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Review: Fighting to Choose by Alison McCulloch

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, May 8th, 2013 - 61 comments
Categories: abortion, books, feminism, history - Tags:

I struggle to find a properly punchy intro to this review.  Because all I really want to say is, if you have an interest in the history of the reproductive rights struggle in New Zealand, read this book.

If you don’t have an interest in the history of the reproductive rights struggle in New Zealand, also read this book.  Because you’ll develop one.

Abortion has a long and dramatic history in NZ, but it’s not a history we talk about, or remember.  And remembering that history is vital to our continuing push for reproductive rights today.  We need to know how we’ve gotten into this bizarre situation, with a law passed in 1977 which makes pregnant people jump through hoops but functions just well enough that most people carry on under the misapprehension that we have abortion on demand.

Just check out Jami-Lee Ross’ speech on the third reading of the marriage equality bill, when he referred to abortion being legalised.  It isn’t.

Why it isn’t, and who decided it wouldn’t be, and how activists fought hard for it to be, is what this book’s about.  Alison McCulloch, Pulitzer-winning journo and general badass, lays it all out, plain and simple, and being pretty damn even-handed towards the antichoice movement in the process.

This book was a joy to read … and it made me angry.  Angry at chickenshit politicians who folded at the first threat of Catholic voters’ ire.  Angry at a Royal Commission who dared to produce an incoherent, inconsistent report which controls people’s lives to this day, who let antichoicers derail an important moment in our societal debate on reproductive rights.  Angry at the condescension shown toward New Zealand people, particularly women, to this day.

Angry that we still have to fight for this.

But you know, it’s a good anger.  A motivating anger.

And now I’ve added “release helium balloons into the House of Representatives” to my bucket list.

Overall rating: five out of five speculums.

Fighting to Choose is available online from the Victoria University Press.

An abridged excerpt from Chapter Four, covering the opening of the Auckland Medical Aid Trust clinic in 1974, is up on Werewolf.

Prochoicing on the Prochoice Highway

Alison McCulloch is taking the book on tour.  Follow the Prochoice Highway for more information.

Videos from the launch, via the ALRANZ blog.

61 comments on “Review: Fighting to Choose by Alison McCulloch”

  1. karol 1

    And still many just don’t want to talk about the problems of NZ current conservative abortion law. Meanwhile large numbers of women have to go through degrading hoops to get abortions.

    • pictishmonster 1.1

      Agreed. In her interview with Kim Hill, McCulloch attributed this weird passivity to fear that the situation could get worse if we rocked the boat. But I wonder if that is still true. Is it possible to get accurate polling data on the issue?

      Anyway, she also made the point that if we’re not moving forward we’re moving backward by default – there’s no such thing as standing still. I think that’s true.

    • Populuxe1 1.2

      That rather depends on what sort of abortion you’re talking about. Levonelle-1, the “morning after pill” can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy – I’d hardly call that jumping through hoops.
      In terms of medical abortion, I think there does need to be an amendment to The Crimes Act 1961 to decriminalise termination, but we all know that there is a tacit understanding medical termination doesn’t usually require much beyond the usual consultation for informed consent as per The Health and Disability Commissioners Act 1994 and The Code of Health and Disability
      Services Consumers Rights 1996 based on a consensus that the The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 be interpreted very loosely. Basically no woman in New Zealand today is going to be refused an abortion in the first twenty weeks. When was the last time a woman died of a backyard abotion? That’s the foremost issue – protecting women’s lives and reproductive health. I would be very surprised if a single woman in this country has been denied an abortion in the last thirty years.

      • QoT 1.2.1

        I would be very surprised if a single woman in this country has been denied an abortion in the last thirty years.

        Gosh, if only the world worked entirely according to things which would “very much surprise” you, Populuxe. Unfortunately, in this universe, I’m really, really over you shitting all over my thread assuming your half-baked opinions and “I know lots of women so I must be an expert” should rule the day.

  2. kiwi_prometheus 2

    New Zealanders don’t support abortion on demand,and rightly so.

