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The Standard

Sexism

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 pm, August 10th, 2013 - 68 comments
Categories: john key, national, sexism - Tags:

My colleague Eddie had a go at Phil Goff this morning for dickish remarks, and fair enough too. But in the interests of keeping things in perspective, just a reminder as to which is the sexist party here.

In National’s cabinet just 1 of the top 5 ministers is female (3 of the top 10, just 6 of the 20-strong cabinet, and just 2 of the 8 ministers outside cabinet).

The number of women in state appointed boards has declined under National too.

One of the Nat government’s first acts when elected was to axe “two investigations aimed at improving the pay of women as it tries to save money by controlling public sector salaries”.

Partly as a consequence no doubt, the gender pay gap is widening again (it had been narrowing under Labour).

National’s beneficiary bashing effects women disproportionately, they have cut funding to rape crisis, and much much more.

Oh yes – and John Key – likes to hang out with dubious company and chat about his celebrity crushes “hot list”.

Concerned about sexism in NZ? Don’t vote National.

sexist-key

68 comments on “Sexism”

  1. Tigger 1

    Finlayson himself is no friend to women. No friend to gays either.

    • joe90 1.1

      No friend to gays either.

      Indeed Tigger. During the same sex marriage debate my otherwise gentle and placid friend Dean would become positively incandescent when noting that for many years there have been numerous MPs out or otherwise who could and should have done an awful lot more to move equality issues along.

    • Tim 1.2

      We used to call the likes of Finlayson ‘ponces’ not that long ago. It didn’t necessarily correspond to sexuality specifically – more to do with overall disposition.
      Chris Finlayson is a self-serving ponce – and you’re correct – no friend to women or ‘gays’.

      Oh, btw …. since I’ve had 2 same sex relationships a while back but not currently – apparently I’m ‘a gay’. Where I live, there’d be an above average ‘a gay’ cohort as well – most of whom I know of seem to think as I do and often joke about it: the only reason Finlayson is celibate is that he’s become so far up his own arse, (same sex) relationships for him are superfluous. For him, no-one else is capable of providing the necessaries of any relationship but his own ego. Besides, he needs a way of remaining ‘respectable’ given his fuddy duddy morals.
      I’ll let him know when I find somewhere that can ‘correct his sexuality’.

      • Tim 1.2.1

        Ekshly – js before I depart, I’ve got a better explanation for Chris Finlayson’s Natzi dread.
        And it’s that it’s more than likely that Pulla Bent has become his faghag.

        It’s as close to a scientific explanation you’ll ever get anyway

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    Labour isn’t too bad because national is awful ?

    OMG I didn’t think the Labour apologists could get any worse but this post has proved me wrong.

    • Jackal 2.1

      Actually, Labour historically isn’t that good but the current National government is a lot lot worse. It is likely that a future Labour led government with the Greens as their main coalition partner would move to reduce inequality while National has clearly shown it is happy for things to get worse. If you think that’s apologizing for Labour then here’s your dunce’s cap…go sit in the corner tinfoilhat.

      • tinfoilhat 2.1.1

        I don’t think there are any dunces caps left between your blog and this post they’ve all been handed out.

        • Rosetinted 2.1.1.1

          Perhaps follow your convictions tinfoilhat and be a NZ entrepreneur in this market that isn’t guaranteed success but that’s business risk-taking. There is no surety that Labour will lose, but if you make the caps double sided with a sad and a smiley face you can’t miss. And we never know our luck and the effect of some critical thinking rationally applied might achieve wonders.

    • Murray Olsen 2.2

      My thoughts, too, tfh. It reminded me of the RWNJs coming on to wank on about Helen signing paintings etc. I think anyone here for serious reasons already knows NAct are crap. We hate seeing the same bullshit invading the “left”, often led by the disgusting Waitakere men and now, Goff as well. Maybe his sexism came as a package deal with the Hardley or whatever it is the smug prick rides?

  3. alwyn 3

    Well well.
    When any contributor to this blog, while replying to a story about the dark, evil deeds of the National Government, points out that the previous Labour Government did much the same they are, correctly, rubbished.
    I presume that the same applies to this post. What is it doing after all but proposing that “They did it too”.

