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Signs of a more confident Labour

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, February 22nd, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: labour, Parliament - Tags: , , ,

I’m been thinking about those two glorious moments in the House last week.

First, Trevor Mallard exposed how completely hopeless Anne Tolley is by the simple expediency of asking her to explain for inter-school moderation of national standards works.

Then, in the next question, Annette King showed Paula Bennett to be all puff and no brain when she gave a definition of Whanau Ora and asked whether Bennett whether she agreed it was an accurate definition. After Bennett agreed it was, King revealed it was the definition of a different programme entirely.

How confident did Labour have to be in the complete ineptness of these National ministers to try that on? They had to know that the ministers would take the bait and completely stuff up, or they would be left high and dry – looking dumb themselves while giving the ministers the opportunity to look competent.

Labour is a pretty risk-adverse organisation. The fact that they were certain enough of success that they could make these unorthodox plays on those two ministers, and that they did actually pull it off both times, shows that Labour has got the measure of Key’s drop-kick ministers and is feeling more confident in itself.

Good stuff.

61 comments on “Signs of a more confident Labour”

  1. agreed…but Key still has the measure of Goff and thats all that counts….agreed ?

    • sk 1.1

      for now, but the risk with John Key’s approach is ultimately the economy over 2010/11. What he was quoted in today’s Stuff saying lower confidence is realistic is complete bollocks. If people are getting more concerned about the economy, that is a huge risk. That should not be happening at this point in the cycle.

      Irrespective of what the polls say, the dismal state of economy and jobs market could be setting us up for an election night surprise a la 1978 or 1993.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3357749/Lower-economic-confidence-realistic-Key

      Whatever DPF may say, it always about the economy stupid, not polls two years out

  2. Cnr Joe 2

    well, they are drop-kicks after all
    now lets get Brownlee, Coleman, Wong, Key all tied up in knots – its all there
    captcha – education !
    oh – well done Trevor and Annette btw

  3. tsmithfield 3

    This article is so wrong its laughable.

    According to countless articles on this site, the Nat Government has been performing abysmally.
    If this is actually the case, then the only logical conclusion to draw from last night’s poll is that Labour are doing even worse in the public eye. That is hardly cause for confidence.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      So, you’re defending Bennett and Tolley? you’re proud that they are your ministers, that you got them in power when they don’t know the first thing about their flagship policies?

      politics isn’t all about elections, ts. At this stage in the cycle people should more worried about good government than polls, seems you’re not.

      • luva 3.1.1

        Don’t you think a poll might be a snap shot of peoples view on whether this is a good government or not?

        • Sam 3.1.1.1

          That depends on how good the poll is.

          • luva 3.1.1.1.1

            which one of the numerous polls we can pick on is not a “good” poll?

            • I dreamed a dream 3.1.1.1.1.1

              As a Labour voter, I have to admit that the consistency across ALL polls over the weekend mean that voters are still in love with Key and his government. That’s the reality. I, for one, am not going into denial mode. More important for me is how is the left going to counter Key and the Nats. Sure, many people say there’s still time to the 2011 election, but it seems to me that a difference of around 25% (between Nats and Labour) is a rather huge challenge to make up. My question then is: In the history of New Zealand politics and elections, has a trailing party ever made up such a gap two years out from an election and win it?

              • felix

                Oh look, a labour voter. Best take it seriously then, probably not a troll at all.

              • luva

                or you could answer the question

              • I dreamed a dream

                @felix, if you are implying that I may be a troll, I can probably understand that, because I am pretty new here. But I assure you though that I am taking it seriously, maybe I have been taking it too seriously :)

              • Clarke

                IDaD – To give you a kinda-indirect answer …

                There are some examples where significant leads have been eroded through a parliamentary term. However the applicability of these examples – such as Norman Kirk’s win against Jack Marshall in 1972 – is not always clear.

