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Shearer promises active government

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, January 27th, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: david shearer, labour, leadership - Tags:

David Shearer has just made his opening speech of the year at the Labour Party Summer School.

There’s no new policy to give the speech real heft, but (given the significant policies already out there, the stage of the electoral cycle, and the lack of teaser hints) I think that was never likely. As such it’s about values and vision, and a solid restatement of Labour’s plans. For me the main content is the promise of active government:

NEW ERA – HANDS ON GOVERNMENT

We desperately need real leadership now more than ever.

The Global Financial Crisis has exposed the frailties of the old economic wisdom. The National Party believes the financial crisis is just a blip to get over. Their solution is to apply their failed ideas of the past over and over. They are wrong. The hands-off, simply leave it to the market approach has failed all over the world. …

We need a government that recognises times have changed. We need a Government that finds the courage to act, not better excuses for why we can’t. We need a government prepared to stand up for hardworking forgotten Kiwis. We need a smart, hands-on Government. A government that is prepared to be a player, not a spectator. That will be a Labour Government, and the Government I will lead. …

Labour’s plans are out there. I’d be delighted if this government picked them up and ran with them. For example:

We’ll pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take on apprentices.

We’ll back Kiwi businesses to get their slice of the $30 billion dollars the Government contracts out every year – but we will require them to take on apprentices and trainees in return.

We’ll give tax breaks to companies doing world-leading research and development, so the innovations – and the jobs – they create stay right here in New Zealand. …

Since we announced KiwiBuild last year, excitement is growing. Architects, construction companies and designers around NZ have been in touch. They see an opportunity to build affordable, energy-efficient – even energy generating – houses. Houses that use home grown sustainable materials. Houses that families will be proud to call home. This is an idea the country is embracing. More than 70 per cent of Kiwis support our KiwiBuild programme to build 100,000 first homes.

New Zealanders are also behind our other new ideas and those numbers are growing. Most people see the need for a Capital Gains Tax on investment properties. Nearly six in every ten New Zealanders support our idea to make KiwiSaver universal. And nearly two-thirds of you back our pledge to protect universal superannuation for future generations by gradually lifting the age of eligibility. …

HANDS ON – A GLOBAL TREND

Labour isn’t alone in knowing the time has come for active government. A movement of leaders and people across the world have realised the old hands-off solutions take us nowhere. It’s a new way of thinking and it’s evolving. New Zealanders are looking to a government that will roll up its sleeves and back them. You do your part, and we the government will do ours. In 2014 that’s the Government I will lead.

The speech goes on to set out an “agenda for 2013″ – check it out.

I’d be hard pressed to call it an exciting speech, but it describes the kind of government that I want. Active, involved, doing things. Leaving everything to the market has had it’s turn and the (lack of) results speak for themselves. Time for a change…

78 comments on “Shearer promises active government”

  1. millsy 1

    Solid speech, look forward to the policies as they come our.

    • xtasy 1.1

      “Solid speech, look forward to the policies as they come our.”

      Yes, I have been waiting for detailed policies for over a year now.

  2. millsy 2

    Solid speech, look forward to the policies as they come out.

  3. James Thrace 3

    *yawn*

    “Number one is jobs. It is our most urgent priority and cuts across everything we do.
    Labour’s plan to build new affordable homes will create thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships.
    A job is more than a weekly wage, it’s gives people a purpose and pride in themselves.
    That’s why I’m focussed on jobs.”

    Translate

    Jobs are good. Jobs keep people. Only jobs to build houses will exist under Shearer Labour.

    “Our housing proposals are at the cutting edge of urban design and energy efficiency.
    This year we will bring together the best ideas of architects, designers, urban planners and others to a housing conference.
    I want KiwiBuild ready to roll on Day 1 when we take office.
    First-home buyers shouldn’t have to wait.”

    Translate

    We use super heap big expensive housing designer and planners. This is good. This make job. No thought given to super heap big expensive council fees for “consents” to put holes in super heap big expensive land. Just jobs be made for super heap big expensive architects, designers and urban planners.

    “Jacinda Ardern, my Social Development spokesperson, will produce an alternative white paper this year, setting out our direction to help lift kids out of poverty.. There are 270,000 children in hardship in this country, and the government is failing them.
    Kids deserve the best chance in life regardless of their parents’ wealth, and with Labour they will get that.”

