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Shuffle the caucus deck

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, November 12th, 2012 - 89 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, blogs, david shearer, dpf, election 2014, labour, leadership, Left, Politics, The Standard - Tags:

Since the leadership debacles of the late 80’s and early 90’s, I’ve always had a strong dislike of shifting leadership mid-term in coups. The sight of scavengers scrabbling over the corpse of their party is unedifying, distracts from real political work, and above all it is an absolute turn-off for voters. There is no point in volunteering for a parliamentary party that spends too much time focused on the social dominance games we inherited from our social band ancestry and not enough of doing what is needed to be done to gain the treasury benches to effect real change.

So my view (expressed here frequently) is that the only time in the electoral calendar that I see for leadership debates  is immediately after an lost election or those rare times when someone retires or dies in office. The corollary of that is that leaders should step down gracefully without having to be dragged kicking and screaming from office in National party style coups*.

After all if you’re a professional politician you should have given the election your best shot. You damn well know if you have a reasonable chance of winning the next election. If you can’t or can’t convince your colleagues and party activists, then the best thing that you can give a party is a chance to select someone who can. Since the loss of leadership by Mike Moore 19 years ago this has been the pattern followed inside the NZLP caucus.

However while I value the stability of this style of leadership change. I also strongly value political competence. So I’m having to rethink my opposition to mid-term leadership changes in the light of the strange decision of the caucus to promote into leadership someone who now has just over three years of parliamentary experience, no cabinet experience, and who hasn’t mastered the ability to deal with the media.

When David Shearer came up for the leadership my first thought was that this was a joke. It hasn’t changed since. And my reaction isn’t uncommon amongst Labour party activists.

Sure he had a lot of support from some of the media, the right wing blogs, and the like. He was a “nice bloke” with a good story. So what? None of those places are noted hotbeds of work for the cause of the left. Charm is an occupational requirement for a politician and anyone with experience in politics automatically discounts it. And back stories are a dime a dozen which seldom survive more than a few years in politics.

What he didn’t have was much enthusiastic support from the party activists. At best it was lukewarm. It was also more from the less active activists than the most active. Why?

Because we’re the cynical and usually very experienced buggers who give up our time to ensure that the Labour party gets elected. This goes far beyond simply delivering leaflets, door knocking, phone banking, and finding a bit of money to get local MP’s elected. We’re the ones who talk to people about why we support the Labour party and implicitly why they should vote for them. We do it when the caucus is in post-loss depression and they can’t get a press release written about by the media. We do it when the party is on the rise. And we do it when the party is in power.

But we have to have something to work with. Now the problem is that for whatever reasons the caucus has elected into the leadership a person who is so politically inexperienced that he can’t recognise some obvious potholes like his house painter anecdote or the GCSB tape screwup. And even after he blunders into them he still can’t see what the damn problem was. And when he talks to the media about his decisions, his ability to push his reasons for his actions are so frigging confused that even we can’t figure it out, and I have the strong suspicion that he doesn’t know either. All of this was obviously going to happen when he put his name up for leadership.

There was always the possibility that he would have had some good solid competent political backup while he worked himself into the role. But clearly that either hasn’t been provided or that he hasn’t availed himself of it. Even in something so basic as leading a coherent caucus displays this. The obvious sign of this has been the continuing disaster of Shane Jones acting on his own, outside his non-existant portfolios, and no-one apparently trying to put a muzzle on him.

The lack of discipline in the caucus where a rogue MP can obscure the political messages from caucus colleagues without even a hint of censure speaks volumes about how dysfunctional David Shearer’s caucus has become.

With all due respect to the views of my fellow authors Mike Smith and r0b who are inclined to give David Shearer more time to develop, I tend to agree with Eddie and IrishBill. I don’t think that there appears to be enough sign of any attempted improvement. And the time for activists to decide how much commitment they are prepared to push into a victory in 2014 or earlier (a one seat majority in the house isn’t exactly stable) is around about now. Many of the activists will be heading to the conference now with exactly that question on their mind. Which is why the question arises now*

I know that I am. I was somewhat limited in how much effort I could have done last year because of a heart attack earlier in the year so I did a lot less than I have in any election for the last 20 years. I wound up doing very little apart from voter targeting for a number of electorates. But I have plenty of time over what should be a healthy next few years. I’ve even got the bulk of my current projects for work shipping.