                For starters, most of these elections occurred under FPP and in a time when the polling approach and methodology was significantly different to today. However a common theme is that mid-term polling typically bears little resemblance to the eventual outcome, as there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge in voters minds. Even polls taken a few months out from an election can be more than 10% off the eventual result.

                It’s an old adage that oppositions don’t win elections; rather, governments lose them. Is there still ample time for National to throw away their current lead? Absolutely. And do they have the team – in the form of Key, Joyce, Brownlee, Tolley and Bennett to do exactly that? Absolutely.

              • Olwyn

                I have been unsuccessfully looking for poll results between 2002 & 2005, but within that period, National made a comeback from a dire election result after Don Brash was made leader, and then leapt dramatically in the polls when he gave a very divisive speech at Orewa. While they did not win the 2005 election they came very close, but were undermined on the last leg of their campaign by revelations about underhand dealing with the Brethren, doubts about Brash’s honesty and similar problems. Does someone else have the numbers to support this? If I am even roughly correct, then closing such a large gap within a single term is not unprecedented.

              • ParkDrive

                Labour wont win the election until they get their strategy right of “bottom up” rather than the current “top down” methodology that pervades the organisation at all levels.

                Change brings about change, but with a lot of supporters of Helen still running the place, it is increasingly unlikely that Labour will win 2011.

                National will win by a whisker of a margin, no matter the ineptitude of the ministers. At the moment, Labour are not giving voters a credible choice, nor are they articulating very well what they stand for.

              • Armchair Critic

                Olwyn
                “I have been unsuccessfully looking for poll results between 2002 & 2005″
                Try wikipedia, it has reasonably good summaries. There are links to previous and the subsequent election from here.
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_general_election,_2005
                “…doubts about Brash’s honesty and similar problems. Does someone else have the numbers to support this?”
                Well it’s an entirely different topic and there might not be much substance to it (we are yet to find out), but the Securities Office has the latest numbers that Dr Brash was involved with.
                http://www.thestandard.org.nz/a-rare-opportunity/

            • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.1.1.2

              “or you could answer the question”
              Or you could find the answers yourself. Try google. And maybe they still run night classes with a statistics component; you could go to one of them. Many of the commenters here are wanting to debate with you, not educate you.

              • luva

                AC, the left never want to debate

                They want to look down from their lofty intellectual heights and tell the masses what is good fo them.

              • I dreamed a dream

                @Armchair Critic — O.K. If the comments here are only for debate, then I should probably disappear from here.

              • Draco T Bastard

                luva, you’re an idiot who’s just projecting his own personality onto others.

                The political left wants people to understand what’s actually good for them. This requires education and access to the needed information. This is why, unlike the right, we tend to back up what we say with facts. The right just use wishful thinking and misdirection to get themselves into power so that they can then line their own pockets with the taxpayers cash.

              • Armchair Critic

                idad
                the comment about education vs. debate was meant for luva. No need to take it personally.

        • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.2

          Not really.
          It is a reflection of who people would vote for if they were put on the spot during dinner with the kids fighting and the tv blaring and without the persuasive influence of many weeks of intensive election campaigning. Which, at best, is interesting.

          • luva 3.1.1.2.1

            so when the polls turn,as they will do one day, and Labour gets into the lead I assume we wont read here from the fringe lefties that National is being rejected by the electorate??

            • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Assume whatever you want. I will comment as I see fit when that situation arises (i.e. we will cross that bridge when we come to it), with the good grace of the moderators.
              In any case I’m not a fringe leftie. I own a farm and, separately, run a small business and I easily meet the definition of “rich prick”, so I should vote National. Whatever else is said is, of course, up to the individual commenters and the moderators.

              • Olwyn

                Thanks for that Armchair Critic: National went from 21% of the vote in 2002 to 39% in 2005, 2% behind Labour. It is true that the gap is not quite as great, but the small parties were doing better then than they seem to be in the present polling. Also, Labour has not had the same erosion of its core support as National did in the 2002 election. As to Dr Brash’s latest adventure, well we have yet to find out, or not, as the case might be.

