims, generally start bleating on about unproven stuff

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.1.1.1

            So, just to be clear, you’re saying that Cunliffe admits an error and pays the money back, and Judith Collins and her close friends and family are above the law, and I’m saying that you’re a sycophantic hypocrite.

            • fisiani 13.5.1.1.1.1

              The Cunliffe refuses to name his donors. Judith Collins broke no law. Pot Kettle Black.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Sure, you can pretend their actions are equivalent. It’s an empty pretence, and demonstrates quite clearly that your rhetoric about personal responsibility is nothing but lies.

                Collins is never going to be Prime Minister. She’s never even going to lead the National Party. Rotten milk stains something chronic, the Oravida stink lingers, and the longer she denies her tainted status the more the stain spreads. I’m loving it.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Naah its a beltway issue and JC will lead National one day

                  • McFlock

                    Being corrupt was once an impediment to leading National. Now it’s a requirement.

                    • North

                      Plus 10,000 there McFlock. You’re a pussy if you’re an honest one. Not a mover and a shaker at all just a dick who people should scoff at. Sick aye ?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    What’s that stink? It smells like dead meat in rancid cream. No, it’s just Judith Collins :lol:

    • North 13.6

      ‘Private’ FizzyAnus – Judy’s loyal little soldier – you shoud be angry at Collins. She’s cocked up massively. Let you down. You know it. Worse she now compounds it by redoubling the arrogance, entitlement and exceptionalism. The very character flaws that got her in this shit in the first place.

      I partly blame the likes of you FizzyAnus. Encouraged the prideful bully by your adoration you have. Fool, you’ve enabled her, fed her hubris.

      Who you gonna choose when your other idol ShonKey Python smacks her down for welching on the contrition on his orders forced out like a stubborn stool ? He’s gotta do something. If he rationalises “not my ministerial responsibility” or sits on his hands he’s as good as licensing her to tell him to get fucked.

      My God, you’ll need counselling Fizz. No worries. ACC funding in what after all is a train wreck. You’re lucky they’re not ‘private’ yet Fizz’. Probably tell ya to get fucked were they.

      • fisiani 13.6.1

        Obviously moderation is off duty. New Zealand really does not care who Judith Collins had dinner with. Grant Robertson pretends that it is really really important. Why? What interest does he have in winning in September. None. Who benefits when The Cunliffe loses? the Caucus favourite. Why is Robertson wasting time on trivial issues rather than the big issues that will win for Labour, Tax, Spend, Borrow and Nationalise.. Oh right I suppose I’ve answered my own question.

        • North 13.6.1.1

          Oh FizzyAnus how come you think you can speak for New Zealand dork ? That’s Collinsesque to a tee. That’s ShonKey Python to a tee. Claiming to know, claiming to care. When it’s all about self self self. That’s the essence of Planet Key. You’re in for some sadness nutter. All your idols are crumbling. Goooooood job !

          You haven’t answered your own question dork. You’ve just gulped in then spat out some of that stuff that resides in your nethers. Fool. Fuck Off to SlaterPorn !

        • Murray Olsen 13.6.1.2

          Aw Fizzy, you win a free voucher for an hour of entertainment at the Gusher CBT club. People might not care about the name of a Chinese official, but they do care about corruption, and they do care about being lied to. Worst of all for you, they care about being treated with contempt. MP by MP, it is becoming increasingly obvious that your favourite party is a rotting zombie that infects everything it touches.

        • lprent 13.6.1.3

          Releases and release fatigue..

  14. Tracey 14

    how many times has she dined or lunch with the official who is a personal friend?

    has he visited her in nz?

    its funny watching fisiano of the shock horror signed a painting for charity sackable offence, defending collins.

  15. One Anonymous Bloke 15

    If Tories weren’t so stupid they’d be a lot better at corruption. Take Oravida, for example: it wasn’t enough for them to buy the National Party, they had to go and display their trophy photos for all to see, and now all that money, all those dinners, all that carefully nurtured greed, all for nothing.

    Never mind, Tories, I’m sure there are plenty of non corrupt regular New Zealand milk export businesses who don’t need their very own Minister of Justice to get ahead.

  16. One Anonymous Bloke 16

    The unsavoury lease agreements for MFAT and the NZTE? Gone by lunchtime. Not the sort of people the Crown should be associating with.

  17. Tracey 17

    do we think that the chinese government, authoritarian and brutal, doesnt already know who the official dining with collins is? if we believe they do, it cannot be collins desire to protect the official from its government.

    • Huginn 17.1

      I don’t know about that,
      The Chinese government can be brutal. They may know, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be happy about the whole world knowing if all comes out in Parliament here.

      Collins may not be able to protect the official, but she may not want to be the one who puts the boot in either.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      That’s drawing a long bow. I doubt the “help” he provides Oravida will be as effective if everyone knows he’s doing it: that’s reason enough for anonymity.

      PS: “Kim, if I help you in the future it’s better no one knows…”

  18. aerobubble 18

    Who paid for the dinner then?

    • ianmac 18.1

      Judith was asked in the House a week or two ago who had paid for the dinner and she said she had no idea, but added that the NZ Taxpayer didn’t.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Has anyone asked Judith Collins why the Chinese border official was invited to the “private dinner party between friends” when she had never met him before? Was it for services rendered on behalf of her businessman husband…?

        Does that mean her husband might have paid for the dinner that she claims “she doesn’t know who paid for it”?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1

          He was there to get the impression that Oravida is an important company that has its very own Minister of Justice. Think of the opportunities!

      • dv 18.1.2

        If you go to a ‘private dinner, and someone else pays.
        Would you say Thank you

        Perhaps not thank your husband though, but then you would know wouldn’t you?

  19. rob 19

    Judith Collins is corrupt .
    Bill English cannot remember 21%
    I’d say they both are road kill
    Let alone Parata or that guy from Tauranga with no sense of NZ geography or parliamentary history
    He was a crown prosecutor for gods sack
    How many innocents got sent down and how many crimes got off ?

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  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
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  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
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  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
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  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
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  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
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  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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