Now I’m contemplating how much commitment I want to give to the party compared to the other things I do. The answer is coming up as being “not much”. In fact I’m finding that of all of the activities I might want to do in NZ politics, the most productive is probably spending more time working on this site. Which is why I’ll be attending the conference next week (if at all) as part of the media rather than my usual delegate role.

The reason is that I have lost confidence in the parliamentary caucus being capable of even trying to head towards a electoral victory. As a group they seem to spend more time posturing to each other and to the media in the beltway than doing the job they need to do across NZ.

Labour isn’t going to grow their actual vote without getting people to go to the polling booths – a lesson driven home over the last week with the techniques used in Obama victory. The ability of the party to do that is diminishing as activists across the country get frustrated with the obstruction of  the parliamentary caucus. The caucus appears to be the main impediment to building the type of party organisational activity that would be required to build that victory and sustain it over several elections.

Labour needs someone who can control the ill-disciplined and incoherent rabble in the parliamentary caucus or at the very least get them moving in the same direction. David Shearer and his support team don’t appear to me to be those people. If they are even trying then they are failing miserably.

Somehow I don’t think that a single speech is going to fix that. It is a structural problem with the caucus and the elevation of David Shearer to the leadership is more of a incidental symptom than being the problem.

Update: Brian Edwards has a post up that has a slightly different take on it. I suspect that he is being optimistic that a simple leadership change can fix the underlying problem.

Update: Dimpost also posted on this earlier in the day with a certain degree of scepticism on the single defining speech idea.

Update: I see that Scott at Imperator Fish shares my disquiet at the antics of Shane Jones and questions why nothing is being done about him.

 

* David Farrars “experience” with Labour seems to be on the same order as Andrea Vance’s understanding of Labour‘s leadership changes – complete bullshit. Vance appears to be living in Australia and observing the ALP. David Farrar was very selective in not linking to r0b’s and Mike’s posts in his post about this site this morning. And he also clearly didn’t read any of the posts to the point that he engaged some actual thought about why this is topical for NZLP activists prior to conference. Instead he seems to have invented yet another nutbar conspiracy theory. Oh well I guess he is just practicing for writing trash for the Truth. He probably hasn’t considered the simple fact that this will be the first large meeting of Labour activists to meet since the caucus decision. 

89 comments on “Shuffle the caucus deck”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Absolutely spot on LPRENT. Sadly I dont think the caucus will listen but everything you said was true.

  2. mike 2

    It has been a great source of frustration to me that our party has not this year front-footed the huge underlying problem i.e., monetarism, market driven madness, Reaganism, Rogernomics, call it what you like, it’s the elephant in the room. Now that Obama’s victory has so hammered the greedy right and their evangelical hangers on, the new world of more government action and regulation of our politics and economy will become a mantra that we may have been able to lead, and been confirmed in by the US election. Now, even if we do go down that road we are followers. What a waste of a great opportunity to look ahead of the game. Without revealing any policy secrets we could have taken the lead in identifying what the problem was that we needed to attend to. Oh well!

    • The Baron 2.1

      LOL you wanna take Obama as your inspiration? Do you know anything about how far right Obama is compared to your beloved Labour party?

      If you’re thinking that any change to the neo-lib orthodoxy has occurred thanks to his reelection then I’m afraid you’re strangely mistaken.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Obama did very well in terms of electoral and campaign strategy. The fact that he is right wing and neoliberal is simply a reflection of the USA.

        • The Baron 2.1.1.1

          … neither of which was what mike was commenting on, was it CV?

          Praise him for his campaigning, sure. But a shining inspirational beacon for the NZ Left? Again: LOL. Don’t delude yourselves with all the hope-y change-y posters, Mike. You ain’t gonna see anything different on monetary policy out of Obama – though he could be inspirational in showing you what happens when you spend far, FAR more than you earn in taxation.