    I guess you crazy Feminists are all hyped up after the successful propaganda campaign to trash marriage, and think you got another ‘win’ coming up.

    • fender 2.1

      You sound like one of those deconstructed kiwis_. Better go get a recon.

      • kiwi_prometheus 2.1.1

        You sound like one of those Social Constructivists that infest the Sociology and Literature Uni Depts.

        Deconstructing social constructionists is fun!

    • joe90 2.2

      I guess you crazy Feminists are all hyped up after the successful propaganda campaign to trash marriage, and think you got another ‘win’ coming up.

      Spotted

      • ghostrider888 2.2.1

        “her” -ga-tory

      • kiwi_prometheus 2.2.2

        Linking to your favourite Feminist propaganda site, joe.

        • ghostrider888 2.2.2.1

          btw, all things being equal, I Flew you some Modern Love yesterday. Thought it might suit your school of thought.

      • QoT 2.2.3

        Well played! But unfortunately you only get points for k_p’s misogynist antichoice views, his deep-seated loathing of women has long been recognised around these parts.

    • QoT 2.3

      Next we’re coming FOR YOUR PENIS.

  3. kiwi_prometheus 3

    At least not all Feminist have been brain washed into the Abortion On Demand stance:

    “the original feminists — understood that the rights of women cannot be built on the broken backs of unborn children. Anthony called abortion “child murder.” Paul, author of the original 1923 Equal Rights Amendment, said that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women”… it was the neo-feminists of the 1960s and ’70s who asked women to prize abortion as the pathway to equality.”

    http://ideas.time.com/2013/01/03/viewpoint-pro-life-and-feminism-arent-mutually-exclusive/

    • Roy 3.1

      I would be surprised if any women ‘prize’ abortion, and I suspect that few if any find it an easy option.

      • kiwi_prometheus 3.1.1

        Its exactly what the neo feminists have done, they are obsessed with Abortion On Demand.

        • fender 3.1.1.1

          No I think they just want full control of their own bodies.

          Imagine if you were deprived of being in control of your own body, how would you react if say you were not allowed to perform your favourite pastime of jerking off ?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.1

            Every sperm is sacred.

          • kiwi_prometheus 3.1.1.1.2

            “No I think they just want full control of their own bodies.”

            Well that has to be balanced by the right to life of the baby.

            Feminasties like the narcissist QofT are peddling an extremist postion.

            [QoT: You have been warned on more than enough occasions not to attack authors. Final warning for this post as at 7:04pm.]

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.2.1

              That has to be balanced by your duty to provide good strong sperm and we’re going to make sure you abide by it, sonny.

              Now get your hands off it and get down on your knees and pray for forgiveness for the insects you have killed, deprived of the gift of life. For the butchers meat on your table, deprived of the gift of life, for the seed you have spilled, for the unbelievable bullshit you construct around QoT.

              • kiwi_prometheus

                “for the unbelievable bullshit you construct around QoT.”

                LOL, you are a Feminist unic.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I’m a knucklehead, and you’re an ill-mannered misogynist. What of it?

                  • kiwi_prometheus

                    You are an obedient minion, NO ONE on here dares to contradict the Feminasties and their dogma.

                    [lprent: Go too far down that track and I’ll start demonstrating how much my “feminist” partner, mother, sister, nieces, female relatives of all types mean to me and whom you insult (not to mention me) whenever you’re here with mindless dreck. Fuck “femanasties”. What you have to worry about is a pissed off sysop declaring a personal vendetta on your dickless wonderment.

                    I’ll show you what nasty really means – you misogynist cretin. ]

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      For the night is dark and full of terrors.

                    • NickS

                      …pissed off sysop..

                      lulz

                      For those who don’t quite understand why this is a bad thing, sysops on websites can see everything you’ve submitted to their website bar your password(s). And generally they have contacts to anti-spam groups, so your details may make their way into a spam blacklist, leading to all sorts of fun across the net.

                      This on top of the usual editing of luser content via disem-vowl-ment, post moderation, luser harassment and final application of the ban-hammer once the luser hath been suitably mocked.

