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Shocking the people into submission

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, May 29th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: class war, democracy under attack, economy, human rights, International, john key, poverty, privatisation, same old national, slippery, spin, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The documentary The Shock Doctrine (2009)aired on Maori TV last night.   It is based on Naomi Klein’s book of the same name.  This presents a convincing and well-supported argument of the way “neoliberal” have been imposed on countries since the 1980s by capitalising on a range of natural and human-induced disasters and economic shocks.  She exposes the hypocrisy of the the Chicago School-based, “neoliberal” theory compared with the practice.  Milton Friedman’s theory claims that with economic liberalisation will come a more democratic and socially liberal society.

It is extremely important  to understand the way disasters, wars and economic shocks are used by the wealthy and powerful right wingers to further many of their policies. However, it is important to note that, this is not part of a carefully orchestrated, well-cordinated plan.  Rather, it shows how those with a mix of economic, financial and political power opportunistically capitalise on unexpected shocks, while focusing on their own self-serving interests.

As graphically shown in the documentary, the first attempts at imposing the Chicago School model was through the dictatorial regimes in Pinochet’s Chile and Argentina in the 1970s- brutal, murderous regimes that accepted no opposition, especially from the left.  The documentary is compelling viewing, using the style and format of Hollywood movies, with the sights and sounds of graphic explosions in war zones, and devastating images of the poverty that resulted from the “neoliberal” revolution.

And here lies the dilemma with an otherwise excellent documentary: it presents an important argument and evidence in a way that might likely get the attention of many beyond those already opposed to “neoliberal” capitalism.  However, it does tend to treat the “shock doctrine” as a carefully planned, well0orchestrated campaign, following a neatly unfolding narrative.

It is important to learn from the way shocks are opportunistically manipulated within the broader global setting.  Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine needs to be read in conjunction with David Harvey’s Brief History of Neoliberalism.  Harvey shows how there are massive inconsistencies with the way “neoliberal” policies are put into practice.  When necessary, the elites will use anti-democratic means, and practice market protectionist strategies that are anything but “free”.  The main thing that is consistent within “neoliberal” regimes, is that the wealth is shifted from the majority (including those with least power and wealth), to the few (most of whom are already pretty well off).

Throughout the Shock Doctrine documentary we see excerpts of speeches and comments from Naomi Klein, explaining how the doctrine works.  Klein’s most important statements come towards the end of the documentary, after it has traced the trail of shocks from Chile through Bush Jnr’s “war on terror”, to the shock of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.  Of the GFC Klein says (in the segment that begins around 1 hour 11 minutes), in spite of the rhetoric of taming the big banks:

We are witnessing a transfer of wealth of unfathomable size.  It is a transfer of wealth from the public hands, from the hands of government collected from regular people in the form of taxes, into the hands of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the world.  Needless to say the very individuals and corporations that created this crisis.

The documentary ends on a positive note.  Klein says that the shock doctrine depends on people not being aware of what is happening.   It works only because the people are immobilised, confused and disoriented by the chaos and impact of the shocks.  If people are aware of what is happening, they can resist. Along with this suggestion, I’d also look to David Harvey’s book which shows the imperfections, failures and inconsistencies of the “neoliberal” revolution.  ”Neoliberalism” succeeds because the elites are single-mindedly focused on their aims, even if they don’t all agree on the means.

A week or so ago, I also felt somewhat immobilsed by the Key government’s latest blitzkrieg.  They seemed to be launching one attack after another on our democratic processes.  It was hard to know where to focus opposition.  Now they and their MSM cheer team are focusing on the (alleged) positives of the direction the country is taking us.  For instance, Tracy Watkins, while putting the boot into David Shearer’s leadership, claims:

The poll shows a sudden surge in people who think the country is on the right track – a combination of the wealth effect of a rise in house prices, particularly in Auckland, a drop in the number of jobless, better growth figures and a feeling that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the economy.

There are plenty of niggles with the Government but they are just that – niggles.

None has taken on the tsunami-like proportions of the nanny state backlash that swept Labour out of office.

And with optimism on the rebound, National’s message at the election in 2014 looks like an increasingly potent one – we’ve taken our medicine, done the hard yards, and we’re starting to reap the gains. Why put that all at risk?