          I guess that could be a handy lesson for the NZ Left after all.

  3. Tracey 3

    I still believe that the ball was dropped post election when Goff announced his retirement. He should have stayed on as leader for six months, while a measured selection process and post mortem (election) was undertaken.

    marry in haste repent at leisure

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      Absolutely Goff should have stayed. By the time of the last election he had accumulated enough mana to be taken seriously as leader material. Personally I think he would have come into is own if he had just hung on until 2013.

    • CentreOfLeft 3.3

      + 3. The media would have hammered him for leading such a big defeat but he’s a big boy, he can take it.
      Plus if he were leader now, I think he’d be a lot more effective in landing some hits against the government than the current leader
      And who doesn’t like a good old phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes story? (or is that only for people named Winston?)

    • Redbaron77 3.4

      Fully agree. The change of leadership was undertaken with unnecessary and indecent haste. The public did not really know Phil Goff as Labour leader until the four-five weeks of the 2011 campaign. and then he was gone. In hindsight I suspect PG would have gained more traction with the public than the current leadership but that is pure speculation now. However at the very least PG earned the right from his performance in the 2011 campaign to oversee the transition to a new leadership team.

  4. Peter 4

    I am close to just pushing the button on a system within the Labour Party that avoids caucus entirely, and gets the job of organising done. It requires resourcing, but that can be achieved in many ways. There are very few MPs in the current caucus with any experience or desire to work on building the party’s organising capacity – we lost most of it when Pete Hodgson retired.

    Lynn will appreciate the internet analogy – the internet determines a blockage and routes around it. We need to do the same with the NZLP. If caucus isn’t listening, just bypass them.

    • lprent 4.1

      I’ll help with resourcing.

      • jamie prentice 4.1.1

        Now you are talking take back what NZ needs, otherwise the arrogant A. will continue destroying our future and my children will have to continue living overseas cause NZ will be a place for a few and labour is supposed to be about the many.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          And I’d prefer to be able to see my neice and nephew again without having to get on a plane.

          I saw you’d discovered the site the other day. The kids adapted to China ok? I’ll fire up skype on the laptop tomorrow and catch up.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Sounds good, count me in too.

    • Saarbo 4.3

      Count me in too, caucus are too worried about their jobs and egoes to make the best call for Labour’s future.

    • Shane Gallagher 4.4

      But the Green Party already has a website and membership forms online…. ;-)

      • Peter 4.4.1

        Well, if Labour still stands for anything, it stands for loyalty.

        • Jim Nald 4.4.1.1

          Even that is wearing thin.

        • Shane Gallagher 4.4.1.2

          Speaking with my trade union hat on when we were negotiating with Labour ministers for pay and changes to legislation it was very clear to me that that loyalty only went one way.

          Kind of like trickle down loyalty…

          • Peter 4.4.1.2.1

            Yes, it’s because the party has nothing to instil fear in caucus. No power, no shots to fire if certain things aren’t met. Unfortunately in these games, just being nice won’t cut it, nor will waiting to be rewarded for the good things that you did. They are forgotten.

  5. Michael 5

    I hope someone’s asked the old Silver Fox for tips on how to rebuild the Party. After all, he (together with Michael Cullen, Ruth Dyson and Steve Maharey) did it earlier, after Anderton (and the lefties) walked out. I reckon online communications are the way to go (Red Alert being an example of what not to do). It shouldn’t be that hard to set up electronic voting and polling systems for financial members. As for communications, what a great way to bypass the MSM.

    • Peter 5.1

      Well, maybe. I’m not keen on electronic parties, largely because activism comes from having people together in a room, rather than keyboard activists. Arguably, keyboard activists and clicktivism is one of the largest problems facing the NZLP today.

      If electronic communications can get people together, then yes. If it’s just more email, more texts, and more FB messages, then no.

      • lprent 5.1.1

        Yep.

        But the problem there is that the current system inside Labour for getting people together in a room is hopelessly dated.

        Having someone standing in front of a room saying something that they could say to a camera or a post is a pointless waste of (my) time.