    Translate

    That Jacinda, cor whiz blimey, she a looker innit! Too busy trying to score one punch on bennet but big bennet bullet dodging. Poor children in poverty. Super heap big hard to create policy. Annette King be talking about super poor children since 2007 but no result cos super heap big hard to give money directly to poverty line families. Easier to develop super heap big expensive third parties to divest money cos that create jobs. Jobs good.

    “Their best opportunity is from a world-class education system.
    We’ve already set out our plan to put food in schools and extend reading recovery so our kids aren’t destined to be drop outs from their first day at school.
    This year I’m asking my education team to look at ways to improve transitions from school to further training and high-skill jobs.
    85,000 young New Zealanders are not in work, education or training.”

    Translate

    Super heap big plan for food in schools designed with urban planners and architect. Create jobs. Jobs good. Education Team of Robertson and Mallard. Yes Mallard, school closure minister, responsible for closing more schools in the 5th Labour Government than National, except now with Parata, maybe more school to close. Schools heap big expensive to run. Need more jobs so create jobs to close schools. Super good plan.

    “I’ve spoken of a clean, green, clever economy many times.
    We need our environment to drive our economic success and our economy to keep our environment clean.
    The reality is we will not create more better paying jobs by simply exporting more milk powder.
    We’ve been talking about it since Mike Moore invented lamb burgers.”

    Translate

    Jobs good. Economy create jobs from the Environment. I know not what this “Environment” is but we must take votes from the Greens. Jobs good. Super heap big jobs come when “Environment” is mentioned. Don’t know how “Environment” creates jobs but …. what’s that Grant?… oh, yes, Environment, Environment, Environment.

    “I am committed to rebuilding Christchurch from the grassroots up, not the Beehive down.
    That’s why I’ll be talking to Cantabrians about how they see their future.
    To ensure their voices are heard.”

    Translate

    That Dalziel supports Cunliffe, I know she good with the Eastern suburbs but she supports Cunliffe. National is committed to “rebuilding Christchurch” and they won with that slogan. Mallard thinks it will win us some votes too. Rebuild Christchurch. Create jobs, jobs good. We don’t want to invest in Christchurch, no, too different. Rebuild Christchurch! Good Idea Trev.

    • The Fan Club 3.1

      Yeah mate, who could be committed to rebuilding Christchurch ’cause it’s the right thing to do. Must be some ploy to win votes, right? And who’d point out that National’s running roughshod over local wishes in Chch? And recycle Dalziel’s pet theme of community strength not state power? Only someone advised by a cynical incompetent, clearly.

    • Macro 3.2

      yeah that’s about it! :( (referring to James not the fan club)

  4. QoT 4

    Well, I’m certainly glad the time is now for active government. It’s not like an active hands-on government has ever been a good idea before the GFC, so thank heavens David Shearer thinks it’s an idea whose time has finally come. :roll:

    • Well spotted.

      I noticed that too: “times have changed” and therefore we need a hands-on government. Previously (e.g., the 80s, 90s and 2000s), it implies, we didn’t have such a need. Rhetorical choices can be revealing.

      Also, looking down the ‘hands-on’ list in the extracted quotation, it comes down to involvement in the market, as opposed to erecting non-market (i.e., social) means of provision (i.e., R&D tax credits, private tendering for government contracts, subsidising employers for apprentice wages, Kiwibuild, etc.). The other policies are simply either orthodox economics or neoliberal (i.e., a CGT and raising the age of super).

      That’s only ‘hands-on’ in the sense that a Liberal Party would advocate ‘hands-on’, rather than how I would expect a Labour Party to advocate ‘hands-on’.

      I’m starting to realise that many MPs in the Labour Party are probably just Liberals who don’t understand the difference between being Liberal and being democratic socialist.

      That’s a pity, if only because it’s confusing. Maybe it results from the lack of a Liberal Party in New Zealand that could soak up some of those Liberals-at-heart and give them a proper home.

      Where are the Labour Party policies advocating new initiatives in non-market provision of public goods and services or in increasing the redistribution of wealth (and hence lowering inequality directly)?

      I guess school lunches across the board would be one – is that the form the ‘food in schools’ policy Labour have put forward would take?

      Maybe the Social Development review will provide some more of these?