        • Bright Red 3.1.1.3

          “Don’t you think a poll might be a snap shot of peoples view on whether this is a good government or not?”

          Of course a poll can be that. Doesn’t mean that the government is doing a good job though. Doesn’t mean people shouldn’t criticise.

  4. Personally I think Goff is all over Key in the house, but this is not shown what we get is Key giving smart ares comments that he himself laughs at.
    Keys image and “whoa what a leader” has been generated by journalists and friendly media. He is hardly ever asked anything with any debt, certainly nothing tricky. He got away with this through out the election campaign, from a media who wanted a new personality to play with. Well they got their way and look what NZ has got a all promises and do nothing else Prime minister. Key is lazy and appears a lot in photo ops but thats it!
    Australia goes ahead with a Labor Government and we go backwards with National and the clown show.

  5. tc 5

    Crikey with this lot you could get a gov’t version of ‘Weakest Link’ going where they all get to comment on policy and numbers…..it’d be hilarious and depressing all at once so sits well alongside most dross TVNZ produce using taxpayer funds.

    I’m looking forward to Cunliffe nailing Blinglish who is such an arrogant tosser who knows this is his last hurrah…..failed as Leader/failing as finance minister but rorting all the way just to rub it in.

    There are many mis-matches but the trick is to pin it on them in such a way that it sticks and that’s the problem as the MSM looks the other way or gives the likes of Key/Blinglish a free ride everytime…..Q&A yesterday had Espiner doing a lovely doormat routine for Bills feet to wipe on.

  6. Anne 6

    Here’s an example of where I think things are at:
    Two close relatives of mine are young mothers with kids at primary and secondary school. I asked them what they thought of the National Standards? “Great” they said “it’s time there was standards in schools”. I told them there already are curriculum standards and they are working well. They didn’t know that. I asked them whether they were happy with the standard of their schools’ reporting systems and they said “Yes, it’s very good”. So why do you want a new system which is untried and might unravel the systems which already exist?” I asked. They didn’t answer.

    I think these two are typical of many, many thousands of voters who buy the lines fed to them by the Nact government and supported by a largely pliant MSM. One day they will wake up and Labour has to be in a position where they can take advantage of it. There are good signs that at last it’s happening.

    • lukas 6.1

      “So why do you want a new system which is untried and might unravel the systems which already exist?'”

      Oh, are you talking about NCEA?

      • Galeandra 6.1.1

        Bet you’re young enough, Lukas, to have stacked up your share of credits for napkin folding, so why don’t you wipe your chin?

        And there’s nothing wrong with NCEA, either, apart from the workload it generates, and the unintended consequences it supplies, such as some degree of dis-incentivisation.

        Captch clever, as in dick.

    • ak 6.2

      Spot on Anne. Like it or not, those of us interested in politics are in the minority – and the MSM panders with increasing desperation to the majority (and its right-wing owners) for its bread and butter.
      As far as Jane Public goes – her opinion derived solely from MSM snippets – Key basically promised to continue Labour’s policies and not rock the boat: i.e. promised to do nothing and is keeping his word. She simply hasn’t got the time nor inclination for details that don’t directly affect her – and has an automatic reflex to conflict avoidance.

      “Well he seems quite nice, doesn’t he. Even gets on with the mowries and so far he hasn’t done anything too terrible. Wee Sam got over his tummy bug yet?”

      So far. But Supercity, the budget and them mowries will produce some very entertaining snippets in the months ahead.

      (and for you tory poll-grippers: Morgan showed Left 45, Right 53: by my ‘rithmetic that’s only one Jane in 25 to swing and it’s game on. Put it away boys, it’s soft.)

      • HitchensFan 6.2.1

        Anne and ak

        Spot on.