    • Pasupial 3.1

      @ Alwyn

      It’s not: “They did it too” (under a government 5 years and two Labour leaders ago). It’s: They are doing it right now!

      Goff’s dickish jibe and unconcern at offending women; while disappointing and boding poorly for gender equality in any future government he may be a part of, does not have the immediate and far reaching consequences of our current NACT government actions (and neglect).

  4. QoT 4

    It is entirely possible for both parties to be sexist.

    John Tamihere. Phil Goff. Shane Jones. Working for Families.

    Can’t we just call shit out when it’s shit instead of pretending it matters who the shittiest is?

    Edited to add: and more to the point, don’t we expect MORE from a party which constantly bangs on about its social-liberal credentials when it thinks that’ll win votes?

    • r0b 4.1

      There is dickish behaviour and sexism from all sides, because it is all so deeply embedded. I’m not defending it, and contrary to the trolls above (tinfoil hat and alwyn) this post doesn’t defend Goff, it says Eddie was right to call him on it.

      This post is about something even more important. Results.

      Things get worse for women (like most other groups) under National governments, and better under Labour. Seems worth saying every now and then.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1.1

        Sorry, no. This post just isn’t right.

        You are absolutely right to say that it “seems worth saying every now and then” that National governments lead to bad results for women.

        But, now isn’t the time. Because what happens? This. This happens. A Labour MP says something sexist. Instead of having a debate on sexism in the Left, someone goes “yeah, fair point, but look, those guys are much worse.” Everyone agrees. Everyone gets to feel good about themselves. And we move on without addressing the original problem.

        Screw that. How about we ignore National for a moment and actually try and fix the bloody mess that Labour is in terms of sexism, homophobia and racism? Nah, let’s just say that National is worse and feel good about ourselves.

      • QoT 4.1.2

        It’s really quite a coincidence how “every now and then” just happens to be on a day when you want people to stop talking about a Labour MP’s sexism, isn’t it?

        • r0b 4.1.2.1

          It’s not a coincidence at all, so no need for sarcasm.

          I get frustrated that we seem to spend more time (lefties in general, and here on The Standard too) discussing the superficial aspects of sexism than the truly damaging aspects. A post of Goff saying something stupid is guranteed to attract more comments than a post on the widening pay gap. It’s crazy.

          I’m away now until after midnight, so adieu.

          • Rhinocrates 4.1.2.1.1

            Symptoms are indeed superficial – but they indicate a deeper illness.

            This isn’t some hypersensitive girls getting uppity about a little detail, it’s people sensing the whiff of a stink that indicates a deep rot that corrupts the whole carcass. No amount of stale sweat or aftershave will hide it.

            It’s not the “superficial” aspects that are the problem, it’s the fact that the disease first manifest itself as “superficial” symptoms.

          • Rhinocrates 4.1.2.1.2

            A post of Goff saying something stupid is guranteed to attract more comments than a post on the widening pay gap.

            If Goff says something showing that he thinks of women as lesser beings, then that calls into question his commitment to closing the pay gap as a high priority, instead of thinking of astute diagnoses of that as “a distraction.” – which should be at the centre of the Bullshit Bingo grid.

            Let’s add it to the others – “I hear what you’re saying, but be reasonable and think strategically…” “It will happen once we’ve achieved my objectives first.”

            No, I’m not a woman or a “gelding”, but I am thinking of Niemoller’s “First they came for…”

            Identity politics are the epitome of everyone’s politics.

          • QoT 4.1.2.1.3

            Sigh. There was a big comment here, but I’m really just going to boil it down to:

            Gee, r0b. Do tell me more about the truly damaging aspects of sexism. I’m sure I haven’t the faintest notion.

            • Rhinocrates 4.1.2.1.3.1

              Um, so did I just see some mansplaining? >:)

            • r0b 4.1.2.1.3.2

              Tell me QoT, do you hold any valid opinions on racism? On ageism? On discrimination against the disabled?

              Genuine enquiry.

              • Rhinocrates

                valid opinions on

                That in itself undermines this:

                Genuine enquiry.

                Who determines “valid”?

              • QoT

                Genuine enquiry.

                Bullshit.

                ETA: Precisely what Rhinocrates said.