      • Tim 4.1.1

        “I’m starting to realise that many MPs in the Labour Party are probably just Liberals who don’t understand the difference between being Liberal and being democratic socialist.”

        Me too!!!

        And now they’re asking for us for support.

        Once betrayed (1987)
        Twice betrayed (when Helen Clarke decided to have a lay down in the 3rd term) – so much that COULD have been done in backing out the previous regime’s programme. (much harder to do now than it was then – and perhaps that’s a lesson for the future eh Mike?

        Not thrice though. Thankfully we now have alternatives and I’m not sure over-ambitious little pratts from the Hutt Valley, OR bovver boys entertaining Catholic Gurrls dressed in buzzniss suits made out of my grandma’s couch have actually cottoned on to that.

        Labour will actually have to DEMONSTRATE they’re no longer welded to neo-lib/3rd way/4th Reich bullshit before they EVER get my vote again (and those of a rather large extended family). I wish them well though. Failure to me seems self evident.

        • Drakula 4.1.1.1

          My sentiments exactly, Shearer has to prove that he can walk the walk and if asked “are you a democratic socialist?” What will his answer be? Yes or No?

          I will be supporting the Greens I would like to support Labour but I can’t take any risks with those who may be all shiny on the outside and shit on the inside.

          If there was an opposition coalition and Green was in the lead then Labour politicians would have to earn their patch and gain back the credibility they have lost over the decades.

      • Puddleglum 4.1.2

        To clarify my point about market intervention/guidance vs non-market provision it’s worth noting the mirror image of this thinking in the public sector itself.

        PPPs, charter schools (even vouchers), sub-contracting to private medical providers to meet operation targets, etc., etc. all use the same logic as these ‘hands-on’ policies – i.e., that, in many areas, it’s best to have a mix in which the government has goals and the market manages the provision.

        That is nothing other than the governance-management split which is a pure neoliberal idea that ultimately devolves to the notion that the market can ‘manage’ to provide what ‘we’ all want so long as we send it clear signals as to what provision will be rewarded.

        The only difference between National and Labour then becomes that National claims that it believes that individuals should send the signals to the market while Labour says that the government can send the signals to the market.

        All well and good – and there’s a long, Liberal history of this kind of thinking – but, once again, it’s not what I would expect from a Labour Party.

        Perhaps a party name change is in order? Just to avoid confusion and to respect the historical meaning of words.

      • xtasy 4.1.3

        “I guess school lunches across the board would be one – is that the form the ‘food in schools’ policy Labour have put forward would take? ”

        I am afraid that this kind of stuff is exactly what Labour is about. It is full of tokenism, of little signals of symbolic value, but not intent on changing the system.

        The media are happy with it, the right wing may not like it, but can to some degree accommodate it (as long as it costs not too much), and otherwise it does not address the root causes.

        That is where I see Labour, full of words and tokenism, but not prepared for REAL social and economic change. By the way, has Shearer qualified the talk about “hands on”? I have not heard or read it, so surprise me, please.

        It is just all designed to win some votes, and too little substance, I am afraid. Shearer, fail, 4 out of 10 I’d say.

  5. fatty 5

    We’ll pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take on apprentices.
    We’ll back Kiwi businesses to get their slice of the $30 billion dollars the Government contracts out every year – but we will require them to take on apprentices and trainees in return.
    We’ll give tax breaks to companies doing world-leading research and development, so the innovations – and the jobs – they create stay right here in New Zealand.

    Sweet!
    Shearer’s gonna pump Government money into companies so that the job creators might take a risk and train up some of those deceitful roof painters.

    The trickle down myth continues…

    • QoT 5.1

      Because paying employers to “create jobs” has never ever resulted in existing workers being fired.

    • infused 5.2

      The red tapes not worth it. Like getting any big govt contract, only the big boys play in that area.

    • xtasy 5.3

      Paying the employer the equivalent of the dole to train someone is easily abused, I would say. What conditions would there be? Is a trade qualification at the end of it? Or can employers use the scheme, say they will do this and the other, but then just use the young trainee to do menial work no other employee will do, and if there is any issue, just off-load the trainee?

      It gives a lot of power over to the employer. I fear that there is maybe not enough detail to ensure the trainee or apprentice also is heard and respected.

      So Shearer is talking stuff some employers and others may like, but the detail is needed to fairly judge on what it means and how it will work!