However, such triumphalism ignores what has happened as a result of the NAct government’s relentless anti-democratic shocks.  Michael Field, also on Stuff this morning, reports on the rising inequalities in NZ:

New Zealanders might believe they live in an egalitarian nation but a worldwide “better life index” shows the quality of life here is being significantly harmed by the gap between the richest and poorest. ..

New Zealand’s average household net-adjusted disposable income is US$21,892 a year (NZ$27,077.34), less than the OECD average of US$23,047.

“But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20 per cent of the population earn five times as much as the bottom 20 per cent,” the report says.

People in New Zealand work slightly less than the OECD average while 13 per cent of employees “work very long hours”, more than the OECD average of 9 per cent.

Focusing on the broad employment statistics can be misleading.  What good is higher employment and less unemployment, if more jobs pay less than a living wage?  In its attacks on workers’ and beneficiaries’ rights, this government has been doing a good job of helping to shift the wealth upwards, and strengthening the power of the corporates, while weakening the power and finances of those on low incomes.

23 comments on “Shocking the people into submission”

  1. New Zealand’s average household net-adjusted disposable income is US$21,892 a year (NZ$27,077.34), less than the OECD average of US$23,047.

    International Monetary Fund (2012)

    [...] 5 Australia 67,723 2012[...]
    14 Netherlands 46,142 2012
    15 Finland 46,098 2012
    16 Ireland 45,888 2012
    17 Kuwait 45,824 2012
    18 Belgium 43,686 2012
    19 Iceland 41,740 2012
    20 Brunei 41,703 2012
    21 Germany 41,513 2012
    22 France 41,141 2012
    23 United Kingdom 38,589 2012
    24 New Zealand 38,222 2012
    — Hong Kong 36,667 2012
    25 Italy 33,115 2012
    — European Union 32,518 2012
    26 Israel 31,296 2012
    27 Spain 29,289 2012[...]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita
    Despite the ‘financial crisis’ the government is still failing on the GDP front, so much for ending the income gap with Australia.

  2. Tim 2

    “And here lies the dilemma with an otherwise excellent documentary: it presents an important argument and evidence in a way that might likely get the attention of many beyond those already opposed to “neoliberal” capitalism.”

    If I recall, from the credits, it was made in 2009 – not too long after the 2008 ‘GFC’. I’m hoping that the consequences of the neo-liberal programme will have become a part of many more people’s life experience (i.e. they’ll have become more directly affected).

    • Tim 2.1

      I tried to edit – I see you’d already included the 2009 release date: read from the “I’m hoping….”

  3. johnm 3

    The current Neoliberal order has a horror of democracy and even the mixed economy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_economy

    We have The Corporate Welfare State http://www.monbiot.com/2011/11/21/the-corporate-welfare-state/

    ” areas forced to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace—to show what happens when unfettered corporate capitalism and ceaseless economic expansion no longer have external impediments. We wanted to illustrate what unrestrained corporate exploitation does to families, communities and the natural world. We wanted to challenge the reigning ideology of globalization and laissez-faire capitalism to illustrate what life becomes when human beings and the ecosystem are ruthlessly turned into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. And we wanted to expose as impotent the formal liberal and governmental institutions that once made reform possible, institutions no longer equipped with enough authority to check the assault of corporate power. ” http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/rise_up_or_die_20130519/

    We have two headed one party state.

    This subject is so big it’s hard to know where to begin. The invasion of Iraq and its prior siege to starve it out and the lies to justify the invasion are epic war crimes on a parallel with Nazi Germany and Japanese war crimes worthy of another Nuremburg trial.

    basically the rich and wealthy and the banks and corporations have a total abhorrence of democracy and the lumpen proles having any effective voice. Profit is the new tyranny.

    • johnm 3.1

      All the Privatisations are day light robbery from the common good of the people. The presstitute media comply with the dumbing down of the public most of whom now wouldn’t have a clue what the term “common good” means or that it’s the foundation of any decent society and that the term includes the natural world as well–no deep sea oil drilling. We have a wealth worship growth sickness that even the Planet itself is rebelling against in the form of climate change that could eventually be the demise of most of us.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        We have a wealth worship growth sickness that even the Planet itself is rebelling against in the form of climate change that could eventually be the demise of most of us.

        Yep and the way things are going it looks like we’re not going to learn that lesson until after the planet’s crushed our “civilisation”.

      • johnm 3.1.2

        On a lighter note here is an example of a shocking doctrine closer to home: Australia:

        “Conservative billionaire Gina Rinehart called for the sterilization of the poor today, arguing that the only way to alleviate poverty is to stop the “underclasses” from multiplying.