                • r0b

                  Well let me rephrase. Do you hold any opinions on racism? On ageism? On discrimination against the disabled?

              • Rhinocrates

                I have opinions on rose bushes, earwax and cancer. I’ve not had the reason or inclination to talk about them and the fact fact that I haven’t, for whatever reason or circumstance, chosen to do so should have no bearing at all on the things that I do choose to talk about.

                Let alone how “valid” those opinions are.

                I assume that the same implicitly applies to everyone.

  5. Salad 5

    Yeh, but I’m not a member of the National Party, I am a member of the Labour Party. We shouldn’t have to put up with this shit…

  6. chris 6

    Don’t you think you are all getting a little bit missish over a comment… Each to his own, personally I found the “gaggle of gays” positively hilarious. There are a shyte load of old girls blouses in the insect colony, Goff being one of them, and one could be excused for thinking there are more blokes in Parliament than there actually are.

    I think everyone has at one time or other wished the ground would open up and swallow them

    Glass houses/ stones, pot/kettle, mountain/molehill etc…

    • QoT 6.1

      a little bit missish

    • karol 6.2

      A gaggle of gays is hilarious?!! And “old girls blouses?!!

      Back to the future…..

      • chris 6.2.1

        lol @ back to the future…

        Kiwis are becoming so bloody precious about such minor issues

        Who cares if Goff (big girls blouse :) ) makes a comment about some bloke being beaten by a woman 3 times… seriously how will that improve or worsen your personal situation in life

        I’m a woman and frankly I couldn’t give a toss if there were no women in Parliament… gender is irrelevant, the calibre of the MP and party policy is foremost in my mind when ticking the ballot paper. Frankly there are a number of women currently in Parliament who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the place.

        • felix 6.2.1.1

          “Who cares if Goff (big girls blouse :) ) makes a comment about some bloke being beaten by a woman 3 times… seriously how will that improve or worsen your personal situation in life”

          How does it worsen your personal situation that people in positions of power and influence think your gender alone makes you less capable than half of the population?

          Seriously?

  7. Rosetinted 7

    What was Jokeyhen indicating in that photo – “They were that big” – perhaps talking about fish.
    Or is he just showing that he has clean hands sometimes.

  8. karol 8

    There needs to be clear ground between National and Labour on this issue (and others) – especially related ones like on beneficiaries, because a lot of the Nats’ bennie-bashing hits women particularly hard.

    So, I agree with those who say it’s not good enough for Labour to be slightly better than National on gender issues, on social security, on housing etc.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    National more sexist? Definitely. Doesn’t hurt their polling in the least though. They trounced Helen Clark a female PM in 2008, and this was while they only had six women total (IIRC) in their top 25 list positions.

    Six men positions 1-6 then finally the first woman at number 7 (Collins?)

    • karol 9.1

      Yo make it sound like a good thing.

      Are the polls all that matter? What about leading on the issues, rather than following the lowest common denominator?

      And so it’s OK that Nat policies bash women beneficiaries, cut funding to rape crisis centres, etc, etc?

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Just observing a simple NZ political reality – that the electorate gives only a small weighting to gender balance when they consider what they look for in a government.

        And so it’s OK that Nat policies bash women beneficiaries, cut funding to rape crisis centres, etc, etc?

        Of course its not OK but again the political reality is pretty stark – National maintains 45% to 50% polling because those gender factors are not the decisive factors when the electorate considers National versus Labour.

        What about leading on the issues, rather than following the lowest common denominator?

        What about it? I’ve already showed above that in the current age, the electorate does not place a great weighting on leadership in gender issues. Does the Left know in what areas the electorate is actually looking for leadership in 2013-2014? Nope. Labour at least doesn’t seem to have much feel for the “pulse of the nation”. And until they figure it out, the Left will continue leading with its chin.

        • marty mars 9.1.1.1

          Surely for labour to get the treasury benches they need to become more sexist then – they need to beat the gnats at their own game and go hard for sexism – no wonder jones is on the up and likely to be the next leader – the runes have been thrown and the plan set in motion. M u s t g e t p o w e r…

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            hi marty mars

            Surely for labour to get the treasury benches they need to become more sexist then

            I think I made it quite clear in my comments that I don’t think gender issues play a big role in how NZers choose their government. More women in the party list, fewer women in the party list, whichever way, it only gets a minor weighting from the electorate.