      • Treetop 5.3.1

        Job seekers are already being abused due to being bullied about finding a job which may lead to nowhere. At least job training has some future.

        Employers have always had power, this is why unions need to be strengthened or to have better dispute resolutions. Detail is required to ensure any scheme will not treat a person unfairly.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    So what does Shearer propose to do about climate change, especially now that Lord Stern (author of the Stern Report) has admitted he got it wrong and the situation is far more dire than he thought [in 2006]?

    I think we can rely on the Labour Party to carry on ignoring the issue of climate change, just as they continue to ignore Peak Oil (now in the past, and causing economic mayhem ) and the imminent meltdown of the money system.

    Hands on government. What a laugh! Shills for global corporations and money-lenders more like it.

  7. handle 7

    National has been very ‘hands-on’ since 2008. All that damage doesn’t happen by itself. Which genius chose to hang Labour’s campaign on this easily-countered theme?

    • Coronial Typer 7.1

      Even the phrase “commercially interventionist” could be owned by National at this point. I think it was Hooten who recently pointed out the range of pretty direct commercial interventions. The point Labour needs to refer to is WHY intervene; not merely to prop up multinationals and the few squillionares we already have. The point of intervening is to increase the wealth for everyone; ie as many as possible, not the few, and they should be New Zealanders not so much foreign owners.

      • xtasy 7.1.1

        This could easily be dealt with by drawing up and bringing in a universal “investment charter”, demanding compliance from all, overseas, national and government when investing, to ensure some minimum benefits to NZ and NZers as a whole. I wonder why this has never been done? Countries like Singapore are a bit more ahead apart from such thoughts, but little NZ thinks, open the boarder, free flow of money, investment, labour, migration and so forth, that will be the panacea for all.

        Somehow it does not work I fear.

  8. just saying 8

    I wasn’t going to comment. I’m as tired of all this as the ABC club must be.

    But what utter bollocks.

    And couldn’t he have worked in “hard-working” a couple of dozen more times. Sheesh, some listeners (and I doubt anyone other than the die-hards would have kept awake beyond the first few predictable, and trite paragraphs) might have missed all of those whistles.

    • CV - Real Labour 8.1

      Yeah it was pretty dense on the “hand up, not a hand out” memes.

    • Rhinoviper 8.2

      And fluffies are kitten. That’s nice. We’re nice. We’re holding the accountant to govern. And so on.

      I’m wondering how you can be “hard-working” if you don’t have a job… unless painting roofs is hard work, and he’s including the poor and beneficiaries in his “vision” after all.

      Maybe the speechwriter got it sort of right in their banal way, but how was it delivered? At this point, I’m ready to support HAL 9000 – he was clear in his speech.

    • Bill 8.3

      The welfare safety net will continue to be hauled ever higher in any goverment under this Labour Party as it’s currently configured. And the mesh on that net will be made larger so that no ‘undeserving’ poor are inadvertantly caught up in smething intended only for the ‘deserving’ poor (ie, working – and to become increasingly working and lower middle class only at it’s lower extremes).

      So you best make sure you can ‘do your bit’.

  9. CV - Real Labour 9

    There are solid elements to the speech, like working with local councils on things like rail projects. But as AFKTT states, nothing on climate change, nor on peak oil, two existential threats to our civilisation.

    I’m also particularly concerned about this:

    It’s about getting our priorities right, being thrifty about our economy.

    Bringing our debt under control.

    Unless Shearer is talking about increasing the tax take, this seems to point to austerity measures.

    There is also a distinct absence of help coming for those beneficiaries trying to live on the lowest incomes in the country.

    The Greens housing policy is superb, and Key has come out with a pretty strong apprenticeships policy. To my mind, Labour needs to be putting more bold policy out, faster.

    • xtasy 9.1

      ‘Real Labour’ now – The Greens are doing so much rather well, they may overtake Labour within the coming 5 years!

    • ordinary_bloke 9.2

      CV, I get that message too. Once Key retires, they bring in a hitman from the centre-left. Great blindside tactics, except for those of us, poor sods, struggling from week to week ..

      • Just gettin by 9.2.1

        I dont like the housing policy. It sounds as if we are going to be herded into low cost high rise slums. I like the kiwi dream, soil under my feet a lawn and vege garden, bring up a family and just relax!!!!! Write off the student loans would be a good idea too. I cant get a job because I will have to start paying off my student loan. These rich pricks had free education, so should I.