                      (see http://bofh.ntk.net/BOFH/index.php for $fun)

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      Only a century behind now. That’s progress, I suppose.

  4. kiwi_prometheus 4

    Knucklehead: “For the night is dark and full of terrors.”

    Are you aware of the Feminist belief that E=mc2 is a “sexed equation”, along the same lines as Karol’s hilarious, psuedo intellectual, copy cat number about “the sexing of politics”?

    Yes that’s right, the speed of light has been “privileged” apparently thanks to the “Patriarchy”.

    Or the Feminist belief that Newtons Laws of Physics is a “rape manual”.

    So becareful talking about “night” and “dark”, Knucklehead, or you may find yourself accused by the feminasties of an anti Feminist, privileging, “othering”, heterosexists MAN sin!

    [QoT: A further warning: any future arguments which are uncited and clearly copy-pasted from your favourite men’s rights whinesite (I’m picking you for a Spearhead kinda guy) are being edited, because I’m not having my posts derailed by your shit-flinging trollery any more.]

    • Populuxe1 4.1

      “Are you aware of the Feminist belief that E=mc2 is a “sexed equation”” – I think you are going to have to cite that, and in any case, relying on fringe nonsense isn’t making you look less like a mysogynistic buffoon.

    • karol 4.2

      Please do tell me what I was copying with my p-suede intellectualism. I have never heard of this “E=mc2, sexed equation” before. Do please explain the theory & why it is wrong. Sounds interesting.

      And also please explain what it has to do with abortion law reform.

      • QoT 4.2.1

        Googling raises an argument by Lucy Irigaray, which has clearly become a meme in misogynist / MRA / whinging douchebag circles because it aligns very neatly with their own sexism (i.e. they all think women are stupid and inconstant, and Irigaray pointing out (possibly, I’m not wasting time doing k_p’s citation work for him) that science which privileges “hard” things over “fluid” things reflects this sexist approach cuts too close to the bone.)

        • karol 4.2.1.1

          Oh. OK. Got it.

          In my experience, when I ask k_p to explain his points/abuse/theoretical understanding in any detail/depth, he disappears.

          PS: issues to do with female bodies and reproductive systems are fluid as, and often a cause for squeamishness for those wanting their politics focused on solids.

          • QoT 4.2.1.1.1

            Oh yes. It’s another reason I do quick Googles on his bullshit, as soon as freerepublic.com shows up in the top 5 results it confirms it’s his usual unoriginal material.

            • karol 4.2.1.1.1.1

              He also has a rather quaint notion that all feminists are into abstract theory and of those that are, they are all in agreement and into the same theory – anyone with a knowledge of feminism and/or philosophical theories would know that is so not how it is.

              Especially, when 2nd wave feminism was in full swing, it was more about women’s actual life experiences. I think in the mid-late 70s, when the campaign was under way for abortion in NZ, most feminists would never have heard of a French psychoanalytic theorist like Irigaray.

              It was, and still is (as far as I’m aware) about what happens when safe abortions are not available to all women. In the 70s it was much more about women coming out and telling their own stories of dealing with pregnancies and abortions.

              I imagine it’s still hard for a lot of women to talk publicly about such things.

              But k_p’s preference seems to be to go on about abstract theory, and avoid dealing with people’s actual life experiences.

              • felix

                Oh so you’re an actual-life realitist. How do you reconcile that with your post-bullshit philosophy?

                /in before k_p

                • karol

                  Ah, well I’d turn to (some say) post-structuralist Foucault (himself he didn’t really accept that label).

                  Thought it was a good thing his later theories were a little different from his earlier ones – why work on theory all your life just to keep repeating the same things.

                  And no matter how abstract his theories, the HIV/AIDS got him in the end. And he said some interesting things about fist-fucking…. but little about abortion.

              • Rhinocrates

                But k_p’s preference seems to be to go on about abstract theory

                Well, he “goes on” about it, but he never actually engages with it, let alone real life experience as you say.