        In a video uploaded to her official YouTube account, the Australian mining heiress said that income inequality is caused by differences in intelligence, and eugenics is the only answer.

        “Our nation faces a grave economic crisis as the combination of a strong Australian dollar and falling commodity prices sap our ability to compete globally,” she explained. “The only logical solution to this crisis is to strengthen the quality of our most precious resource: human capital.”

        Bloody ell! :-) To think our governments really do listen to people like this.

        http://dailycurrant.com/2013/05/28/gina-rinehart-calls-for-sterilization-of-the-poor/

        She resembles someone here in NZ Paula B……

        “I believe that any couple making less than $100,000 a year should be forcibly sterilized through a vasectomy or fallopian tubal ligation. Those earning more than $100,000 a year should be encouraged to have as many as 10 or 12 children.” Holy Motherf@cker!!!

        “So I’m willing to pay a decent wage, as long as I’m getting the son of a doctor and not the son of a failed bartender on welfare. The problem is that the underclasses seem to be outbreeding the intelligent folks, and I can’t find a decent worker anywhere.” What Planet She live on!? OH yes the billionaire’s planet privilege

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          In a video uploaded to her official YouTube account, the Australian mining heiress said that income inequality is caused by differences in intelligence, and eugenics is the only answer.

          She should look in the fucking mirror before opening her mouth on eugenics again.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.2

          Everything I’ve seen of Gina Rinehart shows that she’s rather stupid. Having more of her running around is definitely what will kill this world.

          What Planet She live on!? OH yes the billionaire’s planet privilege

          Planet Key.

        • millsy 3.1.2.3

          I hope that’s satire….

          I really do.

  4. tracey 4

    Karol, if you get a chance, find a book called “from Good hands to Boxing Gloves” It outlines the impact of McKinsey on the USA’s largest insurer and how they moved from having policy holders at the centre of their business to shareholders, which saw years of higher premiums and significantly lower payouts while misleading customers as tot he extent of their coverage.

    I believe it outlines a similar modus operandi as you outline here.

    Could be important given the QBE and other insurance issues faced by Christchurch. It is likely to have implications for all kiwis as insurance companies try to claw back losses from all clients.

  5. tracey 5

    My brother often says what this country needs is a dictator. No stuffing around, decisions made action taken. He does vote National but he is no right-wing fanatic. he does constantly moan at all his wasted tax dollars… He’s no rich lister but he is very well off

    • lprent 5.1

      Dare him to say that down in Christchurch. Brownlee effectively has dictatorial powers down there. Somehow that hasn’t stopped the rebuild down there being a total clusterfuck according to *everyone* I have talked to from Christchurch over the last year. Doesn’t matter if they are left, right, or uninterested in politics – they are all freaking pissed off. Especially at Brownlee, CERA, EQC, and even the city council because bugger all of any significance to the residents has been happening despite all of the dictatorial powers.

      He could get a better idea about how useless dictatorial powers are.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      The problem with benign dictators is who replaces them.

  6. saarbo 6

    Thanks Karol, well summed up…I haven’t red the book but the doco was outstanding. Big thumbs up to Maori TV.

  7. Roger Douglas articulated the ‘shock doctrine’ in NZ with his statement to the effect that ‘reforms’ had to happen fast before people woke up. The urgency and ruthlessness which which the ruling class implemented their reforms at the time was not part of a conscious conspiracy, it flowed from the crisis of capital that broke out in the 1970s. This was caused by a fall in the rate of profit resulting from a rise in the organic composition of capital. As the cost of plant and machinery required to make labour more productive increased as a ratio of labour employed, labour had to generate higher profits to cover the total capital investment. This meant that the rate of exploitation needed to increase. At a certain point in the late 60′s, that rate (the willingness of workers to work harder or face cuts in living standards) could not keep pace with total capital invested, and profits began to fall. This is well documented, not only by Marxists. Capitalism needed to be restructured. So whatever the means used the ends were the same. Capital had to drive down its costs to restore its profits. In NZ this meant that industry had to be restructuring to cut costs and become internationally competitive. Rogernomics was the Labour Party’s answer. It was economic kiwi shock therapy.
    This was captured at the time by the Socialist Alliance in their “Rogercomic”. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1949769616850.2100256.1020893687&type=3
    The best account of the underlying forces at play is in the late Geoff Pearce’s PhD “Where is NZ Going”. http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/1024
    Brian Roper has summarised and updated this analysis in ‘State and Economy in NZ’ which as far as I know is not online.