        Labour needs to focus on getting rid of the loans first and then get the rents for public housing back down to $50 per week. They might get my vote then.

    • Drakula 9.3

      CV; I agree, increasing the tax take? There is no other way around it; not austerity but TAXING THE BLOODY ONE PERCENT!!!

      And capital gains tax to finance affordable housing could be a good place to start.

  10. Bill 10

    Just an observation, but I contrasted that speech with Metiria’s ‘State of the Planet’ speech. Both speeches have more or less the same intent, though obviously content and emphases differ. But here’s the thing (as best as I can get a handle on it).

    Whereas when Metiria speaks it feels natural enough and agreement is invited, with Shearer, even where he is trying to take the same approach…well, that’s it really. It feels that Shearer is always trying and reaching and attempting to force agreement onto the listener rather than inviting it.

    It kind of goes – Here’s a homily and this is what I conclude from that homily or the attitudes it speaks of…. and now I’m going to apply that conclusion and/or those attitudes to you. It’s bloody horrible.

    It’s like the man is standing on the outside speaking in and overlaying or imposing his thoughts on ‘others’ who are listening, instead of speaking from a common ground and sharing common concerns and experiences.

    • IrishBill 10.1

      He does have problems with his style. This had the feeling of a whole lot of “shearer says” emails stitched together. I think, Bill, the sense of imposition you’re getting is because Shearer is telling rather than showing. He needs to learn to lead the reader/listener into his idea so that when he makes his point it’s self-evidently correct.

      Met’s is better but slightly patronising. She needs to work on using more concrete language and elucidating her points more clearly especially if the greens are interested in expanding their vote out to the suburbs. Phrases like “agent of hope” and “thought leader” ghettoize her message.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        I dunno Irish. I think it’s way beyond mere style. I think it’s what he is…detached.

    • lightly 10.2

      maybe you can learn that naturalness. It’s worth noting that Shearer’s not only the newest of the party leaders in Parliament as a leader, he’s also spent the least time as a politician.

      His speeches certainly read better (and more leftwing) since they got Julian Robins in and shut Pagani out.

      • Rhinoviper 10.2.1

        Well, signs of hope there. Maybe in time he’ll be ready to perform as a competent minister in Bill Rowling’s cabinet.

  11. Rhinoviper 11

    CV:

    The Greens housing policy is superb, and Key has come out with a pretty strong apprenticeships policy. To my mind, Labour needs to be putting more bold policy out, faster.

    Bill:

    It’s like the man is standing on the outside speaking in and overlaying or imposing his thoughts on ‘others’ who are listening, instead of speaking from a common ground and sharing common concerns and experiences.

    Agree with both.

    This is Stepford Labour as a printed speech (Cthulhu only knows what Shearer did to mangle it in delivery) versus the Greens’ real focus.

    Keeping your powder dry” was always nonsense, and the Labour Caucus, when campaigning needs to lay down a narrative, establishing a commonality between the storyteller and listener right from the beginning. I’m glad that they’ve appreciated this blindingly obvious point at last. However, a good storyteller knows their audience and wants to be one with them, but McLabour has talking points and the result is something like a bad romcom: they have all the elements the marketing people said would do well in the midwest, they’ve eliminated absolutely everything that would scare anyone anywhere on earth as well as several hypothetical alien species, but the cast is second-rate and all the laughter is canned.

    Principles, heart, passion, solidarity, genuine empathy, courage, a “fuck you” to the banksters. Try it.

  12. Anne 12

    Whereas when Metiria speaks it feels natural enough and agreement is invited, with Shearer, even where he is trying to take the same approach…well, that’s it really. It feels that Shearer is always trying and reaching and attempting to force agreement onto the listener rather than inviting it.

    To be fair Bill. Metiria is a former lawyer. They are trained to be articulate and are usually good at expressing themselves. She’s also been in parliament a long time now. David S is still a novice in some ways I know, and public speaking doesn’t come naturally to him. But he is improving all the time so let’s give him a bit longer to prove himself. IMO, the re-shuffle will be a better indicator.