            • Jackal 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it probably does play a significant role. After all, sexism isn’t limited to political parties and is a pervasive force throughout society.

              It is likely that the people who wrongly view males as being more appropriate to lead because they’re authoritative tip the scale in favour of male dominated parties. Of course being authoritative and being a good leader are often completely different things. In fact studies have shown that woman make better leaders than men, so a government that had a majority of woman would likely be better at managing New Zealand’s interests.

              However I don’t think political parties should look to emulate the incorrect belief systems of a certain sector of society, they should instead emulate the fact that there is around the same amount of men as there are women (actually there’s around 8% more females) and try to represent that fact. Playing to people’s prejudices isn’t a long term winning strategy.

              • Colonial Viper

                Go ahead, but in my view it makes no significant difference, positive or negative, to a political party’s electoral results, as demonstrated by the 2008 and 2011 election results where the very “male heavy” National Party was elected in then returned.

                In fact studies have shown that woman make better leaders than men, so a government that had a majority of woman would likely be better at managing New Zealand’s interests.

                “studies have shown”? So what we need to do is explain those research results to voters then?

                Which studies have shown that majority women Parliaments have done a better job? It seems so unlikely that such a study has actually been done I think you are just pandering to your biases.

        • karol 9.1.1.2

          CV:What about it? I’ve already showed above that in the current age, the electorate does not place a great weighting on leadership in gender issues.

          Huh? You’ve skewed your answer to make leadership mean following what the electorate is perceived to want. ie how else does a party decide this other than by polling them? You are just repeating your original assertion with different words.

          By leadership, I mean making the case for something that will be beneficial to society and/or that makes a more inclusive society, and attempt to carry the electorate with you. Often what many in the electorate give weighting to has been influenced by the PR-merchants, and the MSM.

    • weka 9.2

      “They trounced Helen Clark a female PM in 2008, and this was while they only had six women total (IIRC) in their top 25 list positions.”

      ffs. Nothing to do with the Labour having gotten stale of course.

      The only way you would know to what extent National’s sexism makes some women vote elsewhere is if you did some research on it.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Bottom line is that the NZ electorate only places a small weighting on gender balance when selecting their governments. You can be upset at that, say its not right, etc. but there you have it.

        ffs. Nothing to do with the Labour having gotten stale of course.

        Gender balance was only a small factor in helping there, too.

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          CV, it’s not just about people saying “oh, they have gender balance, I will vote for them”.

          A more diverse team does indeed help it provide more connections with a more diverse group of people, but the other effect is that it helps the team have a broader perspective when it comes to creating strategies.

          A team of Waitakere Men might consist entirely of good socialists, but that doesn’t mean shit if they all approach a problem in the same way because of their common background. Not a case of better people or worse, just a wider range of approaches considered for any given situation. That’s the “bottom line” – better party, better government.

          • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1

            Not a case of better people or worse, just a wider range of approaches considered for any given situation. That’s the “bottom line” – better party, better government.

            that’s a straight forward and commonsense theory. But the electorate is not convinced that is what it delivers in practice.

            • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1.1

              The electorate doesn’t need to be convinced. It doesn’t need to know why it thinks a party is a better option.

              The tory strength is uniformity and discipline. That is a strength in itself.
              If the left parties went homogenous and consisted solely of Waitakere Men, it would be a throwback to the days of socialist groups preaching equality, but the women were always expected to make the tea and wash the cups. The only way it gets the support of the majority of the vote is if most of the electorate are either alienated from voting or simply conditioned to vote in a particular direction.

              The other alternative for the left is to be even more diverse, to embrace it as a badge of honour. “Identity politics” aren’t diversions, they’re actual problems that need to be solved. Labour’s problem is that it’s still embarrassed about addressing issues of inequality, which makes it wishy-washy. Just fucking do it – the more tories are bitching about gender equality, abortion or euthanasia, the less they’re lying about the brighter future. And you know what – it turns them into the moaning minnies, rather than the opposition having to wear that hat.

