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Shhh! It’s the ‘P’ word.

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, November 18th, 2013 - 339 comments
Categories: capitalism, class, feminism, patriarchy, racism, religion, sexism, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

You don’t have to be white and male and financially wealthy to assume a prominent position within systems of patriarchy, but it helps. And you don’t have to be financially strapped and black and female to feel the full weight of patriarchy always pressing down on you, but it helps.

So, what is this conglomeration of systems called patriarchy that has, broadly, predictable and deleterious effects on us according to our skin colour, gender and financial wealth?

I don’t think that’s so hard to discern. There is a concept, that may have pre-dated the Judeo-Christian tradition,  deeply embedded within Judeo-Christianity, that’s been manifested and expressed in many different ways down the years. Internalising the permissions it grants and the sanctions it imposes doesn’t require any religious belief.

God created everything.

Did you miss that? Okay stop and think about it for a second. That claim absolutely says that order is properly to be imposed from above. It blatantly legitimises or sanctifies the idea of over-arching authority. But if you take a look around at nature, all you will see is instances of order rising up from below; that is, incredibly intricate and complex order arising out of and determined by simple initial conditions. Ever seen any ‘grand controller’ or little busy pixies arranging everything ‘just so’ after some grand design? Neither have I. And yet, the patriarchy, through it’s creation myth, laid claim to the very notion of ‘natural order’ (demonising nature in the process) and used the excuse of this ‘natural’ – ie, God given – order to justify all manners of oppressions that flowed from the development of one of it’s secondary wee stories.

As we know, at some point it was realised that God made white men in his own image and, further, charged them with exercising dominion over everything else he’d created. ..nature, men, women, the seas, children…everything.

So somewhere in history, some men ascribed to themselves the authority of the God they had imagined and by and by, through the generations (I dare say both by happy accident as well as design) white men came to cement self serving powers and privileges in place and spread their institutionally backed culture world wide. And both historical and contemporary examples of merry hell breaking loose and of chaos resulting from this state of affairs; a state informed by a ridiculously vain notion surrounding the correct exercise of power and the proper creation of order…well, they aren’t exactly difficult to find, are they?

And before anyone jumps up and says that so many people no longer believe the God story that it’s  ludicrous to argue that it can have any real influence on how we behave or see the world – it just doesn’t matter that it may not be widely believed today. The basic idea has been accepted.

The idea, simple, somewhat stunted and so obviously wrongheaded ( and sure, dressed up and wrapped around with more ‘enlightened’ justifications and explanations these days) has become so deeply entrenched as to become largely ‘invisible’ to query or question – it’s been institutionalised and locked into our culture so tightly, that many people find it difficult to imagine there being any other possible way to order ourselves or go about things. It’s ingrained…seared into our psych…that (usually, though by no means exclusively) white men have a right to, in one way or another, dominate women and children and other men and nature through the systems they have devised. Now that right isn’t so much a God given right these days, perhaps, but a right as has been (otherwise magically?) conferred through centuries worth of habit and custom.

And well, there’s a thing. Nothing is conferred by magic. Nothing is conferred without our collective acquiescence. And given the sheer absurdity, the utterly stupidity of the notion that underpins patriarchy… why ever would you want to continue giving it any kind of permission at all, or entertain it with any degree of seriousness, or persist in lending it any level of legitimacy whatsoever?

True, that the effects flowing from the governing systems and culture of patriarchy  are crippling and deadly. But at heart it’s a ridiculous, po-faced joke (‘God tasked me to do this’.)  I mean, c’mon…Really?!

High time this patriarchal nonsense was subjected to the unrelenting and merciless ridicule it deserves. And the focus doesn’t need to be on just faceless institutions or remote pronouncements. Neither does the piss taking need to be undertaken by some dedicated group(s) or individuals. There are plenty of (usually) silly wee white men and legions of lackeys and toadies right there in your daily life and inhabiting the structures of your workplace who are ripe for the targeting. So, take your pick and have fun the next time they pop up and dare to act out their ‘god given’ authoritarian fantasies.

339 comments on “Shhh! It’s the ‘P’ word.”

  1. BM 1

    This patriarchy lark is an old person thing, give it another 20 years and the old buggers would have all but died off.

    Patriarchy will then be no more!

    [Bill:- that was the one and only brainless comment you get to post on this thread]

    • Rodel 1.1

      Bill…Thanks for that.I might now be interested in reading the rest of the comments now that the chaff has been eliminated.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        There’s a lot of it out this evening tightyrighty, photonz, Jared, infused, bm
        What’s the collective noun to describe them?
        A swarm of shills?
        A plague of paid puppets?

    • BM 1.2

      I actually thought it was quite a valid point.
      Take my father 70+ grew up in a time where the Man went out and worked and the Woman stayed home and looked after the kids.

      In his eyes because he brought home the bacon he considered himself ruler of the house, the top dog.

      That attitude probably is still in most men probably 55 +, beneath that most guys have grown up with the majority of woman in full time employment, paying their own way doing their thing.

      The whole concept of patriarchy would probably be completely foreign to vast majority of Men under say 45 and would more likely elicit a WTF if the topic was ever raised

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Also an alien concept to a vast majority of women under 45.

      • Bill 1.2.2

        The illegitimate exercise of power is the same illegitimate exercise of power now as it was when your da was growing up.

        That women are more financially independent now and that men even go to the supermarket these days (almost unheard of in the 70s) has had no impact on that whatsoever.

      • QoT 1.2.3

        The whole concept of patriarchy would probably be completely foreign to vast majority of Men under say 45 and would more likely elicit a WTF if the topic was ever raised

        Until you start pointing out the vast discrepancies in, say, income. And political representation. And victimization in intimate partner violence and rape. And the scarily rigid demarcation of children’s toys. And beauty standards. And the cost of clothing. And the vastly different expectations of clothing and grooming. And who does the most child-raising and housekeeping.

        But no, these days we have the illusion of women being able to have full and equal careers, so obviously the patriarchy is dead. :roll:

        • David H 1.2.3.1

          “The whole concept of patriarchy would probably be completely foreign to vast majority of Men under say 45 and would more likely elicit a WTF if the topic was ever raised”

          And a Matriarchy would scare the living shit out of them. If one ever came to pass.

    • Chooky 1.3

      @ BM..on your view that the “patriarchy lark is an old person thing”…and “20 years and the old buggers would have all but died off” …ha ha sorry it isnt that easy! Patriarchy reveals itself in unexpected and subtle ways and it is no longer a local NZ issue but a global issue (with pressure for immigration)

      ..eg..in China it is shown in gender imbalance ..120 males to every 100 females…(by 2020, sociologists expect an “extra” 35 million Chinese men — that’s roughly the population of Canada) and high suicide rate for Chinese females…compare with New Zealand’s relatively egalitarian society and a good place for women and women’s rights:

      http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/110615/china-and-the-worst-ever-man-made-gender-gap

      http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2013/03/the-last-resort-chinas-growing-suicide-problem/

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/capital-life/5962320/Sorry-ladies-theres-a-man-drought

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10331380

      Despite lingering patriarchal systemic sexist attitudes( eg Catholic Church) and NZ women still lagging in the highest income brackets, corporates and as business and political leaders…..New Zealand has a proud Maori and Pakeha record of mana and respect for women and promotion of women’s rights (eg. NZ women first int the world to get the vote) Conclusion: New Zealand is a good place for women!…. Lets keep it that way!

      • Rogue Trooper 1.3.1

        Like This, Chooky

      • BM 1.3.2

        NZ women still lagging in the highest income brackets, corporates and as business and political leaders…

        That’s because these careers don’t appeal to most Women, nothing to do with some hidden agenda against Women.

        • Bill 1.3.2.1

          Correct BM. There is no hidden agenda, just structural bias…oh, that and most women would rather be behind the kitchen sink if given the choice between that and being in a very well paid position of privilege – ffs.

        • felix 1.3.2.2

          “That’s because these careers don’t appeal to most Women”

          If that’s true, and I don’t know if it is or not, then I guess you have to wonder why the careers that don’t appeal to most women are the most highly paid.

          Patriarchy. You’re soaking in it.

          • greywarbler 1.3.2.2.1

            felix
            :grin:

          • BM 1.3.2.2.2

            What about the teaching and nursing profession, the male to female ratio is disproportionally slanted towards females.

            Is there some sort of structural/patriarchal bias which is keeping Men out of these professions?

            • Rogue Trooper 1.3.2.2.2.1

              that would be a ‘matriarchal bias’ you speak of that exists. (second wind BM?)

              • BM

                Not sure, think I’m pretty much done for the day.
                Might go watch a vid then retire for the night.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  I have the first series of the original Sweeney to soak in, tomorrow. (Be good, and avoid the flying squad; upping your game may avoid being pinched).

  2. karol 2

    NZ Parliament prayer, said before each sitting of the House.

    Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    And a majority of MPs voted to retain it in 2007.

    So how does this impact on politics? Is it part of the very masculine style of our contemporary politics – combative, confrontational, hierarchical? Where winning the game means more than adhering to principles – why do government policies fall short on “public welfare, peace, and tranquillity”?

    • Bill 2.1

      Given the genesis of the idea that justifies the existence of parliaments, why would… how could… their culture be anything other than hierarchical, competitive and essentially patriarchal?

    • ochocinco 2.2

      I’m intrigued that you are qualified to define “combative, confrontational, and hierarchical” politics as “masculine.” I believe you are using labels in a deliberately aggressive manner.

      Now, bad hierarchies are bad. No doubt. But the concept of hierarchy allows us to organise effort in a more efficient and effective manner. We would have no machinery, no fridges, cellphones, antibiotics, without hierarchy.

      Without “white men” leading hierarchies, we would never have seen the socialist revolution in Russia in 1917; in China in 1949; and in Cuba and so many other places. Are people on The Standard, of all sites, decrying these massive successes? Without “white men” leading hierarchies, there would have been no hammer and sickle over the Reichstag.

      I hope you have read Weber on the importance of bureaucracies.

      • karol 2.2.1

        Well, under patriarchy, the dominant form of masculinity is combative and hierarchical.

        I take “masculinity” to mean the cultural expectations, practices and discourses that is associated with males. Masculinity changes over time, is a little different from culture to culture, and, in our society, there are a variety of versions – but the dominant one has the characteristics I mentioned, IMO.

        There’s a lot of power plays within the hierarchical system – groups (mostly, but not exclusively consisting of males) seek to gain power over other groups, in their own interests. The subordinated groups tend to suffer and struggle in various ways in a system that works against them.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Women don’t do hierarchical and combative systems of interaction between one another then? Don’t play games of power, politics, influence and popularity between themselves? Don’t aggressively target and fight each other over – whatever? From the playground to the corporate office?

          • karol 2.2.1.1.1

            Les often, CV. There can be power relationships, particularly operating within a patriarchal system. But women play less of the power games and combative type exchanges, and are more into relationships and engagement.

            it’s not clear cut. There are some (a minority; sometimes significant minority) that are into the whole combative thing. Just as there are some men that are more into nurturing relationships than into competitive, combative styles of behaviour.

            • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Well I’ve been managed by female bosses from time to time and they all knew how to extract a pound of flesh whenever they wanted. How they did it might have been slightly different to what a male might have done but that’s completely irrelevant, simply the difference between slicing and dicing.

              • karol

                Yes, and then there was Helen Clark and Maggie Thatcher – women in a minority within a patriarchal system. It’s a tricky role to negotiate.

                • Bill

                  They may have been women and so represented a gender minority within their part of the patriarchy – but they perfectly reflected the majority viewpoint and culture of their part of the patriarchy.

                  Like I said at the top of the post – you don’t have to be white and male and rich…

                  • karol

                    I agree Bill, but with a slight qualification:

                    “but they (im)perfectly reflected the majority viewpoint”

                    Clark had to negotiate between being kind of masculine but with feminine touches. And she was undermined using misogyny and homophobia.

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                That’s sort of the proof that the system is still sexist. The women that tend to rise to the boardroom are those that engage in the competitive, aggressive arena. If you’re not aggressive and willing to break a few noses (be you a man or a woman) you don’t tend to rise boss-level.

                And that’s the wider issue. Surely it would be better for all of society, not just women, if we maybe move away from this current, arbitrary norm. Women, who do tend to be less aggressive as a gender (with exceptions as noted by you), don’t suffer from it. Also some males who do prefer to engage and form relationships rather than be alpha males, they don’t then feel like they’re emasculated.

                And of course, that also makes it a better system for everyone really in realms of race, economic background, sexuality and transgendered people.