    I will probably upset a few people with the following:

    I think it’s time to tone down the criticism of Shearer. In my view, it is being taken a bit too far by some commentators on The Standard and is now becoming counter-productive. In fact, I think some here are playing straight into the hands of the ABC club (and their media mates) by continuing to rubbish everything he says and does. A perception is being created that TS commenters and posters are all a bunch of subversive, extremist “whackos” and it’s not true.

    • Bill 12.1

      I’m thinking that whether she trained as a lawyer or not is beside the point. Or are you likewise suggesting that because D. Shearer worked in conflict resolution situations he didn’t need to be articulate?

      See, I’ve been around when Metiria has spoken in public and she isn’t completely comfortable…like most people she takes a minute or two to ‘warm up’. And when I’ve run into her on a one to one basis the exchange is just natural and easy as between two equals. I could contrast that with former mp’s I’ve met who felt compelled to ham it up in an attempt to come across as ‘one of the lads’….y’know, by somewhat woodenly swearing a lot. (I kid you not) But can I imagine having a free and easy exchange with D. Shearer? No. He’s just not of my world and as far as I can tell shares none of my cultural reference points and (I suspect) he’d be quietly frightened by the mere presence of one of those people he seems only to gain understanding of through stories or tales.

      As for more time… and more time…. and more time. Nah. Time’s up and has been for quite some while now. But that said, as far as I’m concerned I’ll sit fairly quietly by and just wait for February and see if a party wide vote transpires….partly because I do agree that attempts to categorise authors and commenters at ‘the standard’ as whacko’s, nutters or whatever is actually happening and it’s too valuable a source of info for that to be allowed to happen. And also, importantly, because I’ve no desire to contribute to any ‘intra-standard’ strife anyone might be interested in engineering.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        Or are you likewise suggesting that because D. Shearer worked in conflict resolution situations he didn’t need to be articulate?

        No. I was talking only about making speeches etc.

        Actually I agree with most of what you say Bill – and Olwyn. Patience is running out for me too. But I still live in hope…

    • Olwyn 12.2

      Jenny has said on another thread, “Instead of delivering on their promises of reform and social justice, left social democratic parties on gaining office are finding themselves having to agree to imposing austerity. There can be little doubt this is the path mapped out by Shearer and crew for the Labour Party in Government.” This sums up my fear of the present configuration of the Labour Party. I do not want to deliver pamphlets, door knock and cheer lead for a few people to have high flying careers that are conditional on their ‘bravely” inflicting suffering on others. I agree with you Anne that attacking Shearer every turn of the way is counter productive, and I guess I will have to wait it out to see whether my fears are shown to be justified or not. Cant, threat and spin, however, do more to inflame than soothe them: I want to see some reality. And I must add that I have never been a member of the Alliance, and that I cheerfully door-knocked etc. for Clark and Goff.

  13. GeoffC 13

    @ann good comment, if we commentators of the left become counterproductive and isolated then we become nothing more than spectators dreaming of lost hopes.
    Labour will never overnight become what some of the extreme red posters purpose, it is not simply possible but if you look at the language used by shearer…
    Third way hybrid neoliberal social demo replaced with something else.
    The uk labour have labelled it one nation
    We signalled a hands on govt.
    Promising start platform now to cross link policy ESP.

  14. higherstandard 14

    No different from Key’s speech………boring load of old cant.

    Out, out brief candle !

  15. Glen Forrester 15

    IMHO it looks like he just copied from your man David Cunliffe’s speeches from last year. Just somehow more patronising… Guess now I understand all the hate Shearer pro Cunliffee stuff on this blog.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    I’m not too bothered about a lack of meat in the speech at this stage. It’s January, it’s hot, and only us political junkies are really paying attention.

    The real concern is anticipating the follow-up questions, and Shearer’s future answers.

    Interviewer – “So, Mr Shearer, “hands-on”, “a player not a spectator”, “an interventionist government” … isn’t that a clear shift to the left? Will your government be more left-wing than Clark/Cullen?”.

    The question is predictable (and perfectly fair) and so Labour/Shearer need to have an answer. Saying (again) that “left/right doesn’t mean anything” is going to get a snort of derision.

    If Shearer means what he says, then he has to be able to (a) defend on principle (now) and (b) cost on detail (later). I have serious doubts about his ability to do either. Once we get past generalities to specifics, he struggles. At least, he always *has* struggled, but we’re led to believe he’s a New Shearer, post-Conference 2012. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    • Pete 16.1

      Interviewer – “So, Mr Shearer, “hands-on”, “a player not a spectator”, “an interventionist government” … isn’t that a clear shift to the left? Will your government be more left-wing than Clark/Cullen?”