        Having meetings of more than about 8 people for a discussion is pointless for achieving anything much because you’ll always find a PG style person standing up and hogging the limited bandwidth.

        Do those on electronic with just enough public meetings to keep the illiterate generations up to date.

        You need to get people together in a room to achieve a task. Use the electronic to make that task clear at the outset so you don’t get the endless waffle that is as meaningless as email lists that never do anything or facebook.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Exactly. Some corporate/professional discipline wouldn’t go amiss. We’re not here to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy about themselves, we’re here to get the best damn Labour Government in the world in power for a long time.

    • alwyn 5.2

      The only “Silver Fox” I’ve ever heard of is Richard Griffin.
      I can’t really believe you mean him so please satisfy my curiosity by telling me who you mean.

  6. Well unless Labour get’s its act together we are going to see another three years of National and a potential implosion of the NZ economy, starting with more welfare cuts, further attacks on workers rights, weakening business confidence (made no better by National’s refusal to adopt stimulus measures or intervene in the economy) and even higher unemployment rates.

  7. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7

    Fucking hell.

    Five of the last nine posts on the Standard are about dumping Shearer.

    One of the others is open mike.

    This is totes amazeballs.

    • Tracey 7.1

      I know what you mean, it’s awful watching people want to express an opinion about leadership. I don’t know why they dont just lead it to the leaders. They all know what’s best for us don’t they?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Currently the NATs have banned their members taking public stances against Government policy or against John Key. If you do, your membership to the party will be immediately cancelled.

        That’s how nervous they are at the moment.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.1.1

          They should be nervous. Luckily for them the opposition is so inept, nothing they fuck up has electoral consequences.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 7.1.2

        Unelectable.

  8. Raymond A Francis 8

    I find it hard to believe that when the Country and the poor are, by anyone with the slightest left wing perception, being shafted, is a time for an activist to say their position for change is to do
    ““not much”.
    Fortunatly the comments above are a little more positive but no wonder the left/Labour are stuffed

    • lprent 8.1

      The problem is what would I be pushing for. At present it looks like a pack of incompetents who can’t work together implementing an incoherent set of objectives. Now I realize this also describes the National party as well. However….

      I also have a considerable range of choices in what I can expend my time on. My paid work is always a lot of fun to do and a damn sight more interesting than politics. There are other voluntary ‘political’ activities that I can expect more consistent results without relying on some gormless prima donnas who can’t work together for the eventual outcomes. For instance this political blog or just helping out people and groups closer to coalface. Or there are a few open source projects that I’d like to spend more time getting into.

      Each carries some weight. The problem is that the NZLP is diminishing as a worthwhile place for me to exert effort into. It is a structure that seems to just waste my effort and that of those of other activists. Until it changes that, there doesn’t seem like much “change” can be achieved with them as a vehicle.

      …is a time for an activist to say their position for change is to do “not much”

      Why? To change things doesn’t require a political party. It can be done far more directly if that is a more effective route to the desired results. If part of a political party has become an impediment to change as I have seen the NZLP’s parliamentary caucus become over the last 20 years, and it is reluctant to be changed, then the most effective way to get change is to do other tasks worth doing and let them carry on withering into irrelevance.

      • Raymond A Francis 8.1.1

        Fair enough, you only live once and how you spend your time doing that is your business, as you say propping up the Labour Party is not the only way to bring about change
        It just worries me that far to may left activists, while moaning about the present Government, can not be bothered actually doing anything about the present state of affairs, which to my mind makes them far worse class traitors than any right winger
        And if you really want to see what is wrong with Labour check out the picture doing the rounds of Labours Leader and Deputy Leader having a yarn in the Air New Zealand Koru lounge.
        Time they stopped taking the perks and got out and mixed with the rest of us

        • Fisiani 8.1.1.1

          Two senior Labour MP’s in the Koru lounge. tut Tut Robertson soon living it up at the Warner’s Hobbit premiere. They have forgotten who put them there. Labour needs representatives in Parliament who have actually worked for a living in a job that people can relate to.