                • karol

                  Within patriarchy, some men (often plus a lesser amount of women) seek power over other people – including other groups of men – eg the aristocracy over the workers, officer classes over the lower rank soldiers etc – it’s a brutal system. And within the lower ranks, some (wo)men also seek to dominate others – eg lower rank males over lower ranks females.

              • QoT

                they all knew how to extract a pound of flesh whenever they wanted.

                And how exactly do you think they got to be bosses, Tat? You think maybe people from marginalized groups might just be forced to play along with the privileged group’s demanded behaviours in order to get anywhere in life?

      • McFlock 2.2.2

        Funny you mention the US SR, China and Cuba – M@rx/Len1nism’s central concept was that humanity was progressing towards a non-hierarchical outcome, with the d1ctatoship of the proletariat as a temporary hierarchical transition state.

        Sorry about the substitutions – trying to evade the automod :)

  3. Richard Christie 3

    I haven’t read such nonsense on the topic since the 1980s.

    • karol 3.1

      Well done, Richard – glad to see you reading again. It may take some time to adjust and digest.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        Nah karol… you got to have the grey cells upstairs to have a show in hell of comprehending what Bill is saying. Richard Christie and that particular brand of ‘right-wing lack of intellects’ will never get it. Modern day Flat Earthers.

        Congratulations Bill. Brilliantly said.

    • ropata 3.2

      Richard I seem to remember much banter at OpenParachute on similar lines

  4. Sosoo 4

    “High time this patriarchal nonsense was subjected to the unrelenting and merciless ridicule it deserves.”

    I think so.

  5. red blooded 5

    Hmm… Ochocinco, I’m not sure there were too many white males leading the Chinese revolution. and hey, there’s nothing wrong with white males per se (many of us who don’t fit that description love some people that do). I think the post is asking us to consider some of the unspoken assumptions about what makes someone ‘capable’ or gives them ‘leadership potential’ (amongst other things). I was interested (annoyed but not surprised) to hear the comments about Poto Willisms on (I think) The Nation over the weekend, for example. She seemed to be a very capable and articulate woman, but the observation was made that it looked like Labour was ‘meeting their quota’ by having a candidate who is female and of PI descent. To be fair, this time the interviewers turned the issue back on the Nat candidate and pointed out that he (a white male) was aiming to join a caucus that is already 80 white male, & that WM make up only approx 30% of the NZ population. what was his reply? That the best candidate should be selected. And the unspoken assumption? That this will usually be a white male. Look at our boardrooms, our police force, our parliament… It’s time to move over and look for other people’s strengths and benefit from their perspectives.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Recommendations to use harsh language against patriarchy? And to have a go at Christianity (and all other Abrahmanic religions) on the way?

    Dale Carnegie this is not.

    People want something to believe in. If it’s not the Almighty, it’s the Almighty Dollar. If the Left has no better vision in reply I know exactly which two shows this is going to. No show, and shit show.

    BTW the power of “silly wee white men” has been on a steep 40-50 year decline (if not longer), both in NZ and globally, and getting steeper. Might be an idea to update current objectives to something relevant, instead of pissing into the outgoing tide of history and calling it a win.

    • McFlock 6.1

      To summarise your position, CV:
      you’re doing it wrong
      you’re just alienating people by being negative
      you won’t persuade them to come to your point of view
      you present no alternative
      your assertions about power are wrong.

      Oh, shit, my mistake, wrong list – the above was simply an early draft outline of this reply to your comment…

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Hey McFlock. Colonial Marines know that using harsh language against corporate cylons bent on exterminating the planet ain’t gonna be effective. But no doubt you know better.

    • Bill 6.2

      Hmm. How is ridiculing patriarchy the same as using harsh language against it and what would be the point of the latter?

      And you want me to obfuscate and avoid any critical mention of a religious tradition that formed the justification for such acts as burnings and colonisation?

      Who is Dale Carnegie and should I care? (It’s okay – I googled and I don’t)

      Are you suggesting that a desire to believe in something should trump and deny reasonable critical analysis? And are you seriously suggesting people are so stupid and narrow as to only be capable of believing in either a) a very narrow definition of God or b) $$?

      And I think it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that in the NZ context, the patriarchy is dominated by white men. Note: I actually wrote (usually)…that’s what is called a qualifier. And if that wasn’t obvious enough, go back to para one and read the first sentence…or go and read the quote I used as the post’s image.

      And where do you get this notion that patriarchy is on the wane? Because, as far as I can see, unsubstantiated statements like that are just channeling BM’s bullshit at comment1.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Are you suggesting that a desire to believe in something should trump and deny reasonable critical analysis?

        3 words: “A brighter future”.

  7. Pete 7

    John Scalzi, the sci-fi writer, wrote a great blogpost a while back about this.

    Straight white male: the lowest difficulty setting there is

  8. Ad 8

    If patriarchy changes over history so much, changes over ethnicity, over geography, over theology, over mythology including origin stories, over epochs of capital, and is not fixed by gender but instead named by even further ephemeral chacteristics “masculine” and “feminine”, why is “patriarchy” a useful evaluative lense for anything?

    • karol 8.1

      Characteristics of masculine and feminine change a bot from culture to culture and over time. But the power relationships that they fit within do not: masculine dominant; feminine subordinate. Patriarchy is about a power relationship and the system that maintains it.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Then “dominant” and “subordinate” are far more accurate than “patriarchal” and not wilfully confusing.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Yeah but “dominant” and “subordinate” are not sufficiently gendered in meaning to forward the agenda of identity politics.

        • QoT 8.1.1.2

          Except that “dominant” and “subordinate” erase the gendered aspect of the power structure.

          You may be interested in the concept of kyriarchy, which takes a more intersectional, purely power-dynamic-focused approach.
          http://www.deeplyproblematic.com/2010/08/why-i-use-that-word-that-i-use.html

          Or you could listen to CV, who has figured out my and karol’s dastardly plan to hate all men just because we’re bitches. :roll:

          • karol 8.1.1.2.1

            Ah, yes. kyriarchy – a much better term and explanation – thanks for the refresher.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.2

            Or you could listen to CV, who has figured out my and karol’s dastardly plan to hate all men just because we’re bitches. :roll:

            Nice strawMAN QoT. You’re not a bitch. Just more polarising and less effective than you need to be.

          • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1.2.3

            nothin’ Judeo-Christian at all about ‘kyriarchy’ it appears. 8-)

            • Bill 8.1.1.2.3.1

              Really? Does it incorporate the notion that order is correctly imposed from above? I think it does. And that’s a simple extension or adoption of the ‘God created everything’ idea.

              • Rogue Trooper

                you are always welcome to your thoughts ‘Bill'; I did not find this to be one of your better written posts, yet provocative nonetheless; kudos for putting it out there.-John.

        • weka 8.1.1.3

          “Then “dominant” and “subordinate” are far more accurate than “patriarchal” and not wilfully confusing.”

          Riane Eisler specifically coined the term dominator cultures because some people found ‘patriarchy’ hard to understand. I like the term patriarchy, because it places the advent of dominator cultures in a specific time and place (5,000 years ago, eastern Europe/middle east), where human cultures shifted from egalitarian models to ones that granted power to men. Men became the head of the house, the patriarch. There is a direct line of descent between then and western culture now.

          The term ‘patriarchy’ also has contemporary significance because of it’s use by feminism in the past four decades as a primary tool of analysis in understanding gender and power relations.

          I don’t mind using a term like dominator culture, but there isn’t really anything confusing about the term ‘patriarchal’ if you educate yourself about what it means.

          • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1.3.1

            you appear to be backing a nag weka ;)

          • karol 8.1.1.3.2

            weka, I tend to see terms like patriarchy & kyriarchy as both being useful and as inter-related. Patriarchy is more the feminist equivalent of a Marxist notion of capitalism, with the ruling classes dominating the subordinate classes. kyriarchy incorporates a more Foucauldian notion of power and the way it is in constant motion around networks.

            I think there is a networked kyriarchy in operation with any individual or group exerting power in some contexts, instances. In other contexts, instances the same individuals or groups can be subjected to the exertion of power by others. however, behind this kyriarchy, there still is a strong infrastructure developed along patriarchal lines over centuries.

            I wouldn’t give Judeo-Christian religions as central and defining a role as Bill. They are particular forms of patriarchy. Patriachy pre-dates the religions of Abraham. See for instance ancient Greece and Babylon.

            And I think there were old patriarchies in the East.

            When I was in the UK, some feminists there looked to old Celtic/Druid spirituality as being more non-patriarchal.

  9. karol 9

    G8 Summit official family photo – France.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Where’s Angela Merkel? Representing the richest, most powerful, most industrially capable country in Europe?

      And I’m sure that Christine Legard, head of the IMF, would have been in attendance.

      • karol 9.1.1

        Actually, I was looking at some G8 and other photos with Merkel & maybe one or two others – 2 swallows don’t a summer make.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          2 swallows don’t a summer make.

          Nice saying. Shall we start imposing some cultural imperialism on those countries now? We know better maybe. Or maybe just wait for Hilary to get into the White House so that there is a “third swallow”? But perhaps she is too bought in to the patriarchy that she is unsalvageable. Would the world have a better result with Gillard, Thatcher, Shipley and Clark in the G8 mix?

          • QoT 9.1.1.1.1

            The fact you have to resort to naming a dead woman to fill out your list of women leaders should serve as something of a clue. Unfortunately you have to want to change.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah QoT, because that groundbreaking woman UK PM has been so good for society, I thought I should mention her, and the inspiration she provided to generations of male politicians afterwards, both in the UK and here in NZ.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    ‘A’nouncement:
    sigh :Adherents

    “The Believers, men, And women, are protectors, One of another: they enjoin What is just, and forbid What is evil: they observe Regular prayers, practice Regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His Mercy: for Allah Is exalted in power, Wise.”
    Surah 9:71
    O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any Of the (other) women: If ye do fear (Allah), Be not too complacent Of speech, lest one In whose heart is A disease should be moved With desire: but speak ye A speech (that is) just.
    Surah 33:32
    That he may admit The men and women Who believe, to Gardens Beneath which rivers flow, To dwell therein for aye, And remove their ills From them – and that is, In the sight of Allah, The highest achievement (For man) –
    Surah 48:6
    Let the women live in the same Style ye live, According to your means: Annoy them not, so as To restrict them . And if they carry (life In their wombs), then Spend (your substance) on them Until they deliver Their burden: and if They suckle your (offspring), Give them your recompense: And take mutual counsel Together, according to What is just and reasonable.And if ye find yourselves In difficulties, let another Woman suckle (the child) On the (father’s) behalf.
    Surah 65:6

    “There is just enough Christ in me to
    To make me feel almost guilty
    Is that why God made us bleed
    To make us see we’re Humans Being ?

    another girl, another planet?.

  11. ropata 11

    Too simplistic Bill and does not take account of the historical evidence that the Christian West has been the platform for women securing rights and a better position in society. Look at the words and actions of Jesus Christ. Look at what has been happening since the Reformation and Enlightenment. Compare and contrast with the Middle East, Asia or Africa.

    In the words of Chuck Colson

    The Suffragettes were led by Christians. Sojourner Truth, for whom we have named one of our space vehicles, was an African-American woman who was motivated by her Christian faith to fight for the rights of women.

    Hannah More, a contemporary and co-laborer with William Wilberforce, the Christian statesman who ended the slave trade in England, developed the Sunday School Movement, which led to the literacy and education of boys and girls across England and later throughout America. Women actively participated in the missionary movement. By 1900, over three million women were active in their denominational women’s societies, sending missionaries, and building orphanages, hospitals, and schools across the globe. (Robert, Dana L. American Women in Mission: A Social History of Their Thought and Practice; Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1996, p. 129). It was these Christian societies that laid the groundwork and infrastructure for women organizing in the Suffragist movement.

    It is true that the surrounding culture has often demeaned and undervalued women and that biblical mandates have historically been improperly used against women. However, when you consider the Bible’s own high view of women and the complementary character of men and women as properly understood, Christianity becomes one of the greatest single defenders of women’s rights.

    • Bill 11.1

      All I was concerned with was the creation myth of Judea-Christianity and how it has enabled illegitimate (and particularly stupid) structures of power to develop.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        The Left doesn’t have sufficient voltage to overturn the Australian banking cartel, let alone transform the foundational and unconscious psyche of western civilisation.

        I mean, wtf.

        • Bill 11.1.1.1

          Riiiight. So bugger calling things for what they are. Just STFU. Sure….

          • Zorr 11.1.1.1.1

            I like this new Standard. The one that has these posts. Keep it up Bill ^_^

          • Tat Loo (CV) 11.1.1.1.2

            I love calling out windmills too. But I’m not going to spend time and energy riding against them.