      The ideal answer would be along the lines of:

      “It’s not about what’s left and what’s right, it’s about what works and what doesn’t. John Key’s government isn’t working. It’s plain for everyone to see. A Labour-led government will be solutions-oriented and willing to grapple the problems that Mr Key won’t address”.

    • Treetop 16.2

      “Once we get past generalities to specifics, he struggles.”

      This is what bugs me the most about Shearer.

  17. Craig Glen viper 17

    Shearers not a leader pure and simple and thats why people do not relate to him and he says and neither will the electorate. Shearer is pissing in the wind and the caucus and people like Mike Smith are going ooooh look people the rains nice and warm and the amazing Mr Shearer has made it yellow. What a joke..

  18. KhandallaViper 18

    Shearer’s Speech? The words were fine, even if the delivery was awkward and artificial.

    Jobs, Children in Hardship, Education, A green, clever economy and Christchurch. And all “hands on”.

    And I still feel so so uncomfortable.

    He didn’t speak, look, behave, feel like a person from whose core these words were resonating. It had previously presented elements so should have flowed. And even with tele-prompter and rehearsal it was clutsey. He will be absolute dog tucker in any live-television debate.

    Secondly I cannot get past the fact that he has the exact same team around him who have been running the same ineffective show using the same blunt instruments since 2008. These people, including Trevor the host today, got angry when some criticised the Party’s stance in the ’80s. These people are paying Mike Williams to accuse non-lovers of being Nutters and Alliance infiltrators.

    Finally there is still wholesale efforts to stop the members have a say in the leadership. That is also giving the deaf ear to membership having a REAL say in policy. Today’s speech will not excite our members, our youth, the drift to the greens. Without a real leadership debate we are lost. A show endorsement of Shearer will be a lose lose for everyone.

  19. Nick K 19

    This from Shearer’s speech:

    Since we announced KiwiBuild last year, excitement is growing. Architects, construction companies and designers around NZ have been in touch. They see an opportunity to build affordable, energy-efficient – even energy generating – houses. Houses that use home grown sustainable materials. Houses that families will be proud to call home. This is an idea the country is embracing. More than 70 per cent of Kiwis support our KiwiBuild programme to build 100,000 first homes.

    Of course they are. The businesses all want a taxpayer contract to make them millions and the “Kiwis” want the taxpayer to subsidise them into a new home. Who wouldn’t want this chequebook politics!!

  20. billbrowne 20

    Rather than just paying private employers to take on apprentices, I believe the following approaches are more beneficial:

    Apprenticeships in the public sector starting with:
    A nationalised electricity generation and transmission department
    An expansion of rail services
    A re-nationalisation of Chorus

    A refocusing on trade training through polytechnics which include a state sponsored and monitored apprenticeships scheme

    • CV - Real Labour 20.1

      yep +1

    • Macro 20.2

      Good start – and if Rio Tintocontinue to play fast and loose with Tiwai Point – kick em out and negotiate with Australia to have a joint SOE ANZAC Aluminium smelter.

      Setting Trade tariffs and import quotas on selected goods and services to re-promote NZ industry is another thing that desperately needs attention. In opening our boarders to free trade we have simply exported jobs to less developed countries. Why for instance should NZ import wine bottles from China which up until a few years ago were designed and manufactured in NZ. Yes I know – it’s ‘cheaper’. But only to the producer – society picks up the rest of the tab in increased unemployment and loss of incentive. This is just one example – it has been repeated over innumerable industries to our shame and cost. Australia has been more resistant to opening up its boarders and and as a result has faired much better economically. It is a modern myth that Australia’s current economic strength is based solely on their mineral wealth, eg the retention of their car manufacturing ‘Holden’ and ‘Ford’ in the face of a dramatically changing global automobile industry, is a prime example. We NZers may bleat about their reluctance to accept our apples – but their fruit industry survives because of it. Protectionism is an essential part of a viable Nations economy.

  21. 4wardthinking 21

    4/10 for content and 7/10 for presentation – (probably thanks to some pretty obvious media training). One speech does not a leader make…

  22. faiala4 22

    To boring / Didn’t finish. Like when he goes on the telly.