              • Colonial Viper

                The other alternative for the left is to be even more diverse, to embrace it as a badge of honour. “Identity politics” aren’t diversions, they’re actual problems that need to be solved. Labour’s problem is that it’s still embarrassed about addressing issues of inequality, which makes it wishy-washy. Just fucking do it

                Perhaps that may be the solution for Labour then. Labour should simply embrace identity politics as a badge of honour, “just fucking do it” and wear it up front and centre throughout the upcoming election campaign.

              • karol

                McFlock: “Identity politics” – glad you put the term in italics. It’s time that term now could be binned. It has come to incorrectly signify neoliberal individualistic self-serving, middle-class nice-to-haves.

                Originally the movements that spawned this short-hand term, were focused on campaigning against various forms of oppression – the corrections to such oppression necessary to a democratic and just society, not some middle-class luxuries.

                I’m thinking the issues in question would be more correctly labelled, “The politics of Oppression” – anti-oppression politics.

                • just saying

                  Thank you Karol.
                  At last someone found the words to say it.

                  I feel bloody offended by lifetimes of struggle against oppression, disadvantage and discrimination being represented as being about neoliberal individualistic self-serving, middle-class nice-to-haves. I resent the sexist/heterosexist/racist/ableist….etc. assumptions that underpin the “identity” myth. As if white working to middle-class family men and their interests somehow represented most people. As if they aren’t an identity group themselves. As if, they weren’t always so, even in the “golden” days of the fifties, sixties, and seventies when social mobility among them was comparatively high, and inequality relatively low.

                  Members of “identity groups” form a significant majority. The largest set, (women and girls), are a majority in themselves. Our interests include the interests of white cis. het, men, as our whanau, friends, workmates, neighbours and fellow people, at least as much as their interests include ours.

                  ‘Identity’ membership generally entails socio-economic and political disadvantage. Identity issues are class issues – it’s all about oppression. It is privilege and the class system itself which assumes that what happens to one person matters, but the life of another, by virtue of birth or fortune, does not.

                  The concept of ‘identity’ is riddled with classist assumptions.

                  edit: excellent expression “oppression politics” – I will use it from now on.

                  • karol

                    Thanks, js. Actually “disadvantage politic”s is maybe also a good way of naming it.

                  • QoT

                    I disagree, if only because a lot of identity politics are about how people choose to identify. It’s about having the right to identify as a particular race or gender, about being able to own characteristics such as disabilities which are used to oppress you.

                    But that’s probably a much bigger debate for another time.

                    • just saying

                      Surely if your characteristics are used to oppress you, it is the oppression rather than the identification which is the political issue?
                      Will be interested to learn more…

                • McFlock

                  True that, but sadly the phrase scans so bloody well.

                  What gets me about the entire “identity politics” approach is that it’s actually incredibly self-referential: by reducing other people’s problems to “neoliberal individualistic self-serving, middle-class nice-to-haves” (nice description), the user is essentially just saying “because it is not a problem for me, it’s not really a problem for anybody”.

                  I’m among the last people on the planet who would be in a position to say (with a straight face) that everybody who gripes about a problem should be taken seriously, listened to patiently and given a hug. But what we have now is the situation where every problem is ruled out as being a problem simply because it never occurred to the speaker that there might be a problem.

            • Merrial 9.2.1.1.1.2

              @ CV: you say above (8.00pm) that “the NZ electorate only places a small weighting on gender balance when selecting their governments.” Then gender balance isn’t a crucial factor in lack of voter support for a party, right?

              On the other hand, you say here (8.33pm) that “the electorate is not convinced that is what it delivers in practice.” So you’re saying that gender balance is indeed a crucial factor in lack of voter support. Right?

        • weka 9.2.1.2

          “Bottom line is that the NZ electorate only places a small weighting on gender balance when selecting their governments. You can be upset at that, say its not right, etc. but there you have it.”

          You’re the one that bought it up as a strawman. And put a weird spin on it.

        • karol 9.2.1.3

          Actually, I agree gender “balance” is only part of the issue. It can be an indicator of masculine dominance, but on its own it is not the main problem.

          The wider issue is traditional “masculine” values: these are the ones that deem women’s activities, or activities mostly done by women, to be second class, while “masculine” values are given dominance. This results in things like beneficiary bashing, especially when it targets single mothers. Such values undervalue caring roles and the contribution to society of child rearing. Such values are also indicated in Goff’s comments as in the “What a dick” post.