        • Zorr 11.1.1.2

          How dare anyone ever hope to make a difference? We are all so insignificant that nothing we do will make any whiff of change?

          Yeah, I’m with Bill. Fuck that viewpoint. I’m with Ad on this one and despite me ending up in an argument with them over the expression of the point as phrased in JFK’s viewpoint, it is relevant here. What the hell is the worth of having values if you’re willing to roll over on them and not force them out there?

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1

            Making an actual difference is precisely what I’m concerned about, Don Quixote.

            • Zorr 11.1.1.2.1.1

              But what difference? If your personal opinion is less extreme than Bills then I can understand some of your points that you have made. However, if you agree with a large portion of what Bill has said then I’m disappointed because you are already compromising your own values – without even entering in to conflict with the opposition.

              I don’t think that by watering down our values to cater to those that will never agree us benefits the causes we choose to support. We need to be able to sell our views but that doesn’t mean that we need to compromise them.

              Sadly, the Nactoids have us beat here.

        • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1.3

          :-D

    • Zorr 11.2

      This is the same fallacy as the argument that major scientific advancements were made by religious men. It always ignores the fact that at the times that the changes were made, they were made *despite* religion, not because of it.

      No matter how many times you invoke “Jesus Christ” it doesn’t change the way that organized religion works to maintain its power through subjugating the populace and woman’s rights has been lowest priority for all the Christian sects I can think of – even today.

      Actions like Woman’s Suffrage happened out of the fact that they were *women* wanting more of a say in their society than the fact that they were *Christian*

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        This is the same fallacy as the argument that major scientific advancements were made by religious men. It always ignores the fact that at the times that the changes were made, they were made *despite* religion, not because of it.

        Small practical things like priests and other holymen being the only people able to read, write and do mathematics, as well as having enough time off working the fields, might have been helpful.

        • Zorr 11.2.1.1

          That is part of the point. However I was just mentioning the fallacy, not intending on describing it fully. There is plenty of discussion of this on other watering holes on the internet and figured it wasn’t the time or place. Just needed mentioning for the relevance of the point.

          • ropata 11.2.1.1.1

            It’s hard to cover all the subtleties in a single blog comment Zorr and admit I don’t really know much on this topic, merely wished to inject some balance

    • QoT 11.3

      The Suffragettes were led by Christians.

      Which is totally amazing, because you know England was actually a Hindu country at the time and there weren’t many Christians around at all.

      • ropata 11.3.1

        Well, women’s rights succeeded in western cultures more than anywhere else for some reason or other. I think it is because people believed that a human person created in the image of God has inherent dignity and purpose.

        • karol 11.3.1.1

          Citations needed.

          Do you know how various non-Western cultures were organised before they were colonised?

        • karol 11.3.1.2

          In the West (US & Europe), the “enlightenment” – age of reason etc, and the move towards democratic governance did open up avenues for women’s rights advocates (Mill, Wollstonecraft, etc). It provided a vehicle through which to construct a rational argument following the logic of equality and rights for all.

  12. vto 12

    If patriarchy is responsible for the ills of the world
    is it also responsible for the goodness of the world

    I imagine not

    • Bill 12.1

      Is it merely the use of the word patriarchy that causes you trouble? Or is it calling bullshit on illegitimate structures of power that routinely unleash mayhem, that irks you?

      • vto 12.1.1

        was it not legitimate question?

        shall I repeat it?

        yin and yang and all that

        • Bill 12.1.1.1

          Was a certain gentleman not responsible for a whole pile of Volkswagens being built and was that not considered to be a good thing at the time? Does that in any way excuse or ameliorate the ‘slightly less than laudable’ achievements of the same gentleman?

          • vto 12.1.1.1.1

            Well that is one analogy. Pretty extreme though – straight to Godwin. Kind of telling…

            But how about following it through and listing all the bad stuff and all the good stuff and see how it looks at the end…..

            or simply take an instagram shot and bung it up on the net. Start with some basic of life – our patriarchal standards of, say, food provision. Housing. Longevity, Happiness. Achievements, Personal Freedom, social manouvreability….

            Not sure what we can compare them against. I guess perhaps against historic standards, against standards in other societies…. try to take some of the subjectivity out of the measure…

            edit: I guess, in a nutshell, where is the objective evidence that the problem is as you describe?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1.1.2

          vto. that makes no sense at all.

          The Yin of Patriarchy is not Matriarchy.

          • vto 12.1.1.2.1

            You know – people keep assuming things that I have not said or meant, especially the last few days. So I am having to change tack a little to try and clear the communications runway… so……

            What part of the comment you replied to (12 and 12.1.1) mentioned matriarchy being a yin of patriarchy?

    • QoT 12.2

      In much the same way that slavery is responsible for much of the economic power of the United States.

      Gosh, that must mean slavery is good and we must never criticise it! #theworldaccordingtovto

  13. vto 13

    Posted on another thread a comment along the lines of questioning why patriarchy should be dumped hollus bollus when it has got us this far …….

    and suggested that

    ….. rather than throw out the whole shemozzle that apparently is patriarchy, bring alongside other systems like matriarchy etc which can round out some rough edges and enhance the useful bits, as well as bring in improvements to add on.

    Namely, bring alongside other forms of operation to enhance and improve

    seems pretty logical

    • Bill 13.1

      vto – you do realise that matriarchy would be no more legitimate than patriarchy, yes?

      • vto 13.1.1

        Bill, do you realise that I used matriarchy as an example and that I used the plural? i.e. other systems and structures as well. Did you see that? A conglomeration?

        Of course we also have the systems inherent in te ao maori to draw from as well, as another example.

        what else could be useful? any thoughts? yelling ‘tear it down!’ only works for so long, then the real work begins i.e. working out what to change to and execution of the change.

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          The concept of matriarchy is problematic. Generally people tend to think of matriarchies as a system with a female leader/leadership/head.

          However, some claim that “matriarchies” have never existed and that a matriarchy could be a truly egalitarian society. I have talked to feminists that use that definition of matriarchy.

          here’s what wikipedia says:

          A matriarchy is a society in which females, especially mothers, have the central roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, but does not include a society that occasionally is led by a female for nonmatriarchal reasons or an occupation in which females generally predominate without reference to matriarchy,
          […]
          Most academics exclude egalitarian nonpatriarchal systems from matriarchies more strictly defined. According to Heide Göttner-Abendroth, a reluctance to accept the existence of matriarchies might be based on a specific culturally biased notion of how to define matriarchy: because in a patriarchy men rule over women, a matriarchy has frequently been conceptualized as women ruling over men,[2] while she believed that matriarchies are egalitarian.

          Myself, I’d just go straight to the idea of replacing patriarchy with an egalitarian society.

          • vto 13.1.1.1.1

            you don’t think society is moving steadily, though never fast enough, in that direction? One example of that advance would surely be women getting the vote.

            Or are we moving more into the system that is considered the problem i.e. is getting worse or better?

            seems like it is getting better to me…

          • Bill 13.1.1.1.2

            I’ve just assumed that matriarchy is built around hierarchies just as patriarchy is. So yeah. As I just commented in response to VTO – anything that promotes a democratic basis for power – egalitarianism might be an appropriate term.

            • weka 13.1.1.1.2.1

              I’m one of the ones that thinks there is no such thing as the matriarchy (women ruling). The problematic nature of that word was why terms like matrilineal and matrifocal have been used. They point to the egalitarian cultures that karol refers to, with an empahsis on women who inherit and where the offspring trace through women, or where women are central to the culture. This is quite different from women ruling instead of men.

              There are very specific reasons why the dominator cultures we have favour men, and why a matriarchy is extremely likely to evolve (certainly not as cross culturally as the patriarchy has). Much of it is biological I think, to do with women bearing the children that ensure the survival of the tribe.

              (in that sense, for people that find blame useful, blame nature. It’s why despite some assumptions I don’t hold men responsible for the advent of the patriarchy).

              I also think that the use of ‘matriarchy’ in conversations like this can be a red herring, because it implies that women ruling would be just as bad as men, whereas in fact serious criticsims of the patriarchy don’t suggest that power roles are simply reversed.

          • Naturesong 13.1.1.1.3

            If you want examples of matriarchy, the easiest example would be Sark, and to a lessor extent Guernsey pre WWII.

            Those cultural norms were a reaction to patriarchy.
            Women became the head of communities and households because the men were forced into hiding or off the islands due to the constant threat of being press-ganged by the English or French navy.
            Traditional male jobs were merchant sailing, smuggling and piracy.

            For middle class and higher families, dowry of a house was traditional. On the marriage breaking up, the wife got the assets and the kids by default.

            No links. This information was passed to me though conversations with my Grandmother.

            • Rogue Trooper 13.1.1.1.3.1

              Thanks for that oral history Naturesong: War makes casualties of us all.

            • weka 13.1.1.1.3.2

              That sounds very interesting Ns, but it’s not a matriarchy in the way that vto was referring to – where women have control over men.

              • Naturesong

                Well, yes and no.
                Women ran the businesses, were head of the household generally, and no property changed hands without the explicit permission of the Dame

                • karol

                  To me, that is women temporarily taking more dominant roles within a patriarchal system. The system hadn’t been dismantled, and was still there waiting for men to resume the more dominant status within it when they returned.

                  • Naturesong

                    Impressment was largely over by the mid 1800’s and both islands retained their matriarchal culture right up until occupation in WWII.

                    They did have their men back for 100 odd years without returning to patriachy.

                    However, the islands were british territory and, although the islanders viewed themselves islanders first and british second, the dominant English class structure was prevelant.
                    So they did exist within or as a smaller subset of a larger patriachal system.

          • red rattler 13.1.1.1.4

            The problem with defining patriarchy as a power relation is that it doesn’t explain why it exists without falling into the traps of universality or triviality when it clearly is neither.

            Equal relations (named matriarchy because wealth was allocated through the female line in the interests of reproducing the whole society) became unequal relations when men broke the non-gendered relations and accumulated herds and passed them down the gendered male line – patriarchal power served the accumulation of wealth. Language and culture followed.

            Patriarchy was the first class society to come into existence. Like succeeding class societies it is marked by its own continuous class struggle against economic, political and cultural oppression. The real Herstory is the resistance of women to the changing forms of patriarchy over the ages. It has persisted throughout a secession of class societies, incorporated into new ruling and ruled class families. Today it serves capitalism by exploiting unpaid domestic labour to reproduce the members of the bourgeois family as alienated bourgeois subjects to rule or to be exploited as wage labour.

            Since the patriarchy originated in the overthrow of gender equality on the basis of new patriarchal social relations, it needs to be eliminated by the overthrow of gender inequality and new non-gendered, non-class social relations formed.

            I learned all this from Bolshie women 40 years ago and it still serves as an explanation of patriarchy today. We need new generations of Bolshie women.

            Maybe the Russian hooligans who are taking on Putin can give us some pointers. It is instructive that they identify Putin as an ex KGB thug and refer to the ‘resisters’ who stood up again Stalin in the 1930’s as ‘Trotskyists’.

            It warms my heart.

        • Bill 13.1.1.2

          Oh – I’m all for anything from anywhere that would ensure a legitimate basis for power. And by legitimate, I simply mean democratic.

        • marty mars 13.1.1.3

          “A conglomeration”

          They are mutually exclusive.

          The only answer is replacement.

          The problem is that patriarchy is hard-wired into capitalism and a number of other destructive ism’s – amputation – at least the body may be saved.

  14. ropata 14

    Someone once asked “Why do women have inferior rights in the Bible?”
    Short answer: They don’t.

    • Zorr 14.1

      So legally being allowed to stone your daughter to death for not following your requests does not make them inferior?

      ropata – if you want to play this game we can. You’ll lose. I have seen the future. It involves you repeating the idea that women don’t have inferior rights in the Bible while I quote verses to you that specifically state situations where men control everything and do what they want while women are subject to their whims. Where should we start? Maybe Paul or Romans? Timothy?

      • Zorr 14.1.1

        LMFAO

        I read the highest rated comment on that link and this is what is there:
        “It is easy to take a few verses and try to draw a conclusion about women being inferior, but there are so many verses that run counter to this common understanding.

        We start near the beginning of the Bible:

        The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (NIV, Genesis 2:18)”

        Somehow this is the beginning of an argument of how women *don’t* have inferior rights in the Bible? They start by quoting the Bible as describing the creation of woman as the creation of a helper for man? I rest my case.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Because being of assistance or being a helper or carer is an ignoble task? Where do you get such ideas?

          And recognition in the bible that man cannot cope at all well on his own is such a vote of confidence and superiority in males, right?