        • karol 8.1.1.2

          2 MPs chatting in an airport lounge.  Nothing to see here just a W/O beat up.  Nothing to show they don’t go amongst ordinary people.

        • lprent 8.1.1.3

          It just worries me that far to may left activists, while moaning about the present Government, can not be bothered actually doing anything about the present state of affairs…

          I think that if you looked you’d find that they are doing a lot already. There are very few left activists who aren’t involved in at least one other avenue of change outside of political parties. In fact I’d be hard pushed to think of one who exerts all of their efforts through a political party.

          …having a yarn in the Air New Zealand Koru lounge.

          What exactly is so special about the Koro? Everyone who does a lot of travel gets access to it if they want it from airpoints alone.

          Personally I don’t travel these days unless I can’t avoid it so I don’t use it. However I’m pretty sure that my partner uses it because she seems to spend an inordinate amount of her time in planes. I know most of the travellers in every organisation I’ve worked in for years use it or something like it, etc etc.

          It is a convenience because once you’ve seen your nth airport it is no longer of any interest while you’re hanging around after the early checkin to sit around the airport doing sweet FA.It is convenient and worth the minimal fees just to get adequate access to the net

        • fatty 8.1.1.4

          “It just worries me that far to may left activists, while moaning about the present Government, can not be bothered actually doing anything about the present state of affairs, which to my mind makes them far worse class traitors than any right winger”

          Shit Raymond…that’s a moronic and arrogant statement. Most left leaning activists I know do a lot in their communities. Maybe you just know self-obsessed and selfish people

        • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1.5

          “far worse class traitors than any right winger”

          Labour abandoned it’s principles in the 80’s and you have the cheek to call me a traitor for wanting left wing principles back.

          Something I’ve espoused to local Labour MP’s and their local ilk for years and on this site for the last few. I see little sign of being listened to and little sign of a fundamental shift back to the left.

          I’m a voter and at the end of the day it’s my vote that puts or doesn’t put Labour in power.

          Voting is more powerful than you give it credit.

          If Labour wants to win it has to win my vote back – not get my time and effort which may or may not change things within the party.

  9. higherstandard 9

    Helen should send H2 back to NZ to sort the fuckers out.

  10. Pete 10

    ‘What I was going to say,’ said the Dodo in an offended tone, ‘was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.’

    ‘What IS a Caucus-race?’ said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that SOMEBODY ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

    ‘Why,’ said the Dodo, ‘the best way to explain it is to do it.’ (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

    First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (‘the exact shape doesn’t matter,’ it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no ‘One, two, three, and away,’ but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out ‘The race is over!’ and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, ‘But who has won?’

    This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said, ‘EVERYBODY has won, and all must have prizes.’

  11. pete 11

    Changing the lipstick won’t change the fact the organisation is rotten to the core. You’re asking the wrong question if you think a leader is the answer.

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      That is a very apt description of the National Party troughers, and while John Key is on his way out (signs are that he has already mentally vacated) the Natz have unpalatable options with any answer provided in the form of Joyce, Collins, Parata bla bla bla.

  12. the sprout 12

    A well written piece Lynn – rings very true.

  13. Wow I bet you are off Shearer’s chrismas card list now lprent.  I agree with you entirely about activist levels of commitment.

     

    • lprent 13.1

      I just find the saga irritating.

      David Shearer has the makings of being a damn fine MP, good cabinet minister, and maybe with a few terms under his belt a possible PM. But throwing him in after less than two years into the leadership role was just stupid.There is no way that he can deal with the sharks of the media, idiot MP’s trying to prove how silly they can be, parliamentary procedures, or the party organisational work because he has effectively no experience in any of these or the many other facets of the role.

      It is not that I have any particular favouritism towards David Cunliffe either. It is simply that he has the basic skills to make a reasonable pass at doing the role competently (and like QoT, I can’t see any good alternatives).