    • Greywarbler 9.3

      CV
      First up a blonde, Marilyn Monroe knew that she had this advantage. Collins is a lawyer so the combination is useful in trawling the seas for suitable specimens in Cabinet.

  10. Paul 10

    Start with policy not polls.
    Lead don’t follow.

  11. Rhinocrates 11

    Sorry, know your heart’s in the right place, really, but if something is wrong, then its wrong, not relatively better.

    National indeed are doing awful things. Seeing Labour try to gain the “soft” National votes by emulating their sexism, by stepping back from the advances that Labour had made in the past does not deserve excuses.

    Goff’s remark is not a one-off – it comes as yet another of a series of disgusting statements by old men in the terminal throes of testosterone poisoning that I, as a man actually secure in his gender identity, find embarrassing at the very least.

    Labour is supposed to be a permanently progressive party, not one designed to perpetually support the privileges of cloth-caped men in the 30s.

    If something is wrong, then it’s wrong and the same thing with another logo is not “relatively better.”

    This, I think, is “keeping things in perspective”.

  12. xtasy 12

    Of course National are in some way “sexist” when it comes to giving women an equal chance, apart from “bully” type women like Bennett and Collins, but is the problem not the wider public falling for the “sexy-ism” of one overvalued John Key???

    Too many damned bored, mediocre, ill informed, dumbed down find the guy somehow crap “sexy”, believe it or not. That is what should be questioned and addressed, rather than the overly obvious one-sidedness of the Nat Party on gender favoritism.

    But hey, who can find the real issues these days?

    I am not finding them being mentioned in mainstream media, and some commenters on this forum also too easily get distracted.

    Good luck, life is full of surprises, revelations and learning experiences, we will all meet at some point down the track again, I am sure.

  13. One Anonymous Knucklehead 13

    Labour, the worst possible party apart from the other one.

    Except there’s more than one “other one”. And at least one of the “other ones” has a much better history in this context.

    If Labour are a sack of sexist shit and National are a container load of sexist shit I think I might just vote Green instead.

  14. tracey 14

    Labour prolly think goff won some middle ground by being an ordinary bloke.

    I just thought… again they make themselves look stupid and while there was so much to deride the nats for.

  15. Kapitalism keeps reproducing sexism because it relies on unpaid domestic labour. The bourgeois family, authoritarian submission, and destructive competition are the kiwi brand.
    It hasnt changed in my lifetime and all politicians tend to pander to it rather than face electoral defeat.
    Except under MMP you can grandstand on anti-capitalist, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-global burnout principles etc etc and make your mark for humanity and posterity.
    As soon as you trade off you principles for electoral victory you are soulless careerists, and stupid to boot since you are pissing into a shitstorm.
    Goff has always been a boring hack even in the days when we Marxists used to debate the Princes St Branch.
    He’s made his mark and its a brown stain on the page of history.

  16. Enough is Enough 16

    What a piss weak deflection of a post.

    It is about time r0b stop bleating on every day about how National is bad. Guess what we all know that and are in agreement that they should be gone tomorrow.

    We are never going to change the Nats.

    We can change Labour though and need to if they are going to bring about the change which this country needs.

    What we need to be doing is focussing on Labour and critiquing them daily. We have the chance to mould them into a truly left wing progressive party and steer the away from the destructive, divisive corrosive policies they have followed since 1984.

    Attempting to bring some “perspective” to this Labour Party’s continued failings is not going to turn this party into a credible alternative.

    [lprent: Read the last section of the about. Then look at the darwin awards mentioned in the policy. I tend to view all criticism directed at authors for what they choose to write (rather than dealing with what they write about) about as being grounds for a ban.

    I need to keep authors more than I need to keep you. One week “educational” ban as a warning to remind you not to be stupid about telling us how we should run this site. We do the work to keep it running. We therefore set the rules. ]

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    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    16 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    17 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    17 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    17 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    18 hours ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    19 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    19 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    19 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    20 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    21 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    23 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    23 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    1 day ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    15 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    15 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    18 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    19 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    21 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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