          • Zorr 14.1.1.1.1

            I am not intending to denigrate the role of being a helper to someone else and that it is indeed a noble selfless task. My wife currently acts in such a role and I respect and love her for it. It is, however, our joint decision in an attempt to meet both our needs.

            Casting 50% of the population in to that role on the basis of gender alone is myopically moronic and indicative of issues that crop up consistently later in the Bible and Christian culture. God creates a helper for man because there is more work than a single person can complete and therefore man needs assistance from another who is not an animal – thereby placing women somewhere below men but still above animals. Such progressive views should be applauded!

            • Lanthanide 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Well he can’t well have created Adam and Steve, could’he’ve?

              Or maybe he did create Adam and Steve the first time around, but because they weren’t able to have children, we never heard about that aborted attempt.

        • ropata 14.1.1.2

          Zorr, I know there are parts of the Bible that are horrible, it is an imperfect book written by humans but what I take away from the words of Christ and the more enlightened passages is a radical call to upend systems of injustice and to hope for a better future. Galatians 3:26-29.

          • Zorr 14.1.1.2.1

            There were many good views espoused by Jesus Christ and I doubt you will find many disagreeing with the central tenets of his ministry.

            However, despite him being the central figure of the New Testament, he is often merely used as an appeal to authority for the apostles to spout their vitriolic bullshit as they go about defining how Christians should act.

            Even if the original writings were as progressive as they sound for the time, they are now 1900-2000 years out of date and need to be replaced. However, as Christianity slowly loses it’s position as the single dominant Western religion, the practitioners are focusing more and more on maintaining any power they have and therefore are becoming more and more regressive and using the words of the apostles to justify their poor actions.

            The Bible is a tool. It is a collection of writings intended to inspire and unite people under a single banner. We no longer live in such a world and we need to transition to a world that has no banners and just accepts humans for what they are… one single human among many with the same rights as any other human.

            • ropata 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Most Kiwis would agree with you, thus the secular democracy we live in today. So it seems a little ridiculous to go round blaming the remaining shreds of Christianity for the existence of patriarchal power structures elsewhere in our culture.

              • Zorr

                “Shreds” of Christianity? This delusional belief is one of the shields that the Judeo-Christian religions have adopted as a shield against further scrutiny and rebellion against their oppression.

                Christianity is still a dominant force and has in no way been (as of yet) displaced from it’s positions of power. Progressive movements are still working to dismantle the parts of our legal system that unfairly discriminate against anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to be white or male when the laws were made based in Judeo-Christian values. Our society also continues to uphold the power of organizations with great wealth – of which large organized religious sects still form a large part of this grouping.

                Also, religious organizations are given a large free ride by the societies that continue to harbor them by giving them tax exemptions and defining tithing as charitable giving (thereby allowing tax breaks for those giving as well).

                Need I continue with the ways our religious organizations undermine the very tenets of democratic principles?

                • weka

                  “So it seems a little ridiculous to go round blaming the remaining shreds of Christianity for the existence of patriarchal power structures elsewhere in our culture.”

                  In NZ maybe, but that’s not true everywhere in the Christian world.

                  There are other forces at work here too. Science, capitalism, consumerism, plenty of modern forms to choose from (although science has been at it for a good few centuries now. The history of science and religion collaborating to control women is pretty hair-raising).

                  • Zorr

                    weka – from my following of the situation in atheist/humanist/scientific circles (which are fairly closely linked these days), I have to agree that science does have some very similar issues with patriarchy that are present in the larger society. This is usually due, however, to the fact that scientists are human too and reflect the society they are in.

                    As values change and as we work to affect these changes within our society, scientific culture will also reflect these changes because there is no “original text” that needs to be worked around. Religion, specifically Christianity in this case, suffers from being shackled to a 2000+ year old rock.

                    The scientific method is a tool – it can be abused just as much as any other tool. I don’t attack Christians for the Bible, I blame them for the abuses perpetrated in it’s name and the continuing defense of those abuses. Much the same as the way I attack poor/abusive science.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      something to get your infant teeth into then Zorr

                    • Zorr

                      And Rogue? I fail to understand the point of posting a link of Christian scientists from Wikipedia?

                    • weka

                      I agree with much of what you say there Zorr, but take exception to this:

                      As values change and as we work to affect these changes within our society, scientific culture will also reflect these changes because there is no “original text” that needs to be worked around.

                      Shall we look to the works of Bacon or Decartes? ;-)

                      The scientific method might be pure in the abstract, but you can’t divorce it’s use/misuse from how the context it came about within in the first place.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      seems that’s a fail in your Book then.

                    • weka

                      Haven’t written my book yet ;-p

                    • Zorr

                      @weka – fair point

                      However I would counter that we can at least learn from our mistakes and grow from them in the context of science which is the main point I was trying to communicate. The only perfect system is abstract as evidenced by the Spherical Cow – but in much the same way that democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the rest, the same goes for science.

                      My apologies for the failures of the past is my effort to work towards ensuring we only make new mistakes :P

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      without guidance, mistakes can reoccur.

                    • Zorr

                      Fair Rogue.

                      Bought a laptop so now even though I am involved in the ongoing act of raising children I can engage in shouting from rooftops too :)

                      I generally find discussions of this kind helpful because it allows me to explore my opinions in a harsh and challenging environment – even if I may look an idiot a lot of the time, at least I learn something

                    • weka

                      We could do with more of that attitude :-)

                    • weka

                      “However I would counter that we can at least learn from our mistakes and grow from them in the context of science which is the main point I was trying to communicate.”

                      Surely could be applied to the context of religion too?

                    • Zorr

                      Primary answer to that is that organized religion being ultimately based on the preaching of singular figures and compliance to those teachings, it results in rigidly hierarchical regressive communities that fear change as any change is a challenge to the power of the organization. This means that any progressive values need to overcome opposition from the powers that be before they even face the test of whether or not they are commonly adopted.

                      I would not be against an open spirituality model that encouraged self definition by people through adoption of precepts that meet their own spiritual requirements than religions that spoon feed archaic dogma to the masses.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      not an ‘idiot’ at all Zorr, overhaul. ;) check out the work of that ‘christian Ellul.

                    • Zorr

                      @Rogue – I almost want to waste my time reading some of his work after reading the wiki page because then I could get my blood pressure up some

                    • weka

                      Primary answer to that is that organized religion being ultimately based on the preaching of singular figures and compliance to those teachings, it results in rigidly hierarchical regressive communities that fear change as any change is a challenge to the power of the organization. This means that any progressive values need to overcome opposition from the powers that be before they even face the test of whether or not they are commonly adopted.

                      I would not be against an open spirituality model that encouraged self definition by people through adoption of precepts that meet their own spiritual requirements than religions that spoon feed archaic dogma to the masses.

                      And yet historically, conservative communities are more stable. So it’s not like progress good, conservation bad. It’s the relationship between the two things. I don’t see religion as any more of an evil in the world than science. Both have pretty high levels of needing to be held to account, and we’ve largely failed at that.

                      I think the religion thing is a distraction to the discussion of patriarchy in the way it is happening here in this thread (good/bad). Was disappointed to see it as the main thrust of Bill’s post, although I do think the cultural rise of Judeo-Christianity is core to how the patriarchy evolved, so we do need an understanding of that.

                    • Zorr

                      @weka – even if conservative communities are more stable (citation needed), is that any reason to ignore injustice?

                      Anyway, at work now so kind of need to make shorter posts :P

                    • weka

                      No, it’s not a reason to ignore justice. But neither should we ignore the injustice that arises from progress either. Just pointing out we need both progress and conservation, and societal wellbeing comes from the relationship between the two.

                • ropata

                  Despite your obvious dislike one of the tenets of a free society is freedom of religion and association. Nonprofit organisations get tax breaks because they are usually run by donations and volunteer work by people who have already paid their income tax and GST.

                  Abuses do occur but you can’t in all fairness tax churches more than sports clubs or Rotary just because they subscribe to beliefs you don’t agree with.

                  • Zorr

                    “Nonprofit organisations” – show me the major religion that doesn’t have multi-millions/billions in real estate built upon the “donations” from followers. If churches stuck to preaching their creed and attending their flock then I would have less issue with them. They, however, love to spend money on political campaigns and shiny baubles.

                    So yes, I have a serious issue with them being considered “nonprofit”. No taxation without representation. Religion is over represented in our democracy, when will they be taxed for it?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s important that the church (and other religious orders) in NZ have resources and assets of their own. Critical in fact.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      we are wasting our munition stocks here my friend ;)

                    • Zorr

                      How so CV? You are so quick to attack the vulture capitalist squids that drain our economy but when it comes to established religion with inter-generational wealth created through similar means, you have no issue with it?

                      I am not advocating any less freedom for religion. Just that we stop subsidizing belief.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      I’m down with disciples standing on their own feet.(or sitting).

                    • weka

                      pins and needles.

                    • ropata

                      Well I don’t like Colon Craig or “Bishop” Brian Tamaki either, if that’s who you’re thinking of. Not sure why every church should be double taxed because of the actions of a few noxious glory boys

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There needs to be powerful counterbalances in society to both corporate and governmental power. Institutions of religion can provide one such counterbalance. And no, I don’t mean the Destiny Church types (which I see as being more along the lines of a pyramid sales scheme than anything else).

                      RE: vulture capitalist squids (not a bad term). The scale of money drained out of this country by corporations like the Aussie banks, is on a vast scale, and ongoing.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      yes, as I get older, the pins and needles spread

                    • Zorr

                      @ropata – why am I being double taxed then? I pay income tax *and* GST. I think I should get in on this sweet deal where if I complain about paying too much tax I then get to pay less tax. Worst. Argument. Ever.

                      If that is your argument, then why should a business ever pay tax? Haven’t their customers also paid tax too? Instead of giving them good feelings and alleviating the stresses on their immortal soul, they’ve given them a juicer.

                      @CV – as a society we need to become more democratic and self-definitive than we currently are. For everything that is wrong with the US, the systems that they set up to balance governmental power and allow oversight of all branches of government still ranks pretty highly in my books – and none of them are labelled “corporate” or “church”. We don’t want to be balancing the power of government against private interests by balancing all that against yet *another* private interest. We need further democratic systems in place that act in a parallel facility to oversee the power of our government in a non-partisan manner in order to ensure that our country is being run in the best interests of the populace.

                      There are too many special interests at the table already. The last thing we need is more arguments to let special interest groups remain at the table.

                    • ropata

                      Churches are not businesses and most of them run on a shoestring. In NZ we aren’t exactly being taken over by gun toting tea party fundamentalists or the Spanish Inquisition so your resentment is misplaced. Adding special taxes seems OTT to me. Almost persecution.

                      Ministers don’t expect to get rich, they usually burn out.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Difficult to argue that you want ‘more democracy’ yet want to have fewer people/organisations/special interests represented at the table. A democracy where only your kind of people and only the groups you approve of are represented isnt much of a democracy.

                    • Zorr

                      @CV – I am not arguing that churches should be excluded because I don’t like them and everyone else that I do like should pull up a chair at the table just because.

                      What I am arguing is that organized religion has been given it’s own special seat at the table (much like the corporatocracy) and that it is long past time to remove this special treatment for religion. Feel free to remove special priveleges for all groups and get everyone to join the table as equals.

                      *THAT* is true democracy. Religion doesn’t deserve a special place.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So no seat for womens refuge or rape crisis? No seat for the red cross or forest and bird? No seat for gen zero nor for the food banks?

                      OK.

                      Exactly what kind of civil society are you planning to have? One run for individuals by individualists? I know of political ideologies who would quite like this.

                    • Zorr

                      @CV – you are deliberately twisting my words to make your own strawman. I call him Strawly.

                      What I *am* saying if you bother to read is that my issue is that certain sectors are over-represented and given special treatment such as organized religion and “too big to fail” corporatocracys. Time to stop with the special treatment and tell them to pay their way and wait their turn in much the same way that we do with all those other examples you just listed.

                      You are all good with punishing the corporatocracy for taking advantage of our democracy but the moment it gets shrouded by the veil of religion it becomes a “hands off” situation?

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      Yep, to ‘ropata’.

                  • greywarbler

                    As someone who has been inovled with volunteer work and gained grants it always seemed to me strange that the first thing that happened was a GST take,
                    reducing the amount that was available immediately.

                    But churches and other charitable organisations could be under the rule that no GST is paid until a certain level which was $24,000 once. Then after that 5% to $100,000 then 10% tax after expenss, so they are paying a contribution towards the infrastructure and provide balance. If they were over $24,000 approx pa earners they would then pay GST plus 5% on net, and Sanitarium type 10% on net? profit. Then they make a contribution and it makes it fairer for small traders to run businesses similar to the might charitable one and not be entirely in its shadow, being disadvantaged by it if it’s a biggish enterprise.