  23. Blue 23

    “Shearer promises active government” How? Is he resigning before the election?

  24. infused 24

    So that was pretty much a speech about nothing then… IE same shit re-hashed?

    You guys must be mad now.

  25. Hami Shearlie 25

    Shearer comes across to me as someone merely parroting someone else’s lines!! All the “new” table thumping and arms waving everywhere is overdone and FAKE!! He can’t sell the policies because he doesn’t truly believe in them!! This is what people are picking up on!! No-one knows to this day what David Shearer’s personal beliefs truly are!! And I’m not at all convinced that he’s as “nice” a guy as people claim he is, or if he really believes in democratic socialism!! He’s just, in a word, “unbelievable”!

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      One thing that you’re picking up on is that the speech writing has not captured Shearer’s own voice, but that of a number of different contributors to the creation of that speech. Hence it sounds a bit disjointed and inauthentic.

      Another key problem, even with the better delivered speeches, and also all the set pieces with BBQs and guitars or whatever, is that they continue to leave us with precious little sense of who the real David Shearer is, and what he stands for in his heart of hearts.

      At a visceral level, and at a political level, that is highly unnerving.

  26. xtasy 26

    Shearer is really hands-on. I see so much footage of him having his hands dug deep in his pockets. Is he “hands on” with something below the beltline? I see little else of the man convincing me that he is “hands on”. Sorry, what a disappointment.

  27. burt 27

    Hands on … hands on other peoples money to buy the vote so …. so the economy can be stagnated in just 6 years handing a rooted economy to National… Happened in the 80’s/90’s – Happened in 2008 – roll up roll up for 2020 – we can ruin the economy via intervention and popularist poor quality spending again if we just vote for other peoples money…..

  28. Tiresias 28

    Agree with the general tenor of the above.

    It was the worst of both worlds – it was a politician’s speech, but Shearer isn’t politician enough to deliver it and get away with it.

    It was, if you go into it, exactly the kind of speech Obama gave when electioneering in 2008 – praise the American people for being exceptional and tell them their problems are someone else’s fault, but he knows how to fix them because “together, we can”. But because Obama has more charisma in his little finger than Shearer has in his entire body, and because Obama could sell himself as something new on the scene, because Obama has a genuine gift of oratory and (let’s face it) because the American people are more easily suckered than cynical, morose New Zealanders, it carried the day.

    And let’s not forget that Obama won the White House in 2008 with a solid Democrat majority in both Houses of Congress and the power to achieve great things, and promptly betrayed his entire voting base in favour of his financial backers.

  29. Tiresias 29

    No new policy?

    Has a commitment to introduce a Capital Gains Tax been given before?

    Has a promise to feed children at school been given before?

    Has an undertaking to change monetary policy to deal with the exchange rate ‘to ease the load on exporters’ been given before?

    • CV - Real Labour 29.1

      1) and 3) were certainly in the Manifesto for the 2011 election, and I thought 2) giving children breakfast in schools was part of Labour’s child poverty initiatives announced for then too (from memory).

  30. I didn’t think much of the speech no policy no detail. I am looking forward to seeing his new lineup I see the Sunday Times said Mallard maybe dropped or Street Mahuta Dalziel Chauvel. According Sunday times Megan Woods Dave Clark Sue Moroney Andrew Little Kris Faafoi Shane Jones have all put up for promotion. Who do you reckon will be dropped? Some People reckon Shearer will Keep Lobbyists such as Street or Mallard in Line Up he needs to dominate them and your winner Mr Shearer if you do keep them your loser.

  31. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 31

    It is just a lie to say this government is not active.

    They are balls deep in everything:

    The $400 million irrigation fund
    the $1.5 billion for ultra-fast broadband
    $100m for export assistance
    $15m for business capability
    $30m for sector and special events
    $30m for international growth opportunities
    $50m for large budget screen productions
    $10m for major events
    $12m for venture capital
    $10m for primary industry grants
    $9m for sustainable farming
    $70m for primary growth partnerships
    $220m for CRI funding
    $178m for high value manufacturing and services research
    $106m for biological industries research
    $84m for health and society research
    $47m for Marsden Fund

    Now, you might say that all of this is bad spending. I would agree with you. But, when the government thinks it has a role to play in the economy, it will inevitably spend money on stupis shit. That’s why it shouldn’t.

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    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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