                How about just pulling the plug on him? Redbaiter, Dad4Justice, kiwi_procrustes etc need not be dealt with on their own supposed terms – surely the proper arena is psychiatry rather than ideology?

                Their ilk might be amusing at a distance, but their persistent derailing actively blocks real discussion, and I worry that k-p’s aggression prevents some people who might have something constructive to add from contributing – as it is surely meant to.

                Old proverb: “Who defines the terms wins the argument”.

                • karol

                  Yes, it does usually derail.

                  I’d much rather discuss why our conservative abortion law is still standing and not yet been updated.

        • Populuxe1 4.2.1.2

          To be fair, Irigaray did talk a lot of crap about the sciences that actual scientists of both genders would find hysterically funny.

          • QoT 4.2.1.2.1

            Many people talk a lot of crap about many things, yet I still don’t feel the slightest need “to be fair” where k_p’s incessant derailing is involved.

            • Populuxe1 4.2.1.2.1.1

              I was speaking for myself because I value fairness. You can do whatever you like.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.3

      Yes! I’ll be so upset I’ll cry all the way to the dairy.

  5. Murray Olsen 5

    I certainly thought access to abortion was better than it is. I don’t really know where I got that impression, except maybe from being out of touch with the issue.

    • Populuxe1 5.1

      It is actually easy to access – the issue here would appear to be the letter of the law, not its interpretation by doctors.

      • QoT 5.1.1

        No, it isn’t, Populuxe. Yes, a number of pregnant people are able to access abortion, but we’ve literally only just got to a situation where, for example, people from Invercargill don’t have to travel to Christchurch to get abortions.

        Considering the time involved (and that’s if you have a smooth ride with all five practitioners you have to see), the money to see doctors and travel and get childcare … it really isn’t “easy”, and saying it is just because some lucky people have managed to make our shitty system work isn’t helpful.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          It seems to me that another problem with the law in NZ as it stands, that, women get abortions now as a result of the goodwill of the medical authorities. That sort of goodwill could be removed. Our current government pressures public services to provide less and less, and to find ways to deny services to more and more people. I think it needs to be inscribed into the law that abortions be available to those women who want them.

          • Populuxe1 5.1.1.1.1

            Given that it was National’s office or Eugenics and Paula Benefit that came up with the idea of free contraception for beneficiaries, I doubt they will be doing that for termination any time soon. But yes, it is shameful that abortion is still criminalised in the letter of the law, and that needs to be changed.

        • Populuxe1 5.1.1.2

          Five practicioners?! The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 says TWO! Which can usually be acomplished at the same clinic.Yes, it is good news that there has been since 2011 a termination clinic in Invercargill, however as I don’t imagine being seen entering such an establishment in a small and somewhat traditional community is all that desirable for many of the local women either, I imagine many of them will continue to go to Lyndhurst Hospital for the anonymity – it’s the stigma that needs to be tackled as much as the law. Stop with the “some lucky people” crap, though, unless you can provide me evidence of the overwhelming majority of New Zealand women being refused termination, not being able to get them within a reasonable timeframe, or recieving an unsafe backyard termination out of desperation. Ireland is a shitty system, the US has multiple shitty systems (intravaginal probes for fuck’s sake), we have a system that certainly needs impovement, but is far from shitty. I have held the hands of enough female friends over the years to know what bullshit that is.

          • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.2.1

            So unless it’s an “overwhelming majority of New Zealand women ” it ain’t no thing?

            • Populuxe1 5.1.1.2.1.1

              No, I was leaving a little room for the possibility of some insane Catholic doctor or something not giving a referral as a one off. There are always exceptions and outliers in every system, no matter how perfect. Try not to be obtuse.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Really?

                You don’t have to scroll up very far to see that what you ended up writing was:

                Stop with the “some lucky people” crap, though, unless you can provide me evidence of the overwhelming majority of New Zealand women being refused termination, not being able to get them within a reasonable timeframe, or recieving an unsafe backyard termination out of desperation. Ireland is a shitty system, the US has multiple shitty systems (intravaginal probes for fuck’s sake), we have a system that certainly needs impovement, but is far from shitty.