                  • greywarbler

                    As someone who has been involved with volunteer work and gained grants it always seemed to me strange that the first thing that happened was a GST take,
                    reducing the amount that was available immediately.

                    But churches and other charitable organisations could be under the rule that no GST is paid until a certain level which was $24,000 once. Then after that 5% to $100,000 then 10% tax after expenss, so they are paying a contribution towards the infrastructure and provide balance. If they were over $24,000 approx pa earners they would then pay GST plus 5% on net, and Sanitarium type 10% on net? profit. Then they make a contribution and it makes it fairer for small traders to run businesses similar to the might charitable one and not be entirely in its shadow, being disadvantaged by it if it’s a biggish enterprise.

                  • greywarbler

                    As someone who has been involved with volunteer work and gained grants it always seemed to me strange that the first thing that happened was a GST take,
                    reducing the amount that was available immediately.

                    But churches and other charitable organisations could be under the rule that no GST is paid until a certain level which was $24,000 once. Then after that 5% to $100,000 then 10% tax after expenss, so they are paying a contribution towards the infrastructure and provide balance. If they were over $24,000 approx pa earners they would then pay GST plus 5% on net, and Sanitarium type 10% on net? profit. Then they make a contribution and it makes it fairer for small traders to run businesses similar to the might charitable one and not be entirely in its shadow, being disadvantaged by it if it’s a biggish enterprise.

                    • ropata

                      I think it should be up to a judge to decide if an organisation like Sanitarium is a legitimate charity or a tax dodging vehicle. But picking on churches would be a pretty awesome vote loser

          • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1.2.2

            and that’s a promise!

  15. weka 15

    Bill, I’m not quite sure what the basic premise of the post is. Is it that religion caused the creation of the patriarchy? Because I think it’s pretty easy to demonstrate that isn’t true by looking at the religions of egalitarian cultures, including those from the area that eventually developed into Judeo-Christianity.

    I also think that many creation myths have a concept of something supra-human without that developing into a patriarchal god. It’s interesting to consider that period of history and whether the arising patriarchy changed religion or the other way round. Or if it was a spontaneous co-arising.

    Also not sure re the atheism. Plenty of humans do experience something greater than themselves as not so much a grand controller as a central force in the evolving design you refer to in nature. If we frame the patriarchy in terms of religion/atheism, then we immediately create a division around who is right and who is not. Ironic.

    • ropata 15.1

      Having re-read the post I think that Bill is claiming that Christianity has largely morphed itself into some form of gnosticism (ancient greek heresy) divorced from the realities of life on planet Earth. In which case I would agree with him … my problem is that I actually believe in God and that ‘he’ is good :)

      Patriarchy can certainly have a religious element but in a lot of religions the Creator isn’t gendered in a human sense. The pronoun ‘He‘ can sometimes refer to anyone without reference to sex.

      • weka 15.1.1

        “Patriarchy can certainly have a religious element but in a lot of religions the Creator isn’t gendered in a human sense. The pronoun ‘He‘ can sometimes refer to anyone without reference to sex”

        For example?

        • Rogue Trooper 15.1.1.1

          “is lost” for example ;)

        • ropata 15.1.1.2

          Traditional English examples:
          He who hesitates is lost.
          Everyone who agrees should raise his right hand

          In the philosophies of Abrahamic religions God isn’t *technically* gendered but referred to as male by common tradition.

          Lots of variations across pantheism, animism, Hinduism and everything else

          • Rogue Trooper 15.1.1.2.1

            the Shekhinah is feminine :-D (quicker to train a monkey) OK, just being mischievious. ;) However, Jesus did weep.

          • weka 15.1.1.2.2

            Traditional English examples:
            He who hesitates is lost.
            Everyone who agrees should raise his right hand

            Research (and common sense) tells us that the use of ‘he’ tends to make people think of male. Other languages use an actual non-gendered third person pronoun, instead of one that reinforces the supremacy of one gender.

            In the philosophies of Abrahamic religions God isn’t *technically* gendered but referred to as male by common tradition.

            But not Christianity, which if any religion was gendered patriarchally, it’s this. You might try and argue the gender neutrality of ‘he’ but try that on ‘father’, ‘son’, ‘mother of god’ etc.

            You do know that the Christians stole their best work from the preceding non-patriarchal religions, right? And put a patriachal overlay which didn’t exist before.

            • ropata 15.1.1.2.2.1

              Well the OT is a real patchwork of ancient stories fables and traditions from the middle east and thereabouts, and the NT might have the odd embellishment here and there but I don’t know much about the ‘source’ documents and I’ve never heard this theory of a patriarchal slant being added (apart from silly fictions in The Da Vinci Code)

              • Rogue Trooper

                however, some do ;) ‘Q’

                • ropata

                  Yes there is a theoretical Q document supposedly the basis of 3 of the Gospels but nobody has seen it. It is just surmised from textual analysis

              • weka

                Well the OT is a real patchwork of ancient stories fables and traditions from the middle east and thereabouts, and the NT might have the odd embellishment here and there but I don’t know much about the ‘source’ documents and I’ve never heard this theory of a patriarchal slant being added (apart from silly fictions in The Da Vinci Code)

                Human cultures existed long before the OT days. Many pre-Judeo-Christian religions believed that the creator of the world was female not male. God the Father is a rather late coming idea. You can track the rise of patriarchy in that part of the world via the mythology of those cultures, and how those mythologies change over time to become patriarchal ones. There is an obvious, distinct change from let’s say more egalitarian societies to dominator ones that invested power in certain men and created the heirarchical class structures that in this conversation we are calling the patriarchy.

    • Rogue Trooper 15.2

      yes

    • Bill 15.3

      Hi Weka. The post was merely intended as a very simple descriptive history of an idea of power and an attempt to identify where the current illegitimate idea of ower came from.. The initial idea within a western context (that a god created everything) isn’t traceable (not by me) beyond pronouncements from the Old Testament. And I clearly said in my post that the idea may well have predated and come from elsewhere. Religion is relevant to the post only insofar as a few of its central ideas have been taken and used to confer an air of legitimacy to illegitimate centers of authority and power. Being limited to 500 words or so, I thought it unnecessary to provide much beyond a signpost to the fact that the influence of that authority has spread throughout the world, inevitably hand in hand with immense levels of mayhem and destruction (witch burnings, crusades, colonisation, holocausts, economic enslavement, global warming, rape culture, economic chaos…to name a few from a very, very long list of the bleeding obvious).

      And in spite of the fact that I also pointed out (right after the words “Did you miss that?”) that all order that you will see in nature arises from below….kinda signposting the source of legitimate power/authority … it appears from the comments that no-one has a problem with the illegitimate exercise of power or the chaos and (will I just call it ‘mischief’?) that it inevitably creates and no-one wants to explore what might be a legitimate basis of power.

      Now, I guess I should have seen that one coming given that ‘the standard’ readership largely comprises of liberals (ie, people who are essentially deeply conservative social democrats and statists). Of course, maybe perversely, the comments just somewhat confirm the contention made in the post that the insane and illegitimate expression of power we labour beneath “has become so deeply entrenched as to become largely ‘invisible’ to query or question.”

      • weka 15.3.1

        So can we try and get a clear-ish definition of what you are proposing here? The term ‘illegitimate power’ isn’t something I use naturally, and I’m guessing others might not too. My immediate question goes to who decides what legitimate power is? Are you saying nature does? That the natural order of things is that systems organise themselves from below? Can you give some examples? (am not really sure what you mean).

        The idea that at base the problem of the patriarchy (and our current situation) is one of power, is a given for me. And I assumed it was for some other people here at least (maybe an incorrect assumption but I have seen quite a few people talking in terms of power).

        • Bill 15.3.1.1

          Power ‘over’ must always be justified by those wielding it or it’s illegitimate. On a personal – one to one- level that can sometimes be justified (yanking somebody away from an oncoming vehicle) . On a societal level it never has been. At the moment, the justification at the societal level is simply an extension of the “God tasked me” nonsense.

          On order and complexity arising from simple initial conditions….just look around you at living dynamic organisms and systems. No order or complexity is imposed by any votive external influence or actor. So, where is it coming from? How does it come into being?

          Anyway, we invent that role and attempt to play it out with predictably disastrous consequences both for ourselves and the living systems we mess with.

          I mean, consider those things we can impose order on – the only times that chaos or unintended consequences don’t always result is when we are talking about inanimate and static objects. But mostly (since we’re talking about imposing order and control on dynamic living objects and systems) we get chaos and a perpetual state of crisis management.

      • Rogue Trooper 15.3.2

        really? ‘As above, so below’.

  16. wtl 16

    Honest observation here, I’m not intentionally dissing discussion, it just seems to me that this discussion is very much like an underpants gnome scenario:

    Step 1: Identify patriarchy as the root of all evil in the world.
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: Create a wonderful new world where everyone lives happily ever after.

    Assuming we have identified patriarchy as a problem, what practical steps can people actually take to make the world more egalitarian? It seems to me that discussing and ridiculing it isn’t really going to achieve very much.

    • weka 16.1

      Gnome underpants?!

      “Assuming we have identified patriarchy as a problem, what practical steps can people actually take to make the world more egalitarian? It seems to me that discussing and ridiculing it isn’t really going to achieve very much.”

      It’s a good question, one I would rather get to sooner than later. However when you have a range of people with a huge variation in analysis and understanding, it’s it’s good to find some common ground before moving onto solutions (or at the same time as, at least).

      Having said that, what can we do? One thing to consider is can we use the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house? Or do we need a revolution. Is there a third or fourth way?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1.1

        The Underpants Gnomes steal underpants while you’re asleep. Their business model looks like this:

        1. Steal underpants.
        2. ???
        3. Profit!

        You may note they have superficial similarities with the National Party.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 16.2

      Not only is patriarchy the root of all evil, it is pervasive and omnipresent, in the fundamental workings of modern families, communities and entire countries. Not to mention the globalised economy.

    • Bill 16.3

      I think I see where you want to go here. And I’m not going there. Are you seriously wanting a white heterosexual male to provide you with a blueprint or road map? If you want that, then just carry on with what we have…

      This penchant for always wanting to ‘sit down and talk about it’ is simply a way to defer acting. We could spend the whole of the rest of our respective life’s arguing back and forth about the details of any future world and maybe – just maybe, wind up with a most wonderful blueprint. And we will have done nothing. And if a future generation sought to implement that blueprint….well, you see how we are straight back to where we are right now? An over-arching authority exercising power.

      I want democracy. That’s the long and the short of it. And democracy can’t be blueprinted. And the reaason it can’t be blueprinted is because it’s always dynamic – never static. It can only be practiced and will …can only be constantly refined and developed. All I, or anyone, can reasonably do is point out what is not democracy…or, more precisely, what things would undermine democracy and result in some system of governance containing elements of oppression or inequity etc.

      Anyway, taking your last sentence (about egalitarianism) you can never make any moves in that direction for as long as you lend legitimacy to structures of power and authority that are fundamentally inegalitarian. So there’s your step 1, 2 and 3. Undermine the illegitimate exercise of power and authority that we currently have however and wherever you can and simultaneously develop whatever egalitarian structures you can wherever and whenever you can.

  17. Pete 17

    So I am a straight white male. A privileged beneficiary of the patriarchy. The question for me is what do I do? I mean, I assume everyone’s goal is to get to the apex of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and live a self-actualised life. But I can’t endow any’s life with meaning, except my own. I can do my best to take down the roadblocks to the more basic needs underpinning that hierarchy. I can offer everyone the esteem they deserve, love where appropriate, and work for a secure society that ensures clothes on people’s backs, roofs over their heads and food in their bellies.

    Do I fight the battles for equality on behalf of those who don’t share my accident of birth? That in itself to me seems patronising and assumes women can’t speak for themselves or that I understand what they want. I believe in equality, but I guess what I’m asking is what does it mean for me to be an ally?

    • Rogue Trooper 17.1

      to die in the trenches along with the rest of the canon-fodder :-D

    • weka 17.2

      I can tell you that as a woman with a disability, living in the patriarchy, a self-actualised life is pretty comprehensively denied me. As it is many other people for many reasons (to do with who has power and who doesn’t). I used to think it was my goal, because I was born with a fair degree of white middle class sense of entitlement. But as I get older I understand that this was never a realistic goal.

      IMO we all have a responsibility for redressing that inequality, because that is humanistic, and because we all benefit from the privilege that the patriarchy bestows but at the expense of someone else

      Please do fight battles on behalf of other people. Whether that is patronising will depend on how you do it (listening to what they need and desire and think the solutions are is a good place to start).

