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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 | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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