                I don’t see how it’s ‘obtuse’ to think you were saying that unless there is an “overwhelming majority of New Zealand women” affected then the system is “far from shitty”.

                In fact, I think you’d have to be pretty obtuse to think that your comment doesn’t directly imply that it’s not a shitty system even if there are many women who do not have easy access to local providers should they choose to use it.

                • Populuxe1

                  In case you hadn’t noticed, dipshit, ANY medical services are hard to obtain in rural centres – nothing termination specific there – anything more complicated than a broken leg usually requires referral to a main centre DHB. In which case it’s the whole NZ medical system that needs the overhaul. It would have to be a pretty fucking unusual and extremely rare situation in which a woman was not able to get a termination, however I like to be precise in my language hence I leave room for outliers – that’s basic statistics. However I am still waiting for a single example of a woman in New Zealand not being able to get an abortion in the last twenty years. I know there is plenty of room for improvement, but this isn’t Ireland where for years you had to fly to London, and just recently a woman DIED because she was refused an abortion. Nor is this the US where some states demand you have a big ultrasound scanner inserted in your vagina so they can show you da widdle fingers and toes etc. The morning after pill is available OVER THE COUNTER. Using language that only a small minority are “lucky” enough to be able to get a termination is bullshit. The law, however, does need rewording, decriminalising termination like a civilised country – a technicality.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    None of which explains the what you actually said.

                    And QoT did not use “language that only a small minority are “lucky” enough to be able to get a termination”. That’s just another reading misinterpretaion on your part.

                    Check the context, before launching jihad.

                    And no one owes you a single example of anything.

                    And the fact that other places are worse, does not imply that people are wrong to call ours bad, or not good enough, or that it needs change.

                    And if that’s not what you are saying, if your disagreement with QoT, karol, and everyone else is so very minor, then why all the heated aggression? What’s the point of all this Pop?

                    Oh, and Invercargill has a population of over 50,000, it’s not Taihape, ffs.

                    • Populuxe1

                      “None of which explains the what you actually said.”

                      I suppose not if you are going to deliberately ignore it.

                      “And QoT did not use “language that only a small minority are “lucky” enough to be able to get a termination”. That’s just another reading misinterpretaion on your part.”

                      How else is one to interpret phrases like “it really isn’t “easy”, and saying it is just because some lucky people have managed to make our shitty system work isn’t helpful.”?

                      “Check the context, before launching jihad.”

                      What jihad? And apparently unlike you, I do check context.

                      “And no one owes you a single example of anything.”

                      Yes they do or else I can continue to call bullshit. It’s called the burden of proof if you are going to claim something. You might as well say no one owes anyone an abortion. Stupid stupid thing to say.

                      “And the fact that other places are worse, does not imply that people are wrong to call ours bad, or not good enough, or that it needs change.”

                      Only if you really don’t care anything about accurate communication of an idea.

                      “And if that’s not what you are saying, if your disagreement with QoT, karol, and everyone else is so very minor, then why all the heated aggression? What’s the point of all this Pop?”

                      Minor doesn’t make it any less valid, and I think it is pretty important if something as important as the availability of termination in this country is being misrepresented. It’s bad enough when the Pro Life scum do it. And what heated aggression exactly? How do you get that from words on a screen – not enough smileys and lols?

                      “Oh, and Invercargill has a population of over 50,000, it’s not Taihape, ffs.”

                      Good for you for googling, but do a bit more googling – Southalnd hospital has 180 beds to cater to the Southland population of 107,000 and only deals with acute medical, surgical and orthopaedics, an Intensive Care Unit, 24 hour emergency department, paediatrics, maternity plus rehabilitation and therapy services.”

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Really, you think demanding evidence that an overwhelming majority can’t access abortion services easily, is being precise in language to account for outliers?

          • QoT 5.1.1.2.2

            Five practicioners?! The Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act 1977 says TWO! Which can usually be acomplished at the same clinic.