  18. Debbie 18

    Er, Jesus was a jew. As were nearly all the major players in the Bible. Not white.

    Heck, I learnt this in Bible in Schools at eight years old when the teacher produced a Manu doll and informed us all that this was probably closer to what Jesus looked like and that no we would not be using a blonde doll for the nativity play.

    I’m not sure why so many people insist that Christianity favours whites over people of colour when Jesus and all his friends and relatives weren’t white at all.

    • weka 18.1

      Perhaps it’s the 2000 odd years of pretending that Christ was white. Your religious education seems atypical to me (but it’s been 40 years since I was in Sunday School).

    • Rogue Trooper 18.2

      :-D, not at all! Could start in on the effect the Christ has had on our civilization…yet then I’d sound like Nietzsche (who?) oh, only the generally recognized master of modern, and post-modern, philosophical exploration. :-D (Guess Joycee will be cancelling courses on [H]im then. ;)

    • ropata 18.3

      whaaaat are you telling me that Jesus wasn’t a white anglo saxon protestant middle class liberal !?!?
      get outta here :P

  19. tricledrown 19

    he was just a naughty little boy

  20. just saying 20

    Can’t help feeling we’ve gone from one extreme to another with this post.
    Maybe the previous discussion was too zoomed in and lacking the big picture but I can’t help feeling that we’ve now zoomed so far out that “planet earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do…”

    • RedLogix 20.1

      Well I’m delighted to have scanned this thread. I really don’t have the time to contribute much, but I guess one thing is clear … the word patriarchy means a lot of different things to different people.

      And for that reason I’d think it’s really useful to get some of this defining stuff out into the open.

      Personally for me patriarchy has much less to do with gender than with something even more fundamental that transcends it. Puddlegum’s latest outlines it like this:

      There’s an interesting theory of two basic modes of animal social behaviour, first developed by Michael Chance in work on Macacs (a 1998 article in the journal ‘Evolution and Cognition‘ , 4(1), 2-10, by Chance on these modes and their implications for human ethics can be downloaded here).

      The agonic mode relies on a strict dominance hierarchy. As a result, the social group has a marked degree of tension within it. Non-dominant members spend a lot of time attending to the dominant individuals, either to avoid them or respond to their ‘commands’. That is, social attention is based on threat and aggression. Baboon troops are classic cases of the dominance of the agonic mode.

      The hedonic mode is far more relaxed. It relies on constant interactions (e.g., grooming, back-slapping, hugging, etc.). Most importantly (Chance, 1998, p. 5):

      Rank is determined by a process of social solicitation not intimidation. Individuals “compete” for the attention of others through display behaviors. These are frequently followed by interpersonal rewards such as grooming, play and mothering behavior or by communal activities such as food sharing.

      Humans are capable of both modes, with males being likelier than females to shift to the agonic mode. But the hedonic mode tends to predominate within a group.
      ….
      In many ways, this is the hope of humanity – that we are not all agonism, violence and threat. Yet the hedonic mode, with all its promise of cooperative, caring, creative and intricate interactions and relationships still needs the right social conditions to bear its best fruits.

      Well it’s more complex than this; so I’d suggest actually reading the thread. Maybe Puddlegum would care to elaborate. But if I was to suggest that patriarchy is essentially the agonic mode made culture, then maybe matriarchy can be thought of as operating in the hedonic mode.

      It’s important not to think of a matriarchal society as a patriarchal one with the gender roles reversed. I’d think it’s totally different thing; something we’ve almost complete forgotten how to imagine.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.1.1

        Part of the problem, as always, is the label attached. “Matriarchy” and “patriarchy” are gendered words describing behavioural phenomena, and are loaded with assumptions and value judgements (Some would say that value judgements are inherently patriarchal). So we invest a lot of time on hurt feelings (cf: every comment on gender issues by vto).

        • vto 20.1.1.1

          point to one in this thread

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.1.1.1.1

            I am terribly sorry if my comment hurt your feelings.

            • vto 20.1.1.1.1.1

              you can’t back yourself.

              point to one in this thread

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Here you go.

                • vto

                  you still at school?

                  point to one in this thread

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    So bad it’s not even wrong:

                    “cf. every comment…” invites comparison with your overall output. Capiche?

                    • vto

                      so point to one in this thread

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      I point to all of them. That’s what “every” means. Further free remedial English instruction is unavailable at this time.

                    • vto

                      here are three of the last posts made on gender issues…

                      One

                      “you don’t think society is moving steadily, though never fast enough, in that direction? One example of that advance would surely be women getting the vote.

                      Or are we moving more into the system that is considered the problem i.e. is getting worse or better?

                      seems like it is getting better to me…”

                      Two

                      “Bill, do you realise that I used matriarchy as an example and that I used the plural? i.e. other systems and structures as well. Did you see that? A conglomeration?

                      Of course we also have the systems inherent in te ao maori to draw from as well, as another example.

                      what else could be useful? any thoughts? yelling ‘tear it down!’ only works for so long, then the real work begins i.e. working out what to change to and execution of the change.”

                      Three

                      “Posted on another thread a comment along the lines of questioning why patriarchy should be dumped hollus bollus when it has got us this far …….

                      and suggested that

                      ….. rather than throw out the whole shemozzle that apparently is patriarchy, bring alongside other systems like matriarchy etc which can round out some rough edges and enhance the useful bits, as well as bring in improvements to add on.

                      Namely, bring alongside other forms of operation to enhance and improve

                      seems pretty logical”

                      Over to you (again) to back up your claim.

                      Still waiting.

      • Rogue Trooper 20.1.2

        WELL, I read Puudlegums link ; Compassion, Moderation, Humility! (may I exclaim it any louder?) only Three Jewels people, only three jewels escaping us.

      • Puddleglum 20.1.3

        Hi RedLogix,

        I’m a bit late to this – thanks for the comment on my post.

        This is cautiously speculative but I think the agonic-hedonic split is independent of a ‘patriarchy-matriarchy/egalitarian’ split (if ‘matriarchy’ as some here argue is a bit of a misnomer and really is about a more cooperative and egalitarian distribution of social and economic power).

        The agonic mode, throughout animal species (according to Chance), is based on aggression and threat. The hedonic mode is based on gaining attention (and the associated status) from others in other ways – e.g., by ‘showing off’ or putting on an elaborate performance of one kind or another.

        So far as I can see, patriarchal structures could be produced and maintained through both modes. In fact, the article in the Huffington Post I linked to in that post, was about how ‘leaders’ tend to be anointed simply because they show confidence (i.e., they display, perform or ‘show off’) rather than actual leadership competence (i.e., by possession of those interpersonal skills that generate the best out of others). That difference – and it is one that seems intuitively appealing and also aligns with some research findings about leaders – was being used to explain how men come to dominate access to leadership positions. It’s basically an argument based on ‘hedonic mode’ domination of leadership positions by men.

        Having said that, some research suggests that men (on average) resort to the agonic mode more readily than women (on average) so I guess patriarchy could be said to have an iron hand underneath any hedonic ‘glove’ it may be wearing in particular socio-historical contexts.

        On Bill’s main point that the hierarchical, monotheistic rhetoric of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic God has been used as justification for male domination of the societies associated with that religious tradition, I suppose that is true. It’s not obvious, though, how that helps explain patriarchal arrangements in many other cultures (e.g., Japan, China, India, etc.).

        It seems to me that religions are means to ends, in this context. The end, I think is ordering/controlling social groups. The reason that is required (i.e., the reason that power hierarchies need to be established) is that there is property (e.g., surpluses of various kinds) that are privatised rather than held in common. Property, that is, is the prerequisite that establishes a need for government (certainly in any hierarchical sense of that word).

        The fundamental hierarchical principle, I’d suggest, is not ‘God’ but ‘The Law’. Only ‘The Law’ can seem to have the legitimacy to order society from ‘above and beyond’. In fact, for its legitimacy it has to have the quality of not being ‘of the world’ or in any particular group’s special interests. {This is why ‘codification’ (the writing down) of the law – as supposedly performed by ‘Solon’ in ancient Greece as well as Moses in Jewish history – was necessary for it to be accepted as ‘objective’.).

        ‘God’ is simply the space-filler for that need to have a supposedly external reference point for ‘The Law’ that nobody can argue with. (Basing social ordering on ‘rationality’, ‘science’, ‘evidence’ or ‘technical expertise’ are similar attempts to legitimise ‘The Law’ and make it beyond the reach of any opposition. As are Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’, the near deification of the sayings of Confucius and the barn wall in ‘Animal Farm’.)

        In fact, you often still hear people today arguing that the law, in and of itself, is the justification for any act and, more revealingly, that it is above and beyond any particular person’s ‘interests’ (it is for ‘the common good’, etc. despite many – even most – people having little say in its formulation or implementation).

        The Abrahamic ‘God’, of course, was the rhetorical vehicle for the deliverance of ‘The Law’, but it is ‘The Law’ that needs to be established at the centre of (hierarchical) society, not – ultimately – ‘God’. This is clear with the focus on the Torah/Pentateuch and the Books of Judges and Kings, etc. in the Old Testament. The Torah is the ‘Written Law’.

        ‘Law ‘n Order’ devised in the service of particular interests (rather than made ‘in common) is what hierarchies are all about. Patriarchy is ‘Law ‘n Order’ in the interests of males.

        I like – and recognise – the idea of Kyriarchy. It sounds very similar to the (neo-Marxist?) sociological conflict theories in America in the 50s and 60s that argued that the reason the left made so little headway in the US was because of the ‘gridlock’ arising out of intersecting and overlapping interests (in terms of class, gender, race, geography – can’t remember sexuality being one of those mentioned but I haven’t read about it in a long while).

        Kyriarchy, through one set of eyes, could be seen as a ‘road map’ for wedge politics and dog whistles. The challenge is to see it, through another set of eyes, as a common problem – the unequal distribution of power flowing along various dimensions. Even then, of course, the question of ‘prioritising’ can be raised; that is, the notion that progress in equalising the power distribution on one dimension must be deferred while progress is made in equalising power distribution on another, more ‘urgent’, dimension.

    • ropata 20.2

      My feeling is that someone wanted to strike a blow against ‘The Patriarchy’ and decided to go and beat up some Christians. I know that there are major problems in Christianity but to resolve inequalities in society we should actually deal with systemic issues in the whole culture not just a subset of easy targets.

      Concrete examples of sexism can be solved, but this post aims for outer space. Not that I mind philosophizing…

      • Bill 20.2.1

        There was absolutely no desire by me to ‘beat up on’ Christianity. But to trace the genesis of illegitimate power…the idea that underpins it…it’s absolutely necessary to look at the idea of a god creating everything. Beyond that, I’m disappointed that any discussion has revolved around the goodness or otherwise of Christianity. That just indicates that the point of the post went ‘whoosh’ over too many heads.

        • Arfamo 20.2.1.1

          The problem with Christianity is that Jesus of Nazareth was extraordinarily wise & had so much to say that was worth listening to and abiding by about how everybody should all live and treat each other, but that so many Christians pay too much attention to all the other often mythical & highly dubious stuff in the Bible that doesn’t have anything to do with what JoN was talking about.

        • weka 20.2.1.2

          To be fair though, when you start making fun of people for believing in pixies, it’s pretty much guaranteed to derail the conversation from any other thread you had in mind. I found it hard to know how to respond to your post because you basically said that atheism was right and religion is wrong. How is that going to work?

          I’m going to pick up the actual point of the post in your other recent comment.

          • Bill 20.2.1.2.1

            I made no comment about the relative merits or otherwise of atheism and religion. The post was about the basis…the idea that justifies illegitimate power and authority. That it’s based on the idea of an all powerful god creating everything just is what it is.

            There are plenty of religious beliefs that position spirits or whatever ‘behind’ nature…not ‘above’. And that suggests a fundamentally different relationship with power.

            Meanwhile, yes – observation suggests that order (complex, varied etc) arises spontaneously or inevitably from simple initial conditions and is never imposed. Looking at our history suggests that only chaos and a need for a state of constant crisis management results from attempts to impose order.

            • weka 20.2.1.2.1.1

              Then what did you mean by this –

              “Ever seen any ‘grand controller’ or little busy pixies arranging everything ‘just so’ after some grand design? Neither have I.”

              • Bill

                Simply that order is never imposed and there are no instances within the natural world to support such a contention. Quite the contrary in fact.

                • weka

                  Not really sure where you are going with that to be honest, and I think it would help if you gave examples.

                  For instance, certain conditions in nature definitely do ‘impose’ conditions on other parts of nature. Think animals living in a frozen environment for example. Or humans trying to light a fire in heavy rain. There are restrictions all over the place.