    • Ennui 7.1

      Red, I had a quiet laugh clicking on your site and seeing Trotsky…..seemed very ironic considering that you quote Rogers statement to the effect that ‘reforms’ had to happen fast before people woke up”.

      This is directly out of the Lenin school of revolutionary practice, probably his greatest contribution to turning theory into reality. It amuses me that what was pioneered by the Reds got appropriated by the Neo Libs….not surprising that these two are mirror images, both practitioners of “rationalism” and “materialism”.

      Your guys should never have publicised the methodology nor proven it. Funny also your analysis of capital in crisis, looks very much like a rerun of what brought the Soviet Union to its knees to me.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Not online but in libraries.

  8. Paul 8

    Naomi Klein could easily use Christchuch as an example for her book.
    Earthquake, dodgy insurance companies, forced school changes, people living in broken houses for over 2 years, charter schools, removal of democracy with Ecan..
    Yup, that’s shock doctrine in action.

  9. TheContrarian 9

    Would have liked to have seen that but The Fly was on Prime.

  10. xtasy 10

    Karol, I am in agreement with your comment that what the Nats in government have been presenting us of recent, is nothing short of policy and legislative “blitzkrieg”. Yes, bringing in unconstitutional, undemocratic, the BORA and Human Rights Act breaching laws, some under urgency, and rushing them through select committee, some even not going through that stage, that is clearly a speedy or hasty attack on the democratic process that should actually be followed, upheld and applied.

    The main problem is, most people in the public have such a dim view of politicians, and are also so superficially and poorly informed, they take little interest in details, and they do not even know that their rights and entitlements are signed away with a stroke of a pen, when these new laws and amended laws get their assent.

    We know how practically “complicit” the leaders in the mainstream media are in supporting this government, and they keep their staff (the average reporter on rushed feet, the journalist not given time and pay to research details) at a tight lead, so they do not go astray and do what they actually would be supposed to do.

    I did not see that film, and I rely on your assessment.

    With the continued “neo-liberal” onslaught, I fear the NatACT government have just started to run the bulldozer over us. Wait and see how they will implement the welfare reforms soon, it will start in harmless fashion (see the “calming” info contained in brouchures at WINZ offices), but once the regime is in place, there will be thousands thrashed off the benefits, forced to work, whether actually signed off as sick and incapacitated by doctors, or not. They will simply circumvent or override medical decisions, as they have already tried increasingly over the last two years.

    The new “assessments”, separate to medical examinations, will be so constructed, that they will find many capable to work, even if it is for non existing, hypothetical jobs. The goal is cost cutting and sending the message to others: Do not even bother applying for benefits, as you will most likely not qualify anyway.

    We are in for an onslaught, for sure, at that and other levels. It is highly dismaying, that most out there do not get it, and simply shrug their shoulders and turn away, letting all this happen.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Karol, I am in agreement on your comment that what the Nats in government have been presenting us of recent, is nothing short of policy and legislative “blitzkrieg”.

      Lucky that we have our very own Red Army to defeat them. Maybe. Not.

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    Pundit | 14-04
  • Images of women and mother blaming
    There have been a few stories in the media about New Zealand women and obesity and body image, some referenced in this editorial from the Herald on Sunday. This article blames mothers for teaching girls to put on lip gloss....
    frogblog | 14-04
  • A Matter of Time: Reflections Of A Waning Republican
    Time Lords: The historical transition of the Monarchy: from that which rules, to those who reign, was a remarkable constitutional innovation. Neither a true monarchy, nor yet a full republic, Britain’s constitutional monarchy offered its subjects something unique. "[A] constitution...
    Bowalley Road | 14-04
  • IPCC 5th Assessment Report – exposing NZ on climate policy
    The IPCC’s 3rd Working Group has just released the final section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Following WGI report on the science and WGII on impact, this one focuses on a response strategy. The Report recalls that annual global emissions...
    frogblog | 14-04
  • Maori Party / Key fundraiser
    The Political Anorak News is full of the $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Maori Party hosted by John Key at the Northern Club in Auckland. A few thoughts: Nothing illegal about this at all, or really anything immoral either. Key wants...
    Polity | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincol