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Skinheads in Suits

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, April 14th, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: economy, making shit up, Media, Politics, radio - Tags: , , ,

They do not know what guilt, responsibility, or consideration are, these born organizers: they exemplify that terrible artists’ egoism that has the look of bronze and knows itself justified to all eternity in its “work,” like a mother in her child. - Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ve been goaded to write this post by a couple of Jim Mora panels last week, which created a stronger than usual temptation to throw the radio out the window.

On Tuesday 5 April a collection of middle-class white liberals (as it seems) end up in apparent agreement that the problem of crime in New Zealand will likely result in a physical isolation of the “underclass,” along with criminal sentences, jailing rates and generally stepped-up policing on a par with the USA.

Even if crime statistics were fluctuating, nonetheless it was an inevitability that we would go down this path for society was becoming harsher and more Darwinistic.

And that’s all there was too it, sorry folks: as a parting shot from one of the participants had it, “if you look at the United States, you see New Zealand in twenty years’ time.”

Of course in Auckland, “underclass” is dog-whistle for Maori. So what the Panel were really talking about was a form of Apartheid and the return of the Armed Constabulary to fight the Maori all the way up and down the Great South Road.

How could such atavistic nonsense pass for informed discussion these days, even in dog-whistle terms?

The answer is that we’ve been conditioned to it by a generation in which hardly anybody on the right has employed the slightest restraint in discussing economic matters. A certain ruthlessness in this area is catching, and metastasises to other areas of politics.

April 5 Panel part 1

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April 5 Panel part 2

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As if to confirm this point about economics, I was forced to listen on Friday 8 April to a ‘fair and balanced’ panel pitting Michelle Boag and the arch-Rogernome Roderick Deane, against token lefty Brian Edwards.

Edwards disarmingly confessed in his delightful brogue to being an “really financially illiterate.” In fact Edwards had really been wheeled on for a debate on broadcasting in the second half of the hour.

Which cleared the field, in the first half, for Deane to claim that record economic growth from 1987 or thereabouts through to the year 2000 set New Zealand up for prosperity, to scapegoat the domestically-funded public sector as a constraint on foreign lenders’ willingness to lend into NZ (technically true, but what are all the borrowings for?), to suggest that it all turned to custard after Helen Clark got in, and to peddle a few other choice lines, which Edwards and Mora actually bought into.

A transcript of part of the 8 April interview follows (any mistakes in transcription are, of course, mine). Some of the more interesting claims are highlighted in bold. There’s more, but I can’t be bothered transcribing the whole thing:

April 8 Panel part 1

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April 5 Panel part 2

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MORA: “So you’d prune the public service just as was done in the 1980s, you’d do that again?”

DEANE: “Um, unquestionably, I would do that again, yes, because that, at the end of the day that’s the only option if we’re going to bail ourselves out, other than that we’re going to end up with somebody else forcing solutions upon us, I’m afraid. I mean, our overseas debt as a proportion of our national income is now at the same sort of level as experienced by Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland just before they became cot cases, so we’re right, we’re the next cab off the rank in that respect. And, you know, we’ve got our destiny in our own hands. We should slow the growth of the government sector and allow more space for the private sector, reduce the regulatory burden, let people get on with the job, that’s what’s gonna produce the productivity growth. That’s what, we were one of the fastest-growing economies in the Western World from the late 80s through to, erm, the early 2000s, and that was off the back of really good monetary and economic, monetary and fiscal policies, we had a big fiscal surplus, ah, by the end of that period, ah, we’d got our overseas debt down, the government overseas debt was, ah, paid off completely, and that allowed space for the, um, private sector to really grow.”

MORA: “And yet someone like Brian Gould, of course, will say, ah, that that’s all very well, but since then we’ve had a gradual decline, we’ve gone rung by rung down the ladder of prosperity, and real incomes have declined, and people are actually not that much better off for all the reforms we’ve been through.

DEANE: “They’re not, they’re not better off in the last few years, but they were a few years ago, I mean if you go back to the mid-2000s they’re immeasurably better off than they had been twenty years ago, or even ten years before that….

. . . . .

DEANE: “… I mean I was Chairman for many years of Fletchers. To construct a building it would take us invariably longer to get the regulatory approvals than it would to build the building. So that was just completely out of hand. And that, everything just operates more slowly, and less effectively.”

EDWARDS: “But to come back to…”

DEANE: “To overcome that, from the, through the late 1980s, late 1980s through to 2000, the amount of deregulation, it really allowed people to get on with the job much more rapidly.”

EDWARDS: “To come back to Jim’s question, if there are too many of those people [in the public service] and they’re all talking to one another all the time and not producing very much, you’ve got to get rid of them, haven’t you?

DEANE: “Yes, yes, and then, um, you have to do that in a sort of sensible and reasonable way, such that as, as the private sector grows more rapidly they get absorbed into the private sector. “

MORA: “OK so that’s the theory…”

DEANE: “That’s what, what in fact we’ve been through that period in the past and proven that it can be done.”

MORA: “Getting rid of the 10,000 people, to a layperson, doesn’t sound enough to do the job, even if you did that.”

DEANE: “Of course not. No, it’s not about, it’s not about getting rid of the people, it’s about just doing things more effectively and more quickly. And that’s, the Government says that that is its wish, but, ah, most people in the private sector would argue that they’re just not doing that rapidly enough.”

EDWARDS: “There’s an issue here, isn’t there, also of what’s got to be acceptable to people. Rightly or wrongly, the most unpopular period, probably, in our history recently would have been the Rogernomics period, 1987 on. People didn’t like it. And they didn’t think it worked.”

DEANE: “Well, we got, we got huge benefits from it right through the 1990s and into the mid-2000s.

MORA: “Do you think…?”

DEANE: “That, that was the basis on which we had, we had the fastest rate of economic growth through that period that we’d had for very many decades.”

EDWARDS: “And did those huge benefits as was, as they were meant to do in fact, trickle down to other people?”

DEANE: “Well, it did in the sense that, ah, unemployment fell dramatically throughout that period.”

MORA: “Time magazine said that…”

DEANE: “We deny that now, but we don’t look at the facts of the matter.”

What’s wrong with this?

Lots.

  • How many times does it have to be reiterated that a significant wage gap with Australia didn’t appear until after 1984?
  • Or that the Rogernomic era was an era of high unemployment and recession?
  • Or that prior to the 1990s our houses, on the whole, did not leak?

Perhaps if another Brian—surname Easton—had been on the panel instead of Edwards, Rod might not have been able to get away with what amounted, basically, to making shit up.

Boag savaged Len Brown’s rail schemes as “totally cloud cuckoo land,” an obvious financial impossibility peddled by an unprincipled demagogue to an even easily-led electorate.

Well, ah, again, I’m afraid not. If Aucklanders have voted for the considerable mass of taxes raised in that city—including their petrol taxes—to be spent on rail, rather than on Roads of National Significance, then maybe their will should be respected.

You know, democracy and all that? No taxation without representation? That was a cry which really meant local tax powers, because representation gets watered down with distance, especially on local matters.

(Sorry if this sounds like men-in-tights Enlightenment stuff, Michelle. But it meant something in those days at least.)

Maybe Edwards gave a better account of himself when the topic shifted to broadcasting. But by then I had switched off, lest I throw the radio out the window.

Part of the problem is the format of Mora’s panel, in which three pundits discuss three topics. Mora tries to match one pundit to each topic. But the same format means that It’s rare to get a real expert discussion. Usually the discussion on any topic is dominated by whoever seems to know most about the topic.

But these two Panels also pointed to the worrying connections between right wing economic extremism and right wing extremism—indeed, all extremism—of every other kind.

A Savage Few

For there is a connection between the offensive messages of the two Panels, even though one was about economics and the other about crime.

As Karl Polanyi suggested in his Great Transformation, the problem is that the language of laissez-faire liberalism seethes with a hidden, Malthusian violence. Language like:

Language like:

  • There is No Alternative
  • Politics as War
  • Producers versus Parasites / Too many Useless Mouths

These three bullet points can, with only the slightest twist, be adapted to the cause of a Bolshevik or a Nazi, or any other kind of violent radical or terrorist.

It can be similarly adapted to the cause of ethnic cleansing, Apartheid and military-style policing against indigenous minorities by a settler state. The extreme insecurity and dispossession bred by laissez-faire, in turn, intensifies the problem.

Often both sides in an escalating conflict will use the same language, each against the other. For the radicalised right the useless mouths are the unemployed, for the radicalised left the bankers.

Ultimately, this spiral is an expression of what the American jurist Learned Hand called ”the ruthless and unbridled will,”which is actually the enemy of freedom; it is really the ‘liberty of the strong’:

“And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will… A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few…”

The skinheads on the street acquire their mental habits, their idea of what constitutes the acceptable limits of rhetoric, from laissez-faire liberals; who are skinheads in suits.

The Congenital Bloodstain

The roots of all this violence lie in the fact that the issue is, fundamentally, about land, the possession of which is, as Marx said, born with a “congenital bloodstain.” Maori and Pakaha alike know all about this, or should do.

As we all know, laissez-faire liberalism as a political crusade is something quite dark and aggressive. It did not really begin with the sunny, humane optimism of Adam Smith, even though the claim is often made.

It actually began with the writings of the Reverend Malthus and his friend David Ricardo in the late 1790s and the Napoleonic era; authors who were writing in reaction to the French Revolution, as the full title of Malthus’s essay reveals: An Essay On the Principle of Population, As It Affects the Future Improvement of Society with remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Concordet, and other writers.

Malthus and Ricardo argued that improvement of the conditions of the working class, generally at the expense of the landowner, would cause the workers to breed to the point where once more the landowner faced a seller’s market for the fruits of the land. Malthus focused on population, Ricardo on its economic implications.

As a corollary, the industrial capitalist would also be bankrupted by rising food prices, striking workers and land speculation. For a while the Malthus/Ricardo thesis led economics to become known as the ‘dismal science’.

But then some radicals, and radical liberals like James Mill and his son John Stuart, began to suggest taxing these landowners who made capital gains, “as it were, in their sleep” (JSM, Principles of Political Economy), so as to relieve the burden on workers and industrialists.

Ironically, these critics made use of the analysis of Ricardo, and so they came to be known as the ‘Ricardians’ even though they were by now on the opposite political side. Sure it’s the landowners vs. the workers; we just happen to side with the workers!

And in practice also—since we are talking about a fairly broad radical church rather than a strictly Marxist one—the critics would side with the industrial capitalists, at least when it was industrialist versus landowner.

More technically, the Ricardian critique zeroed in on a fatal flaw in the case for laissez-faire, the issue of ‘economic rent’.

The origins of economic rent lie in the landowner’s rent, though economic rent is more general in its significance. Rent in the economists’ sense is the component of private income that can be taxed away without affecting private productive output.

Land is the first and best case of economic rent; obviously, 100% of a speculator’s capital gains could be taxed away without affecting nature’s bounty and the distribution of continents. But the same could also be said for most forms of mortgage interest, especially if it is raised against land.

With other forms of income it’s a sliding scale of rent versus reward for useful effort, depending on how monopolistic they are. Most of the practical controversies of capitalism, such as controversies around intellectual property and copyright, all revolve around this issue. Does a given proposal lock in reward for the efforts of struggling creative types? Or just more rent for fat-cat corporations and their gravy-train lawyers?

From the 1830s, a second wave of reactionaries began to challenge the rent critique. But this time it was not so much in fully reasoned terms, because the idea of rent actually dated back to Ricardo himself!

Instead it was done by means of a less fully reasoned and more polemical approach, which tried to make property rights, above all those invested in land, absolute and beyond criticism on various hand-waving grounds, of which a hardy perennial was that land reformers were really Communists in disguise.

By the 1840s, so radical were the laissez-faire liberals in their opposition to giving an inch on the land question (lest reformers take a mile) that they notoriously opposed doing anything about the Irish potato famine, on the grounds of interference with the rights of private property and the self-levelling market.

Eventually the government relented and did something, but it was too late for those who had starved in the interim. The laissez-faire liberals should have been drummed out of respectable politics at this point like the Nazis a hundred years later. But they weren’t.

Indeed, the advent of Darwin a couple of generations later would give their cause another shot in the arm as ‘social Darwinism’, the law of the jungle applied to civil society. But even here we find self-subverting tendencies in the rationalisation of laissez-faire.

For as Darwin observed, in nature all kinds of symbiosis and cooperation can be found. Selection can favour groups as much as individuals, and groups can reshape their environments. Every organism big enough to be seen by the naked eye is, itself, a collection of smaller individual cells that at some point in the past somehow came to cooperate, as opposed to the deregulation that leads to cancer.

The social insects show that cooperation doesn’t stop there. For the Nazis, this cooperative message was warped into a predatory hive mentality. Other social Darwinists simply weren’t interested in that kind of Gaian hippyshit at all.

What’s the alternative? The answer is that in theory and in practice, a radical (or Millian) liberal will tolerate a fairly large dose of ‘social market’ policy where rents are concerned. The social market refers to an economy in which the state is the main provider of land, mortgages, electric power, and so on.

The state may charge a fair price for all of these in order to ration the resource, but the object is not to gouge the citizen and ship the money to a private bank account!

Instead, the pure rent component of all of these government charges becomes a form of taxation, enabling taxes on productive effort to be lowered: tax reform centre-left style.

Obfuscation of the rent issue is the whole basis of laissez-faire liberalism, from the time of the Potato Famine to the present day. Later developments such as the denial of climate change and peak oil (lest they lead to planning) are only variations on the obfuscation of rent.

As an aspect of this general obfuscation, the laissez-faire liberal also invariably equates market forces with privatisation, as if the choice lay between privatisation and the relative impracticality of doing without markets altogether. The social market is simply not mentioned.

Most people figure out sooner or later that laissez-faire liberalism is about the rent question and that all its ‘you-must-be-a-Commie’ polemics, and omissions of real alternatives, are directed to that end.

As Situations Vacant puts it very pithily and correctly, “privatisation is not about economic efficiency, it’s about the extraction of monopoly rent.” In short, the liberty of the strong, a savage few, to exploit the weak on the grounds that it’s the law of the jungle.

For anyone with a good knowledge of the history of ideas, the cause of laissez-faire is steeped in general intellectual disreputability, in the black dye of Malthusian reaction, through-and-through. Even F. A. Hayek said he wasn’t alaissez-faire liberal; though it goes without saying that most of his followers are.

Repressive Tolerance

We are under a duty to put this understanding into practice. Laissez-faire liberalism today must not be confused with the well-meaning doctrines of Adam Smith two hundred-plus years ago, before Malthus.

It must outed as a violent reactionary doctrine, that leads in an unbroken line from Malthus through the Potato Famine and social Darwinism to the horrors of the twentieth century.

It must be opposed by all people of conscience lest it lead to worse horrors in the 21st, which is potentially shaping up to be a very Malthusian century indeed.

Failure to do so is to practice what Herbert Marcuse called ‘repressive tolerance’; to tolerate the forces that will eventually lead to repression. It’s just another way of saying that for evil to triumph the good need only do nothing. The bayonet is always thrust in further and further, till it strikes steel.

It is exactly wrong to imagine that the true spirit of liberty is passive in the sense implied by the laissez-faire ‘nightwatchman state’. It is active and engaged. Yet at the same time it is a spirit “which is not too sure it is right.”

Active engagement in peddling their own ideas, with dogmatic effect, has never been a problem for LFLs. But it seems to be harder for moderates to sustain opposition to dogma.

Against fanatics, against ‘hired prize fighters’ who treat politics as war, the genuine liberal so often goes “ooh ah um well maybe you’re right.” It’s the same with poor old Brian Edwards and Jim Mora trying to inject a note of balance against Deane and Boag’s look of bronze.

The duty to oppose (more effectively) exists even now, because when the present belongs to laissez-faire, bad enough as it is, tomorrow may belong to revived Nazis and Bolsheviks who adapt the rhetoric of the unbridled will to their own ends.

Or it may belong to a theocracy with its roots in the sustained denial of reality. For all such habits of mind are catching.

If you go back far enough or dig deep enough, the attempt of a savage few to crudely dispossess a weaker group of the fruits of the land by actual or institutional violence is the common leitmotiv of all such atavisms.

Why is it so difficult for modern social democrats to oppose the savage few, whose arguments are often so uneasily unmasked as resting on a firm foundation of making shit up, or peddling stuff that someone else has made up? Do they no longer believe in progress?

ChrisH

53 comments on “Skinheads in Suits”

  1. Samuel Hill 1

    Argentina’s Economic Collapse

    I would advise anyone who hasn’t seen it to watch this documentary.

    There are obvious similarities between the Argentinean Collapse and what is going on in New Zealand. The fact of the matter is that we will have to face our debt at some point. We are not a military or economic powerhouse. The only way we will not see poverty and chaos in New Zealand is for the citizens to band together.

    • vto 1.1

      “The fact of the matter is that we will have to face our debt at some point”

      Bullshit we will. We will simply tell the money printers to get fucked and that we will pay it back, at near zip interest, when we can fit it in. Which will certainly be after everything else is put right.

      And then we will never use debt again.

      • vto 1.1.1

        And also Samuel Hill it aint “our debt” anyway. It is the national government’s debt. And the labour govt’s before that.
        It aint mine. I completely and utterly resent that both the national party and the labour party can put the government into debt and the government can then, by force of its jackboots, pull the hairs from my arse.

        • Samuel Hill 1.1.1.1

          I agree with your sentiments, vto. The debt is indeed very odious. But the fact remains that most people will not rebel against the system. I hope they do rebel. But I dare say that our little country is nothing but a pawn in the international system, and nothing has changed my mind to stop believing that on our current path, a great majority of New Zealanders will simply sit back and listen to the lies and rhetoric of National while we see our nation become a holiday playground for the rich, with zero middle class and dominated by a rich land owning minority and corporate shareholders.

          Our government is pushing through legislation which gives more rights to foreign corporations and less to workers and citizens. We are now seeing the beginning of a process where private debt is being put in ‘public’ hands. All this SCF, MediaWorks, Petrobras, Fonterra, AMI stuff is connected. Our taxes are going to pay for private interests to be served.

          • vto 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, well it would be good to see someone in a government somewhere in the world who will stand up to these goons and simply say “No, we will repay when we can. You will just have to wait. It is a loan after all with a risk of repayment difficulties – and that is just what you got.”

            I imagine it would lead to a domino effect as the people across the western world cottoned on a-la middle east style protest.

            • Samuel Hill 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunately, someone has to remove the politicians and bankers from power. They won’t just leave their desks. Whilst they have the armed forces in their control, we are subject to democratic rule. Unless..

        • Dan 1.1.1.2

          It is your debt, you voted for them (presumably one of them), and if you didn’t vote then you’re just as culpable for not taking a stand.  It doesn’t matter who wins, ‘we’ the people voted and choose them to run the country, and we have to own our shit and take responsibility for it.  We don’t have to like it, but lets not deny we are the arbiters of our own destiny in this regard.

          • Samuel Hill 1.1.1.2.1

            I wasn’t even born when neo-liberalism swept our shores. I cast disdain at the short-sighted generation that lied down and allowed it to happen. Now they sit in comfort, expecting future generations to pay off their debt while we are struggling to afford to live. Fuck that for a joke. Its not my debt. Even my student loan, stick that up your arse. I’ll start owning my shit when somebody gives me some land.

            • Dan 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, but assuming that you do vote you’re still voting to keep the inheritors of that economic legacy in power.
              As for a generation living in comfort, that’s painting with a pretty broad brush.  Sure, some came out on top but there are plenty who have had their savings wipped out and who will be looking at a bleak retirement.
              As for your personal attitude, good luck with that.  Maybe you will get lucky and have everything handed to you on a plate, but I doubt it.

  2. This is an excellent post and I’m almost sorry to seize on the one part I take the most issue on, though I’m sure others will be along in due course to discuss other bits.

    Of course in Auckland, “underclass” is dog-whistle for Maori. So what the Panel were really talking about was a form of Apartheid and the return of the Armed Constabulary to fight the Maori all the way up and down the Great South Road.

    The undoubted disparity in Maori representation in any number of indicators – especially arrest and incarceration – must not blind us to the fact that there are other groups who find themselves pitted against the might of the State, usually personified by the police and the courts.

    I think you’ll find Pasifika people who feel they don’t exactly get a fair deal, especially from the “justice” system, for instance.

    But it’s not particularly racial. Some are even middle class, middle aged white males who happen to hold views differing from the prevailing paradigm, and who are given to expressing those views.
    Portraying this as a racial issue rather than one of class (and even that is a clumsy delineator, which is why I speak of elites v non-elites) occludes the real picture, which is that those who don’t “fit” are silenced, by whatever means necessary.

    Similarly, the fix isn’t some sort of racial sensitivity training for coppers. It’s a fundamental shift, starting with getting through to talkbackland that the streets are not teeming with violent criminals, and that therefore one political party or another do not hold the key (the key, inevitably, to an overcrowded prison cell).