      • Bill 6.2.2

        Notice how when Guyon rabbits on on TVNZ about how the honeymoon goes on and on as though it were a phenomena quite beyond his understanding, that the visual footage is all of a ‘jolly hockey sticks’ nature? (Key and cronies in vaudeville or music hall costume…ie a positively non-political context preserving the image of Key as nice guy next door who wouldn’t possibly be looking to bring harm on you or yours….)

        I think the party is over. But the mainstream are the bleary eyed drunks running around in the morning after draining the last of the champers in a desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable reality of a hangover from hell while trying to convince everyone that the party is yet young.

        There is only a moments hesitation in general perception, a brief suspension of disbelief because they have been quite popular….the media that is….

  7. Bright Red “So, you’re defending Bennett and Tolley? you’re proud that they are your ministers, that you got them in power when they don’t know the first thing about their flagship policies?

    politics isn’t all about elections, ts. At this stage in the cycle people should more worried about good government than polls, seems you’re not.”

    My post had nothing to do with defending anyone. It was just pointing out the illogical nature of the article.

    IF the poll is accurate and
    IF National is performing as badly as what is regularly claimed on this site
    THEN the only logical conclusion is that Labour is performing worse than National in connecting with the voters.

    Apparently this is the longest honeymoon period ever for a government. So, there is no reason to congratulate Labour the way the article above has.

  8. randal 8

    it aint no honeymoom tsmithfiled.
    people are just tired of the whole thing but when they collect their wits and realise what a nasty vindictive lot this government really is then they will act smartly.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    randal “it aint no honeymoom tsmithfiled.
    people are just tired of the whole thing but when they collect their wits and realise what a nasty vindictive lot this government really is then they will act smartly.”

    Sometime within the next 10 years or so Labour might get a few points swing back in their direction. However, that is not the point.

    The point is that the SUBJECTIVE OPINION stated in the article is that Labour is doing a shit-hot job. When the OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE (the polls) is that they are just doing a shit job.

    • Clarke 9.1

      How about the SUBJECTIVE OPINION expressed in a poll versus the OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE of 276,000 New Zealanders out of work and negative net growth for the time National have been in power?

    • lprent 9.2

      ts: The ‘article’ said absolutely nothing of the kind. Basically you’re making polls as being a requirement presumably because you want to look as much of a dork as Tolley and Bennett.

      There was NO mention of polls in the article.
      There was NO mention of the public in the article.

      The article was about Labour making two ministers look totally incompetent in the house. Of interest to political junkies and people concerned with these two areas. Maybe gets a mention on the idiot box.

      But eventually that flows into the MSM and the gossip mills. Longer term it may wind up in the polls, typically 3-6 months later unless it is a king-hit (and those are rare). Even those really don’t show up in polls for months and take months more before you can be confident that it simply wasn’t a statistical blip.

      This is the normal slow process of politics. You seem to want it to work at a P induced velocity. That is idiotic. By your reckoning in the above comments (as far as I can figure), something that happened last week should be reflected in polls taken weeks ago….

      At present Labour has managed to halt the decline in the polls for them that happened last year taken over 3 month blocks of polls. They’re starting to eat into the confidence in the government that was ridiculously high. The separation margin between ‘left’ and ‘right’ isn’t particularly wide, so I’d guess that the government is getting very sensitive about their screwup ministers.

      BTW: Trying to say that a post has stuff in it that it doesn’t is pretty risky…

  10. Doug 10

    Trevor Mallard wrote:
    So should Labour be calling for their resignation. Probably not. Ministers who are seen to be performing poorly are like rust it sometimes takes a long time to surface but eventually will wreck the whole machine.

    I asked Trevor if he was talking about Phil Goff.

  11. Daveski 11

    And there is lies your problem.

    Labour’s future is Goff, Mallard and King.

    Mind you, if Bernie from the eponymous weekend movie was in Labour’s front row, Marty and Eddie would still enthuse about Bernie’s performance.

    There’s no defence for poor performing Ministers. (For the uninitiated, this never happened under Labour in case you’re wondering.)

    The point is that Labour’s strength lies in its past. Much like many of the posters here.