                  If by impose you mean intentionally as a way of controlling, well nature doesn’t have that kind of intention so it’s a bit of a moot point.

                  Also unclear what you mean by ‘order’. Are you thinking ecosystems? Or patterns such as weather?

                • Rogue Trooper

                  really, even within fractals and chaos theory? Lamentations.

              • weka

                I figured out what bothered me about the pixie comment. The cultures that have pixies as part of their spirituality aren’t Judeo-Christian. They’re also the ones with the most nature intelligence. There are very good reasons for those cultures having both pixies and nature intelligence. I don’t want to belabour the point, but the post did contain a number of issues in trying to build its premise.

  21. red blooded 21

    Seems to me that Christianity is pretty damn agonic. Heirarchy of being, watchful god ready to punish, institutions to enforce the ‘correct’ view of the world, history of invasion and colonisation… And no, that doesn’t mean that every Christian teaching is negative or that Christians can’t be good people or do good things. Look at the science model, though: stretch boundaries, aim for group approval and grooming by challenging and growing the inherited body of assumptions and understanding (as opposed to reinforcing and defending historic teachings)…

    I know which I see as more liberating and more meaningful.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.1

      All of the good parts and most of the bad are lifted wholesale from previously existing beliefs and/or philosophies. So most “Christian” teaching isn’t in fact “Christian” at all.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 21.2

      Science as the preferred religion and philosophy of society? Welcome to Vulcan.

  22. karol 22

    Re- the issue I raise about “patriarchy” and non-western cultures up thread.

    This article is worth reading. Decolonising feminism: Aboriginal women and the global sisterhood. (2004)

    It covers some ground that I have come across in past years. Basically the artilce addresses the uneasy relationship between Aboriginal women activists and western European feminism. A main line of argument is that pre-European Aboriginal cultures (which were diverse and many – hundreds of different languages), society was organised on gender lines, but was not patriarchal: ie there still tends to be in Aboriginal cultures separate “men business” and “women’s business”. But they were not part of a dominance-subordination structure. The separate roles were in harmony.

    The argument is hat European patriarchy fractured this system, and drew Aboriginal people into their patriarchal system causing all kinds of distortions and destruction.

    “[T]he self-empowerment inherent in ‘Women’s Liberations’ and ‘Women’s Rights’has largely been perceived as being gained to the detriment of the family and of the Nation as it omits one half of the population” (Tusitala March, 1999:670). Native women leaders characterize their responsibilities as extending to the well-being of the whole community,without prioritizing the concerns and needs of women on the basis of gender alone(Prindeville, 2000). Rather than the gender equality sought by feminists, Aboriginal women most often speak of the goal of gender harmony. This quest for balance is also found in the writings of Aboriginal men, who discuss the male and female members of society as necessarily interdependent: “Gender balance strengthens our circles,” writes Carl Fernandez (2003:242), “the values and teachings show us that women occupy one side of the circle and men occupy the other. The vision is not to make one better than the other, but to show how they are complimentary”
    […]
    The survival of culture and perpetuation of tradition necessitate the fostering of collective experience; exclusion of any segment of the population is not a viable option.
    […]
    Additionally, while the‘radical’ feminism of women of colour is committed to the survival and well-being of a whole culture (both its men and its women), Native women “have a concept of womanism literally derived from a ‘sense of being with a sense of place,’ in which is found ‘matrilineal kinship in reciprocal relations with one’s natural environment in an indigenous homeland’”(Jaimes*Guerrero, 2003, as cited in Waters, 2003: xvi).

    This article concludes that the defining system that is causing the problems for “native”/Aboriginal women is colonialism (and I guess one could argue that colonialism is part of a patriarchal system):

    Aboriginal women articulate priorities informed by their own culture and sense of place and traditions; in which gender is found alongside issues of socio-economic inequality, racism, assimilation, cultural renewal and self-determination. For Aboriginal women, gender is one aspect of a larger struggle whose ultimate goal lies in the achievement of healing, balance and the reclamation of what was stolen, altered or co-opted through colonialism. Rather than
    feminism, then, Aboriginal women’s movements can more accurately be described as
    decolonisation.

  23. captain hook 23

    Patriarchy?
    More like p for pinhead.
    You cant be a reel man in Noo zillun unless you have a:
    chainsaw
    outboard motor
    fibreglass replica hotrod
    angle grinder
    hardly davison
    leaf blower
    souvenir winchester
    round sp[litter
    you name it.
    the rest is just incidental.

    • vto 23.1

      did you not see the picture in the headline for this thread captain hook?

      but great dig at a section of the population you clearly don’t understand and have only contempt for.

      what a terrible contribution

  24. vto 24

    People like the monarchy system for various reasons, including imo its longevity and stability. Despite its obvious imbalances and inequities it is still wanted and appreciated by most people (thinking UK, not so much the colonies).

    I think there may be some analogy to the system called patriarchy here i.e. people will resist change because despite flaws they will see it as stable, long and that it has proved itself in providing moderately successful societies.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Your points on the attractiveness of lasting, robust tradition are well made. The faster and more hectic the world gets, the more people will look for this. The monarchy also gives people a civic focus and is a counterbalance to both governmental and corporate points of view.

      • vto 24.2.1

        hmmm.
        Your reply is similar to your comparison yesterday to that German fulla with volkswagons and tanks galore. i.e. at the extreme end of the spectrum and not particularly useful. http://thestandard.org.nz/shhh-its-the-p-word/#comment-730315

        I don’t think the UK subjects of the monarchy would consider their typical plight to be on the dastardly level of slavery.

        You don’t think the people would consider those points I made re longevity, stability and success, despite the flaws? Like they do imo with the monarchy?

        • Bill 24.2.1.1

          Oh – Mandalay explores some fairly common traits that can be applied in a general sense….the appeal of conservatism…the ‘better the devil you know’ mentality…the resistance to change…the fear of the new…the comfort of familiarity.

          • vto 24.2.1.1.1

            Fair enough. Those traits are favoured in certain circumstances for a reason though wouldn’t you think?.

            conservatism has benefits – at times.
            better the devil you know than the devil you don’t – makes sense.
            some familiarities are in fact comforting.

            Hence the application of those traits would appear to be entirely credible.

            • Bill 24.2.1.1.1.1

              And in the face of global warming, resource depletion, inevitably increasing inequity, increasing levels of dis-empowerment etc? Are those traits conducive to acting intelligently given the above?

              • weka

                Other conservative traits would be welcome at this point though (neoliberalism is the anti-thesis of an intelligent response to AGW and peak everything).

              • vto

                Well clearly those traits aren’t always useful and that is why it was a point qualified with the words “… in certain circumstances…”

                Certainly, in emergency situations (global warning in a relative sense for example) then other human traits would be more useful, such as thinking laterally, innovation, adaptability.

                So, is patriarchy and its timeframe in an emergency situation? I would have thought not. If other issues that arise under patriarchy (arguably some of those examples you provided) need to be dealt with as an emergency then they need to get dealt with by the required mechanisms or traits within that sub-orbit.

                Do you see no place for conservatism and the like in dealing with the overarching operating systems of our society? It would seem to me that conservatism has played one of the major roles in human existence – in combination with innovation and adaptability.

                • weka

                  It’s the patriarchal system that prevents us from responding intelligently to things like AGW.

                  We need to be careful here to not conflate conservatism with the patriarchy. Non-patriarchal systems have conservative elements, and those are valued and important for the survival and wellbeing of the tribe.

                  • vto

                    Agree completely re your second paragraph and is what was getting at earlier.

                    Re the first – are you sure? Isn’t it more the heavy and concentrated vested interests that are getting in the way? Or is that what you are getting at?

                    • weka

                      Yes, those vested interests most definitely don’t want an end to the dominating culture that grants them so much power.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That’s capitalism for you. Whoever owns the assets and controls the financial capital in this system has the power.

      • Rogue Trooper 24.2.2

        ‘Pleasing’

  25. Crunchtime 25

    The “sexual revolution” thus far has allowed the fraudulent money system to invade and usurp the family. Now BOTH parents need to work instead of just one.

    I’m not saying we should go back to stereotypical models of times past where the father is always the absent breadwinner and the mother always stays at home looking after the kids, hell no.

    But – what we have now isn’t much of an improvement. In fact, economically it’s much worse. We are now all slaves.

    • Bill 25.1

      Odd (not really) how the widespread and rather common resistance to the imposition of wage slavery has been expunged from history and how the idea of being a wage slave…heh, ‘doing your fair share’… has become equated with self esteem, success etc.

    • Crunchtime 25.2

      The previous generation dealt with absent fathers… the current generation will have repercussions from both parents being absent most of the time.

      Yeap – “doing your fair share” being defined only as work for pay results from neoliberalism and a slavish devotion to GDP as being the only measure of success for a country. Only “the economy” matters.

      This is diverging somewhat from the subject of patriarchy, but it’s all related.

    • weka 25.3

      “But – what we have now isn’t much of an improvement. In fact, economically it’s much worse. We are now all slaves.”

      Depends on who you are. I know many women who would despair at the thought of having to live their grandmothers’ lives (I’m not one of them).

      The nuclear family is a very recent invention. I think the breakdown in that unit is inevitable and healthy. But I do agree with you that capitalism has appropriated any of the useful changes for its own ends.

      • Crunchtime 25.3.1

        Absolutely, that’s why I said we shouldn’t go back, and also why I specified “economically”. I don’t want rigid gender based roles. But it’s an awful situation where both parents are required to go and get paid work when their kids are still very young.

        Basically the patriarchy has moved further up the socioeconomic scale. Rich employers have (ab)used changing gender roles to force us all into wage slavery.

        Yes – I think part of what’s needed to improve things is:

        1. More focus on extended family – the opposite direction to where we seem to be going at the moment, towards atomisation, isolation.
        2. More respect for our elders. Old people need to be included in the family. As they are in most non-western cultures.

  26. captain hook 26

    some here should read ann wilson shaeff, ‘when society becomes an addict’.
    Shaeff started out as a super feminist and then came to understand that the white male power system is just another name for the addictive system.
    Its all about power and control and gender is only a subspecies.
    any attempt to divide it up is just falling onto marxian false consciousness about what is the real issue.
    and dont forget that we know everything.
    and if we dont know it then it doesn’t matter or we would know it.
    so get back into line and start kissing arse like you are supposed to.

  27. Ennui 27

    Fekk, what an amazing column. I have not had time to participate as I am a white middle aged person at the top of a hierarchy I built, therefore I must be a “patriarch”. I have people working for me in subordinate positions, reinforcing my patriarchal status. They are subordinate, males, females, non whites, paid less.

    Now lets flip it over: I don’t want to be a patriarch, but as nobody would give me the job I wanted I created my own. Now I have an implicit responsibility (so the subordinates keep telling me) to keep peoples jobs going, them paid and their families fed….and most of them probably don’t want to be working and probably not for me. And I don’t like them being subordinate just because I showed initiative and put my money where my mouth is. Tell you the truth I would rather go fishing than be a “patriarch”. But hey, the wife and I share the cash and pay it out for goods and services provided by other patriarchs I suspect. And we pay tax to keep a lot of other people working ostensibly to provide the underpinning of the society we live in…are they patriarchs too I wonder?

    Now don’t get me wrong, maybe your theories and labels hold water, maybe there is a better way. Be my guest and liberate me, take the down side off of me and let me go fishing. Give me a new founding legend or theology to justify some other hierarchy or obedience to whatever. Replace me with a purple transgender person, and I will show you a society where white men have been replaced by purple transgender top dogs….it will probably work the same way. To quote Pete Townsend “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

    • Crunchtime 27.1

      Just because you’re a fantastic boss who is open-minded and understanding doesn’t mean all of them are

      Also, pertaining to my post just above yours, when I talked about rich employers pushing us all into wage slavery I’m probably not talking about you. I’m talking about the bigger fish further up the food chain who have a vast amount of influence. If you are small to medium enterprise owner you are still beholden to bigger fish further up the food chain. You’re still part of the wider economy.

      • Ennui 27.1.1

        Crunch, the mechanics of how businesses work has been the same since prior to capitalism, was probably the same in ancient Sumeria. It goes like this……… you make / do something…….somebody needs the output and pays / trades with you……you take the trade / pocket the difference between inputs and outputs…..

        Being nice to the workers is great, but as per the above model they are an input….no additional output and / or no deal and there is no job. It is balance sheet logic.

        Little fish play this game, so do big fish. Are all fish patriarchs? Under kierarchy will the mechanics of business look any different?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.1.1.1

          What’s patriarchal about providing goods and/or services? Patriarchy is what makes providers more likely to be pale and male; it doesn’t call them into existence.