      But what I’m primarily pissed off about is that the dumbarse caucus with their heads stuck so far into their own pathetic games that they aren’t getting the tools together to actually win an election despite the vagaries of their opponents and simple mistakes. Right now they’re wide open to losing it by accident with the consequences largely being borne by the people they usually represent.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        It has been that way for a while.  I cam remember working hard on campaigns in the 12 months up to the last election and watching support gradually rise but then see the gains evaporate because of the actions of an idiot MP.  The Helen Clark mode of discipline needs to be restored, fast.

      • Tom Gould 13.1.2

        But you simply cannot ignore the fact that Shearer has been in the job for 11 months and has failed to flip the polling of the most consistently popular Prime Minister since Savage, maybe Seddon. He just has to go. It’s the Labour way.

        • Magnus McManus 13.1.2.1

          You’re missing the point.
          It’s not that he’s only been in the job for 11 months, it’s that he’s got the job at all. He’s even more out of his depth than the PM. Which is a fact that any opposition leader worthy of the title (Shearer is not) should be making abundently obvious. It’s not as if he’s mkaing it difficult or anything.

  14. Stephen Doyle 14

    So who should be on the front bench with what portfolio?

  15. Tiresias 15

    Politics is too important to be left to politicians.

    This post spends its words complaining that Shearer is not a politician, i.e. a small-brained, self-serving, egotistical jerk with charisma and a gift of the gab who probably wouldn’t succeed as a used-car salesman because he’s better at working a crowd.

    That Shearer isn’t a ‘natural’ politician in the modern mould is his best feature, in my opinion.

    What he needs, and won’t succeed without, is the unfailing support of those behind him. That he clearly doesn’t have because too many like Iprent want someone photogenic and quick with the smart-arse one-liner above someone thoughtful, honest, sincere and genuine.

    Fortunately I abandoned Labour for the Greens many election ago so the internicene warfare socialists love above all else means little to me now.

    • lprent 15.1

      I couldn’t give a shit if he was photogenic. Read the damn post and use that thing you like to call a brain rather than making up a story about what you thought I said.

      What I care about is having the basics like for instance – being able to deal with his caucus, knowing the parliamentary rules, knowing the party rules, how to run a political campaign, and how to answer questions when the media tries to trip him up. These are some of the basics required for a political leader to run their MP’s, party, and an election campaign without falling over their damn inexperience.

      These are all things that a political leader in NZ needs to know. David Shearer is a neophyte at all of them and it shows. The further into the campaign it gets the more it will hurt the party’s chances at getting a decent shot at the treasury benches.

      Because he not only doesn’t have them, nor appears to understand how much he lacks them. It makes it bloody hard to traipse loyally after a caucus that elected such a liability to the leadership position.

      I’d also point out that if Labour doesn’t make a good showing then the Greens have bugger all chance at achieving much either. The reason Labour will fail will be the usual one. People who would vote for Labour won’t turn out because they either can’t see a reason to do so and/or the Labour efforts to increase turnout by reminding people that there is an election on don’t happen or happen poorly.

      The Greens haven’t been noticeable at increasing turnout in the past and I don’t really expect them to get too much better any time soon.

      • Blue 15.1.1

        “What I care about is having the basics like for instance – being able to deal with his caucus, knowing the parliamentary rules, knowing the party rules, how to run a political campaign, and how to answer questions when the media tries to trip him up. These are some of the basics required for a political leader to run their MP’s, party, and an election campaign without falling over their damn inexperience.”

        Absolutely. I’ve been thinking it might even be necessary to institute a formal rule about the experience a candidate requires before they can put their name forward for the leadership.

        You would think it would be obvious, but apparently not, and I don’t want to risk getting another Shearer sometime down the track.

        Something along the lines of them having to have held a very senior position in the party for a minimum of two terms, for example.

        Some morons seem to think that outside experience compensates for political experience – it doesn’t. Our Parliamentary system is very complex and to think you can just parachute in and you’ll be right is staggeringly arrogant. It takes years to learn this stuff.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          You would think it would be obvious, but apparently not, and I don’t want to risk getting another Shearer sometime down the track.

          This speaks to the (ill) judgement of a large number of people in caucus. And even if you try and regulate this away, there’s the inconvenient fact that some of these will be the same people who are going to end up with Ministerial responsibilities. It’s all very crap.