    You need a step change to prepare for the future :)

  12. tsmithfield 12

    felix “Have I become massively smarter in my sleep or are there just more idiots around today?”

    If you mean people who blindly believe that Labour is doing a wonderful job in the face of direct contradictory evidence, then I guess there are plenty of idiots around today.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Polls are measurements of popularity. They provide objective evidence only of what peoples’ subjective opinions are.

      Your argument relies on the idea that if a government is popular, then they are therefore objectively doing a good job at governing. I think that that is self evidently false.

    • Take a look at your heroes performing in parliament, oh yeah National are real winners. They are consistently being torn apart. I have said it a dozen times the likes of Paula Bennett is thick and its only a matter of time before people realize having stupid people you thought you liked dosen’t help you pay the bills, keep gripping those polls tsmithfield all they reflect is what people feel they don’t represent any linkage to a politicians actual performance. Commentators are only just starting to realize Key does nothing and anything he says never happens.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Pascals bookie: “Your argument relies on the idea that if a government is popular, then they are therefore objectively doing a good job at governing.”

    No it doesn’t. You clearly haven’t read my argument. IF National is doing as badly as you say, then it is self-evident that Labour is doing even worse as an opposition. Since it is the subjective opinion of people in polls and, ultimately, the election poll, that counts then Labour is obviously doing a poor job not a good one.

    • lprent 13.1

      Bullshit. See my point further up. Just at present you’re taking something that happened last week (the subject of the post), and trying to ask why it isn’t reflected in polls taken weeks and months ago.

      That simply makes you a fatuous fool in my book…

      The post was on Labour feeling more confident in the house this year. Only a political idiot would start looking at that and saying that the polls should reflect it…

    • Pascal's bookie 13.2

      Since it is the subjective opinion of people in polls and, ultimately, the election poll, that counts

      seems I read your argument just fine smitty.

      If you think that popularity is the measure for determing how well a government is doing, then your argument makes sense.

  14. Doug 14

    Iprent:
    I feel confident I’m going to have a good day but it all turned to shite.

    [lprent: I’m confident having a good day. Next person who veers too far off-topic in a post gets a holiday. ]

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Iprent “Just at present you’re taking something that happened last week (the subject of the post), and trying to ask why it isn’t reflected in polls taken weeks and months ago.”

    On TV3 news last night they said that their poll had been taken a week after the Nats floated the idea of raising GST. I wouldn’t call that months ago.

    • lprent 15.1

      Duh – what is the post about? GST?

      If you want to talk on another topic, then go and do it in OpenMike – that is what it is there for. Thread-jacking is something that we seem to have a little too much of at present. I think that purgatory for doing it is on the way.

      I wondered why your comments made zero sense in terms of the comments in this post.

  16. Doug 16

    Iprent This was from your post 12:43pm

    At present Labour has managed to halt the decline in the polls for them that happened last year taken over 3 month blocks of polls. They’re starting to eat into the confidence in the government that was ridiculously high. The separation margin between ‘left’ and ‘right’ isn’t particularly wide, so I’d guess that the government is getting very sensitive about their screwup ministers.

    • lprent 16.1

      So you’ve discovered why thread-jacking is a bad idea? A surprising level of intelligence that I hardly expected you to have…

      That was because I was explaining to ts that the polls he was raising in comments as being relevant weren’t relevant in the context of the post. Of course if ts hadn’t read the post to say what he wanted it to say, then that statement would have not been required.

      (Of course it could just be that the appearance of intelligence is just coincidence)

      • Doug 16.1.1

        (Of course it could just be that the appearance of intelligence is just coincidence)

        I would call that arogance no wonder Labour are so far behind in the polls.

  17. SPC 17

    Maybe people thought Labour was too big city too well educated and too urban liberal and they are happy with this dumb provincial government led by their King John and his band of English men.

    Thus the stupid time server Tolley in education and the brassy bully Bennett in welfare are more than just token appointments, they speak to both the governments lack of respect for public provision and the change that has occured.