            Surprise surprise, despite your protestations to the contrary you don’t actually know what the fuck you’re talking about! Good job that this isn’t the 1980s and you can look these things up on the internet.

    • QoT 5.2

      Well, it’s not something you really have to know about until you really, really have to know about it, if you catch my drift.

      • Populuxe1 5.2.1

        This isn’t the 1980s. You can look it up on the internet http://www.abortion.gen.nz/index.html

        • QoT 5.2.1.1

          Yes, Populuxe, and while I realise you’re perfect and know everything about abortion everywhere, most people don’t even have to think about it as a political issue so won’t be actively seeking out information on it. Because they’re not as awesome as you.

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    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Eagle Pursuit
    Source: New Zealand Police – Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Police Pursuit Robbery suspects arrested following high speed drive Tuesday, 31 March 2015 – 7:58pm Auckland City Two men have been arrested in Remuera after driving at high speed and in… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    12 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    14 hours ago
  • Keith Rankin on Subsistence and the Benefit
    Analysis by Keith Rankin – First Published on Scoop.co.nz. Rural Northland poverty in the spotlight. Image courtesy of Localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz. YESTERDAY ON RADIO NEW ZEALAND’S MORNING REPORT “Te Manu Korihi for 30 March 2015“, Mana’s Hone Harawira discussed the matter… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    15 hours ago
  • A rape joke walks into a comedy festival
    Here’s a story about stand-up comedy that shouldn’t be shocking: Adrienne Truscott’s first full-length show involves an hour of jokes about rape culture, during which time you can see her genitals. Supplied In reality though, how rape is… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Introducing: Wurld Series
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music. Wurld Series. Name: Wurld Series (Luke, Jared and James). Age: 24, 25, 30. Hometown: Christchurch.… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Tonight on Evening Report – March 31 2015
    Tonight on Evening Report we lead with a video cross to Hanoi to gauge how delegates from South East Asia, meeting on nuclear disarmament in Vietnam, have responded to news New Zealand has been spying on its trading partners. This and… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    17 hours ago
  • On The Dial – Episode 17
    This week in On The Dial, the Northland by-election, we go behind the scenes of Parliament’s Hansard office, talk to comedian Adrienne Truscott, and, of course, look back at the Cricket world cup. The National Party is promising to take… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Research on the price of protest in West Papua released – PMC
    MIL OSI – Source: Pacific Media Centre – Analysis published with permission of PMC Headline: The price of protest in West Papua – Research Image: Demotix Tuesday, March 31, 2015 West Papua is a region… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    17 hours ago
  • Photo of the Day: 50 shades….
    The new suburbia; detached buildings so close you wonder why they bother and every mood from drab to dreary. At least you can no longer hear children play… now they’ve been banned. ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    18 hours ago
  • the win in winston
    Unintended consequences has been a concept on my mind recently - some thoughts on the recent by-election in Northland.The election of Winston Peters in Northland will have unintended negative consequences for the left I think. The left as a whole… ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ Government launches tax modernisation programme
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Tax modernisation programme launched Revenue Minister Todd McClay today released the first two in a series of public consultations designed to modernise and simplify the tax system. “Taxes are an important part… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    18 hours ago
  • Discovering the roots of Lttle Phnx
    Wellington-based synthpop artist Lttle Phnx talks about finding a sound that's as unique as her story of growing up. Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx. Photo: Alexander Robertson/The Wireless Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx makes sweet, electro, synthpop from a… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Former Federal Agents Charged with Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud
    MIL OSI – Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Former Federal Agents Charged with Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    19 hours ago
  • East Asia and the Pacific: Criminal Charges Filed against Protesters in Bur...
    MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of State – East Asia and the Pacific: Criminal Charges Filed against Protesters in Burma The United States State Department has issued a statement of concern after Burma authorities laid criminal charges against peaceful… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    19 hours ago
  • Oh dairy me
    A couple of weeks ago, Nick Smith and the government decided to prolong the sham that is ECan until 2019. When announcing that there would be a “mixed government model”, he went on to say that democracy was “too risky”… ...