    • weka 15.2

      “Fortunately I abandoned Labour for the Greens many election ago so the internicene warfare socialists love above all else means little to me now.”
       
      You are a fool if you think this will never happen to the Greens.

  16. KhandallaMan 16

    It makes it bloody hard to traipse loyally after a caucus that elected such a liability to the leadership position.” 
     
    That is the essence of the issue:  it is not primarily about Shearer. It is about why and how Shearer & Robertson were put in the roles, how Cunliffe has been bad-mouthed and censored, how the NZ Council has proposed rules that entrenches the clique and dis-enfranchises the membership.  

    Thanks for your good work LPrent.  

    • Pete Fraser 16.1

      o for fuck’s sake. The biggest opening up of the Party ever, and it’s entrenching the clique and dis-enfranchising the membership? Are you actually incompetent at reading and thinking?

      • KhandallaMan 16.1.1

        Peter Fraser, you rude potty mouth. 
        The NZ Council originally proposed the establishment of a Management Committee made up of the President, the two Senior Vice-Presidents, the General Secretary and three members of the Council elected by and from the Council. Also proposed was the reduction of Council meeting frequency to five meetings annually.  That group of Wellington based Caucus and Council members was originally proposed to have full executive power, without ratification by the Council or Caucus. It could have decided on the make up of the List for MMP. 
        That proposal would have concentrated massive power in six people.  That is my definition of a “clique”.  
        CLIQUE: a small, exclusive group of friends or associates, from French, perhaps from Old French; latch, from cliquer to click; suggestive of the necessity to exclude nonmembers.
         

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1

          That Management Committee aka Politburo structure would have guaranteed the crash and burn of the Labour Party sooner rather than later.

          Amazing it was even considered.

    • Saarbo 16.2

      Spot on KhandallaMan, that is the essence of the issue! 

    • aspasia 16.3

      +1+1+1+1 KhandallaMan. Excellent post Lynn. It was totally unbelievable at the time that Shearer could be made leader but it is human to want to hope for the best. Shearer is not only a neophyte but he gives no hint of having any consistent principles that I can recognise as being those of a democratic socialist leader. This is neither panic nor disloyalty. Those of us who were loyal and silent through the neoliberal disaster of the eighties are not likely to be deterred. Our people are suffering and deserve better. Give us a leader who can articulate what Labour stands for and inspire the basic organisational hard work that wins elections.

  17. peterlepaysan 17

    the LP needs voters to turn up at election times to vote for them.

    voters have not been doing this

    caucus has the power

    caucus is frightened of giving power to the people.

    caucus is rapidly becoming redundant.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      caucus is rapidly becoming redundant.

      Metaphorically, and if they are not careful, literally.

  18. RedBaron 18

    Shearer or no Shearer as leader, the Labour caucus needs to have every MP out looking for votes and using people for what they do best. If Shearer is lousy on TV then send along someone who is better. Why not use every resource they have? Voters tend to hear the people they like so give them a choice of “brands”.

    For WIW I think some of the criticism has been heard. I’ve popped over to Red Alert a couple of times recently and it has cleaned up a lot from what I can see. Lots from Parker and Cunliffe, Raymond Huo on buildings, and others targeting issues around their portfolio’s.

    I also get the vague impression, can anyone confirm, that there is a lot of out and about at smaller meetings. Wondered if they are trying to do a Winston, actually going out to meet people.

    But still, I have seen them voting for some of P Dunne’s legislation which is utter rubbish, so they are going to have to work a bit harder to convince me next election.

  19. deemac 19

    it is absolutely typical of the left (pretty much worldwide) that instead of getting involved in the Labour Party and fighting to make it more effective, it wastes its time kibbitzing from the outside. This may make you feel better but it has nil effectiveness and is therefore pointless.
    As a comrade in the UK LP once said, if you can’t fight the right wing in the labour movement, how on earth do you think you’re going to fight the class enemy?