    This government does not know better how to manage government, is not really trying to improve government, it is about diminishing government and building an associated loss of confidence in government capability – all to serve their only actual policy – loot the state and offer tax cuts.

    Paradoxically it’s claim, that we cannot afford adequate government, is only true if they diminish the ability of government to fund its programmes by handing out tax cuts and undermining the ability of the economy to find a secure sustainable growth path. So far they show some promise of realising their goals. They make F and R and their ilk look like children in a sand-pit.

    • Brett 17.1

      “Maybe people thought Labour was too big city too well educated and too urban liberal and they are happy with this dumb provincial government led by their King John and his band of English men.”

      Here lie Labours problem, the majority of traditional labour voters are not urban liberal intellectuals.

      • SPC 17.1.1

        But Brett National’s problem is that when they act they advantage those who are not traditional Labour voters – thus they will identify themselves as acting on behalf of some, but not all. Thus they will lose support every time they make a decision – the tactic of others raising more extreme options, so their decisions look moderate, won’t even last the first term – not when they bring out their second term manifesto.

  18. randal 18

    whatever.
    the facts are 72% of new zealanders do not beleive the prime minister.
    qed

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    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    12 hours ago
  • MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches
    MIL OSI - Source: New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment MBIE – Press Release/Statement: Headline: MBIE takes enforcement action for dairy farm employment law breaches Enforcement action is being taken against 19 employers in the dairy industry for… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    12 hours ago
  • ACT Gets Twitchy – Leader Says National looks after everyone but taxpayer...
    MIL OSI – Source: ACT Party – National looks after everyone but taxpayers “National is parading its indexation of welfare payments while refusing to do the same with tax brackets,” says ACT Leader David Seymour. “Benefits were adjusted for inflation today.… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    12 hours ago
  • No good reason for secrecy
    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee recently returned from Iraq with an impunity agreement enabling the deployment of New Zealand troops. But he's refusing to release it:Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand First’s Succession Plan
    Last time I met a New Zealand First MP, I decided to ask him about New Zealand First’s succession plan. He replied “why would we need a succession plan? Winston Peters isn’t going anywhere” “Well, Winston Peters is not as… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    12 hours ago
  • The importance of circulation workers in 21st century capitalism
    New Zealand disribution workers While the article below is about the United States, it is highly relevant to the New Zealand situation. by Joe Allen Amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics,” US Army General Omar Bradley famously said. Bradley’s declaration was… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    13 hours ago
  • The cost of corporate tax cheating in Australia
    How much does corporate tax-cheating cost us? In Australia, A$25 billion a year - enough to eliminate two-thirds of the government budget deficit:Australia's biggest 900 companies claimed tax deductions and exemptions worth a total $25 billion last year – enough… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Union merger gives local government sector a stronger voice
    On 1 April 2015 the Southern Local Government Officers Union (SLGOU) and the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) merged. Already New Zealand’s largest union, the merger brings the PSA’s membership to nearly 62,000. ...
    13 hours ago
  • March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, or get your stats wrong).… ...
    13 hours ago
  • the stone in Winston
    The Greens made a good choice in not standing a candidate in the Northland by-election but the win from Winston and NZF is not good news for them.I like the Green Party and I'd be happy if they were dominant… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Secret squirrel
    The New Zealand Herald reports: Labour has attacked the degree of secrecy about the preparation of a New Zealand troop deployment to Iraq. The ABC in Australia revealed yesterday that New Zealand troops had begun training with the Australian Defence… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    15 hours ago
  • A victory on freshwater
    Fresh water quality is one of the big environmental battlegrounds in New Zealand, with the government hellbent on destroying it for the profit of its cronies in the dairy sector, while the public understandably wants rivers which are safe to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    15 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    16 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    16 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    17 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    17 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    17 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    18 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    18 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    18 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    18 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    19 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    19 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    20 hours ago

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  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    7 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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