          • Colonial Viper 27.1.1.1.1

            Can you name any global supplier of goods and services, or any global value chain at all, which doesn’t operate in a hierarchical organisational structure?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.1.1.1.1.1

              Valve. Open source software development also leaps to mind.

              • Colonial Viper

                Valve doesn’t have a CEO and Board at the top of a hierarchy who get paid lots of money?

                edit – I see Gabe is worth over US$1B. Does that mean he owns most of Valve and his workers own very little of Valve?

                http://www.forbes.com/profile/gabe-newell/

                • McFlock

                  Well, avoiding a management vs governance debate, basically what you’re asking for are perfect examples of non-hierarchical organisations that exist in a completely hierarchical environment.

                  Pointing to various wiki projects or open-source development projects is no good because they exist outside of profit-motive even if they don’t have version governance groups or admins, or coops that sell their goods internationally (like fonterra before it went corporate) all have some hierarchical elements, if only because the business environment requires signatures and identified “responsible parties”.

                  Basically, you’re asking for an example of an air-breathing creature that exists at the bottom of the ocean. But that doesn’t mean that air-breathing creatures don’t exist just 10km away from that defined area.

              • Ennui

                OAK, I thought you were onto it with Open Source, the whole new societal economic model, free of hierarchy. But no, you download a bit of something for free, and if you need support you can pay for it…and you get to add value by developing under the open source agreement, what you add is republished. So you pay with your time and output…more people use it so the need for support goes up……..

                The support company is not necessarily a hierarchy….as it gets volume et voila, a hierarchy emerges. Will they be patriarchal?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I think they’re likely to reflect societal paradigms, but, and it’s a big but, these paradigms are never set in stone. Change happens slowly, but the whole purpose of left wing change is to promote equality, and that cannot help but sit uneasily with hierarchy, especially when it conveys over-arching privilege.

                  • Ennui

                    the whole purpose of left wing change is to promote equality…let me rewrite it as I see it….the whole purpose of Left wing change is to promote equality of opportunity and to ensure a basic quality of life to all regardless.

                    I would probably add narrowing the gap between top and bottom….might end up a little coercive though and discourage initiative.

                    • Crunchtime

                      Good summation.

                      To be honest, the kind of initiative that is discouraged by a tax on extreme wealth (to narrow the gap between rich and poor) is probably the kind of initative that deserves to be discouraged.

                      The extreme wealth/poverty gap we have now (in NZ and worldwide even moreso) is not only unjust, it not only reduces opportunity for those nearer the bottom. Wealth inequality also undermines democracy itself.

        • Bill 27.1.1.2

          Big difference when the majority of the population have access to the commons and aren’t compelled to take up paid employment in order that others can become enriched off the back of their labour.

          And get over the ‘poor me man crap’. The post is quite clearly about illegitimate authority and where it stems from. That the present system of power has a name – patriarchy – well, as a white male, I can tell you that there’s no need to get all sensitive and take it personally.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 27.1.1.2.1

            +1

          • Ennui 27.1.1.2.2

            The commons bit: 100% right: it gets rid of direct compulsion. But that was never the only reason people chose to work, there is always something outside of the commons they need / desire. All you get in that scenario is a slanting of the power hierarchy to the workers, but the working relationship remains the same.

            The “poor me man crap”….you want to change where illegitimate power stems from. Which is all fine: I don’t particularly like it either but unless there is a clear system that gives an alternative I am going to live with it. As a keen historian I can pretty much say every Utopian experiment, ideological purism and revolutionary change ends up with people still doing transactions and having jobs in a hierarchy. Lots of blood gets spilled but the new boss ends up the same as the old boss.

            Sensitive and personal? No just decidedly long in the tooth and lacking enthusiasm for tearing things down without a blueprint for a much better model.

            • Colonial Viper 27.1.1.2.2.1

              Get rid of taxes and rates payable in NZD and peoples need to seek paid work in the form of jobs paying in NZD will slowly disappear.

              Is this the way we want to go because usually this kind of ideology is considered nutty rightwing libertarianism.

              • greywarbler

                Someone had better mention Mondragon in Spain. I don’t know how good it is but it certainly would change that skiving unionist or worker and the bloated capitalist duelling over wages all the time.

            • Crunchtime 27.1.1.2.2.2

              Dreaming up a “utopian system” for us all to change to isn’t necessarily a good solution – as you said. However, identifying specific problems and finding appropriate specific solutions that work in the context of the wider picture would help.

              I’m a big fan of a Universal Basic Income. One of the reasons for this is because the UBI allows people to do unpaid work:domestic housework, caring for family, volunteering, etc. This work is considered “worthless” when reporters on the news (or the current government) talk about “the economy”.

              People who choose to be a parent and stay at home now are either required to apply for a benefit (which comes with strings attached ie requiring the other parent to pay child support), are forced to work and put their child in childcare, or are beholden to an earning partner. With a UBI in place, it doesn’t matter what you do, you don’t have to go hungry because of “market forces”.

              There are LOADS of other benefits to having a UBI – including the improved business it gives to retail and the economy in general. In the context of rebalancing patriarchy it is an excellent idea.

    • McFlock 27.2

      noblesse oblige, ennui…

    • Colonial Viper 27.3

      Excellent points Ennui. What’s the Left going to do to make your job of contributing to your workers and your community any easier?

      • ochocinco 27.3.1

        Nationalise his business, hopefully.

        • McFlock 27.3.1.1

          lol

          could work

          • Ennui 27.3.1.1.1

            I would go fishing! free as a lark, no noble obligations, ask the state to provide for me whilst I fish.

        • Colonial Viper 27.3.1.2

          because you think Government hasn’t got better things to do within our society than make confectionary, install aluminium windows, sell magazines, fit new tyres, tune Sky TV decoders or import gardening equipment from China?

          • McFlock 27.3.1.2.1

            … and you call yourself left wing…

            • Colonial Viper 27.3.1.2.1.1

              And you think the Government has nothing better to do in our society than be in charge of selling shoes, providing lawn mowing services, repairing PCs, making the beds at and staffing the restaurants and kitchens of 5 star hotels?

              • McFlock

                In people’s republic, all hotels are 5-star hotels.

                But seriously, there is no reason the government can’t take on any of those tasks if they:
                a) need to be done; and
                b) are not adequately done by the private sector.

                Exactly like delivering mail, building trains, cleaning the streets, providing healthcare, providing housing assistance, or whatever. It doesn’t increase the government workload, it merely increases the size of government.

                Hell, I think I read the old “[…] think that government has nothing better to do than xxx” non-argument in that timeless classic of political philosophy “I’ve Been Thinking” (also known as “The Fuckwit-head” or “Atlas Burped up a little”).

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’m all for state ownership or regulation over essential infrastructure and public services which benefit the commons ahead of corporate money interests.

                  But the guys needed to sort out my dog’s ingrown toenail, that can be left to the private sector without too much risk to the wider economy or the nation’s sovereignty.

                  • Ennui

                    I’m all for state ownership or regulation over essential infrastructure and public services which benefit the commons ahead of corporate money interests.
                    Yes, and McFlock is correct too. Adam Smith and all the other classical economist argued about what was monopolistic, what should be regulated or owned by the state, the argument has been around since time immemorial.

                    The genius of the Chicago School and the Austrians is that they managed to sideline the debate, made it go away. Hid it and gave us the consequences of ignoring it. We wear the consequences.

                    • McFlock

                      and their main mechanism of sidelining it was to say that the govt has better things to do than x, rather than saying why one thing is better left to the private sector.

                      And bear in mind that I’m not advocating the removal of the private sector, just competition where it begins to fall down.

    • ropata 27.4

      +1 Ennui.
      TFA is all woolly claptrap which might fly in university feminism 101 but is rather wide of the mark. Yes, Christianity and our culture have patriarchal tendencies, but I reject Bill’s thesis that getting rid of the idea that ‘God created everything’ will solve the problem. Wikipedia has a much more balanced and factual analysis of Patriarchy throughout history.

      • Bill 27.4.1

        I didn’t suggest anywhere that the idea should be ‘gotten rid of’. It’s there. And some people will genuinely believe it to be the case.

        What I did suggest is that given the ridiculous extrapolation made and the that is used by way of justification by those who wield political and economic power over us, that we can call bullshit on them and their power.

        Or, y’know, sure. Carry on reckoning that your ‘betters’ have some magically bestowed god given right to be your betters and rule over you.

        • ropata 27.4.1.1

          Jenny Shipley – turfed out after deposing the elected PM Jim Bolger and then issuing preachy pamphlets to the nation telling them how to run ther lives

          Helen Clark – turfed out after continually supporting worthy but unpopular ‘identity’ causes like prostitution reform, civil unions, anti-smacking, light bulbs and shower nozzles

          Top down authoritarians both of them.

          The Kiwi mindset is generally happy for everybody to have a fair go but really gets annoyed when people try and preach to them about how awful they are. Education is more powerful than legislation.

          • Colonial Viper 27.4.1.1.1

            The people are backward riff raff and must either be ignored or sternly administered to by the more enlightened.

            “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” Some of our leaders have taken this to heart a little too much.

          • Crunchtime 27.4.1.1.2

            I disagree with your assessment.

            Both PMs failed to address the real economic issues in NZ. Shipley was a rabid benificiary and poor basher (as all Nat PMs – indeed all Nats – have been pretty much since Muldoon). Clark was doing this lame 3rd-way thing of being socially liberal but continuing the same neoliberal economic policy of the previous 2 governments.

            It was too easy for both Brash and Key to use the “nanny state” and paint this sexist picture of Clark the mum-knows-best authoritarian WOMAN.

            I think we have a deep-seated insecurity about woman leaders that is easily appealed to. Same happened to Gillard across the ditch. A woman isn’t allowed to be “bossy”. This vein of sexism is of course what we end up with, like it or not, after centuries of patriarchy.

            • McFlock 27.4.1.1.2.1

              That and the point that much of the country felt that Winston had simply sold out by going with National. Regardless of whether it was true or just JA’s fault for being uncompromising, that was the feeling at the time. And then of course when unemployment hit 170k all she could do was bleat “the market will correct itself” like some desperate prayer, when the high unemployment was the market “correction”.

              Labour started well – even the third way is an improvement on hardcore neolibs – but lost steam by term 3. No more improvements to be made without ditching some of the “principles” they’d acquired in the previous 25 years. Took losing the government to make them break that wall.

  28. captain hook 28

    Talking patriarchy who does Colin Craig think he is?
    Moses?

  29. King Kong 29

    I have just had a read through of these comments and I would like to thank all the contributors to this thread.

    I started off banging my head against the desk but this was soon replaced by some real belly laughs.

    It has sort of been like watching retards play scrabble.

    This is one straight, white, male thanking you sincerely.

    • fender 29.1

      Thanks for the banana :grin:

    • Arfamo 29.2

      “I started off banging my head against the desk but this was soon replaced by some real belly laughs.”

      Yes. Not surprising. That often happens when someone wilfully damages their brain banging their head against hard surfaces. The worry is some of them have a vote and think this sort of behaviour is normal for straight, white, males.

    • Murray Olsen 29.3

      Not Maori any more, KKK? You were last time you mentioned your ethnicity.

    • Crunchtime 29.4

      brown, white, black, red, yellow, male, female – doesn’t matter which you are KK, you’re still impolite, saying nothing, and a waste of space on this forum.

  30. greywarbler 30

    It would be good if two of my comment that has repeated could be wiped. There are 3 for greywarbler 19/11 10.29 a.m. about No.14. If someone has time. It’s annoying to people to have these big blocks on the thread. Sorry about that – I have been having difficulties with the site lately.

  31. King Kong 31

    Luckily I am white enough to pick and choose which team I am in on any given day. Maori enough to claim ownership of my golf club, white enough to be accepted as a member.

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    Open Parachute
  • Funding system pushing tertiary institutions towards fraud
    Pressure for funding is driving institutions to take illegal shortcuts says TEU national president Lesley Francey. News that the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is investigating alleged fraud of at least $10 million from public tertiary education is shocking, but...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • GOP gulp
    The Daily Kos in the US is solidly on the liberal left side of the spectrum, so to see them declaring trouble for the Republicans despite their midterm win isn't much of surprise. But the source they are quoting is...
    Polity
  • 2014 New Zealand River Awards
    The second annual New Zealand River Awards will be announced this Thursday evening in Wellington. The Awards recognise the most improved river in each region where there’s robust data, and also identifies the three most improved rivers in the country....
    Gareth’s World
  • Economy, effectiveness and efficiency – yeah Right
    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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