    • lprent 19.1

      I have spent from 1990-2011 through bad and good being heavily involved with volunteer work for Labour (and some turn up on the day work from 1983-1989)

      Variations in policy I can handle. Reducing competencies in actually winning elections and reducing the opportunity of a political party to effect change is something that I cannot. Competency is something that Labour seems to be actively diminishing at present.

      At present there is no clear direction, no apparent plan, and no obvious strategy to increase competencies – at a caucus level. There is also no way to affect change from the party level except where the caucus allows it through. For instance the way that the remit for membership interaction with leadership decisions is designed to ensure it never happens. Basically the caucus is a roadblock to actually acheiving much inside for Labour.

      When the structural roadblock is removed then I will get interested again. But as it stands at present it seems rather pointless working for the benefit of people who have removed their ears.

      Besides which, I like building systems and code that gets used. Having any sophistication in that area seems to be somewhat lost on people who seem to have locking into electronic ways of replicating the red-dot system pioneered in the 1970’s as their ultimate goal. They seem to have an aversion to using actual computing power for targeting and analysis of the electorate. Rather they seem to be fixated on acting as if they are still the mass party of the Anderton era.

      In the meantime, someone told me about a Green’s open source project to integrate the electoral roll with civicrm. Anyone got a link? I have some ideas to contribute for electoral analysis and targeting systems. But only if it is an actual opensource project.

  20. xtasy 20

    Well, well, Parliament and Question Time will be on again later today. So we can wait for the usual tit for tat game across the trenches in the House, and we can witness 121 well-nourished, safely housed, comfortable and in some ways overpaid political “careerists” or part-time “hobby debaters” sit there, laugh their head off about the dumb NZ voter, who put them there.

    What a great place NZ has become. Just look at Trade Me and see the rental costs for flats, houses and apartments in Auckland, having shot sky high, so people are starving to pay the rent, to fill the pockets of at least in many cases “greedy” property owners, who drive around all these flash big SUVs I see on the streets and roads everyday, while they are in the country and not on an overseas trip, to take advantage of the cheap hospitality workers in place they visit.

    Reshuffle? Reshuffle what, I ask? It would in some ways just be musical chairs, as I expect NOTHING from the Labour caucus, as they have nothing to worry about, because Kiwis put up with sooo much, they would not bother or dare protest in large numbers. And if some dare to occupy the streets, well we have a well paid and keen police force, ready to arrest, photograph, finger-print and charge you. A nice and hefty fine will put most into place.

    By the way, I wonder how Hone will get on, with his charge?

    That is something worth watching. Where were the Labourites from the House, when people were getting evicted and houses stolen off the land in Glen Innes? Hear, hear, hear anything and anyone? NOPE!

    If this was Greece or Spain, people would explode already, but not in Niu Zeeland!

  21. George D 21

    As a Green Party activist, I want a Labour Party leader that can lead us into a strong and worthwhile government. I also want a strong and viable party that we can work with. The discussion here is extremely heartening, and I hope something good comes of it.

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    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Govt grants mining licence in marine protected area
    The Government is making a mockery of our marine protections by granting a mining licence for Chatham Rise Phosphate to mine for phosphate in a marine protected area, the Green Party said.Chatham Rock Phosphate was granted a mining permit today,...
    Greens
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Disabled parking spaces are for the disabled
    Many districts across the country have been changing the mobility parking spots to the vivid blue colour scheme as opposed to the simple yellow sign. This has been done as an attempt to make the designated spots more visible to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Government cutting back health services to dangle tax cuts
    The health service is already too stretched, and cutting further into New Zealanders’ health services to fund tax cuts is irresponsible, the CTU said today. Leaked cabinet committee papers have revealed District Health Boards need an additional $440 million...
    Scoop politics
  • Christian Network calls for prayers and understanding
    New Zealand Christian Network director Glyn Carpenter is calling for people to pray and exercise understanding over the Sydney hostage incident....
    Scoop politics
  • Labour congratulated on withdrawing bill
    Euthanasia-Free NZ congratulates Labour leader Andrew Little and MP Iain Lees-Galloway for resisting sponsorship of the ex-Maryan Street voluntary euthanasia bill....
    Scoop politics
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