    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    20 hours ago
  • Freedom of information and tikanga
    Yesterday the Māori Affairs Committee reported back on the Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill. The bill looks relatively uncontentious, establishing a joint Regional Planning Committee with Hawke's Bay iwi to decide on regional plans and policy statements under the… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • National’s Bulldozer Lurches Onwards
    The National Government barely paused after their humiliating by-election loss in Northland. In his normal cavalier and dismissive manner Key shrugged off the defeat, "so I got it wrong on that one, but that's the way it goes." He he… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Feeding the watchdog?
    The Officers of Parliament Committee reported back today on the annual appropriations for the Ombudsman, and have recommended a significant increase in funding. There's additional funding to help it cope with its duties under OPCAT and the United Nations Convention… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Another World is Possible Essay Competition
    I'm sure lots of readers (and my fellow-bloggers) could contribute something really awesome to this competition.***********For the second time, the Labour History Project is running an essay competition to inspire debate on alternative futures.In December 2014, an OECD report ranked… ...
    21 hours ago
  • “Fair-weather” scepticism
    My old man used to label us kids as “fair-weather sailors” when we bitched about working outside during bad weather. That phrase comes to my mind sometimes when I come across people who claim to be “sceptics ” (“Skeptics”)… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Compensation for Teina Pora?
    Teina Pora is innocent.The Government, having considered the matter, apparently agrees he should not be re-tried. It is not clear whether the Government agrees he is innocent, but I suspect they don’t.With no re-trial ordered, Pora’s involvement with the criminal… ...
    21 hours ago
  • No freedom of speech in Singapore
    Lee Kuan Yew is dead, but his legacy of oppression lives on:A teenage boy who posted a video describing late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew as a “horrible person” has been arrested by Singapore police. YouTube blogger Amos Yee… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Up Front: Mind Your Language
    I have to admit, I had some mixed emotions when I heard Clean Reader had been taken off the market. Delight, because the app was ridiculously stupid. Sadness, because it was hilariously stupid. I still think it's worth talking about… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Labour and the moral high ground
    Since Andrew Little began his tightrope walk regarding whether Northland voters should or shouldn’t vote Labour, there has been much philosophising as to whether a “dirty deal” did or did not go down. To my mind, quite clearly, no deal… ...
    Occasionally eruditeBy jononatusch
    22 hours ago
  • Another day, another IGIS investigation
    One of the most significant changes John Key made to the Government Communications Security Bureau Act in 2013 was to weaken the protection for kiwi's communications. Previously, the Act forbade the GCSB from doing anything to intercept the "communications" of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Next stage of Beach Rd Cycleway underway
    Auckland Transport yesterday started the second stage of the Beach Rd cycleway which when finished should finally help to make the first stage as well as the Grafton Gully cycleway useful. The Beach Road walking and cycling project begins its… ...
    22 hours ago
  • QOTD: anonymous ex-TSA manager on behavioural profiling
    As reported in The Intercept, a refreshingly frank take on a facet of modern “security” measures in airports: A second former Behavior Detection Officer manager, who also asked not to be identified, told The Intercept that the program suffers from… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    23 hours ago
  • Should you get your child immunised?
    In the book, Health Cheque, Geoff and I found that in terms of health, prevention is more effective than cure by a factor of four to one. So the Morgan Foundation retains an interest in the issue of prevention, which led… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    23 hours ago
  • Should you get your child immunised?
    In the book, Health Cheque, Geoff and I found that in terms of health, prevention is more effective than cure by a factor of four to one. So the Morgan Foundation retains an interest in the issue of prevention, which led… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    23 hours ago
  • Speaker: The Power of N – Nutrient Caps and Peak Dairy
    Chris Lewis quickly backed down from the suggestion of a dairy moratorium in the Waikato, but environmentalists won’t let it go so easily. The Waikato Federated Farmers president now insists he merely raised the notion as a “straw man” at… ...
    23 hours ago

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  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    22 hours ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    7 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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