    • ChrisH 2.1

      Quite right Rex, appreciate it. I could at least as easily have said “Maori & PI” though I think the real seething redneck sub-hatred that I’m starting to detect is aimed at Maori first off. Middle class Honest-to-God white liberals like you and me I guess are alienated too of course (as opposed to pseudo-liberals who seem to have taken some pill that makes them uncritical of the USA and the finance markets). And in a wider sense the 1% are pitted against the other 99%, if the latter would just realise it. So it’s an onion, just some of us are focusing on different layers.

  3. deemac 3

    I have complained frequently about the makeup of Mora’s panels. Boag and Steven Fanks are regulars along with assorted old fogeys. He responded that the panels are balanced, which is bollocks. Too often they sound like the old men down the pub whining about society today.
    Maybe if more people emailed him, something would be done; it’s afternoons@radionz.co.nz

    • Carol 3.1

      Linda Clark has just made a good point about Flat Earth News, which she has recently read for a (uni?) research project.  She & the other panelist talked about the commercial pressures on getting a story out before the competition, these days, which emans facts are not verified before a story goes out, especially online.  Clark is wondering about how to give the press a requirement for some”:duty of care” with their stories.

      • ianmac 3.1.1

        Yes Carol. Many know that the  credibility of news items is dodgy. Its what to do about it that is hard. Too few journalists. The fronting journalists seem to be infected with delivering the spectacular but really the devil is in the detail.
        Re the Aussie gap, I remember Brian Easton demonstrating that the gap suddenly emerged with Douglas’s help and with the assurance that the pain would pay off, in due course. Brian showed using a variety of measures that the gap just kept growing through the 90′. I believe that there was a flattening during the 2000s but now the gap is increasing.
        Wonder if Brian E could be persuaded to write here? (Waste of time with Mora.)

  4. ianmac 4

    Bullying. On Mora today the guest speaker was Christine O’Brian Principal of St Thomas’s a 500 boys school. She is credited with a non-bully school. She does call for a distinction between bullying and assault. The whole school runs on Restorative Justice.

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  5. David 5

    Thanks for listening and reposting on our behalf once again, Chris. 

    Not to disagree with Part 2 of this post, I tend to think that overall you had two columns here not 1. Part 1 on its own to me is exactly the kind of ‘REALLY???’ critique these critters need: and that, it seems, they are particularly susceptible to.

    So, we need to line up the actual comparators just one more time: unemployment 1984-2010, public debt levels 84-2010, real growth vis population in the public service, real incomes by decile 1984-2010, listing the deregulatory and privatisation and supply side market solutions and failures one more time, and showing how and why they happened…  

    Its the layered smugness of Deane and Boag- along with the laziness, unexamined ideological response and complacent lying in what they clearly imagine is the public good that goes with it, selective, self indulgent memory of former glories———-  that demands this sort of response, even if it doesnt deserve it.  

    It’s especially dangerous right now. Recounters of neoliberal history in this crisis aftermath are clearly cashing in on public shock: a kiwi public vulnerable yet again to pop misrepresentation arguing for more neolib radicalism, slashing and austerity. But you have got to hope, dont you, that maybe that increases some folks appetite for some sober truth about what past razors really did and didnt achieve.

    • lprent 5.1

      That was what I thought as well. But I couldn’t find a place to suggest a split, and decided that it was a unitary piece

    • ChrisH 5.2

      Ta, yes, Lprent & I discussed whether to split or not. As for “reposting on our behalf” I did joke that I’d probably saved quite a few others the effort !

  6. great piece Chris
    the panel has become an absolute disgrace to RNZ as a Public Broadcaster
    most days the panel is really just redneck Talkback and National Party apologists

  7. Andrew R 7

    Yeah the level of ignorance is very very high on that programme. Save it is not such an insult to intelligence when that Irish woman (forgotten her name for the moment) is running it.

  8. gnomic 8

    Jim’s an airhead. He should stick with his infomercial stuff on TV. And I’m afraid Noelle McCarthy is also an airhead, though somewhat more pleasing to the ear provided she doesn’t start gabbling at ninety miles an hour. Jim I find unlistenable with that weird combination of obsequiety and bafflement and that tinny timbre. Part of the problem is having semi-celebrities in positions where some gravitas would be desirable. Jim of course got the job as part of the process of the dumbification of NatRad (aka the quest for market share). Anyone for a ‘Bring Back Wayne Mowat’ campaign? Now there was a radio voice.
    I mean, Twitter? Somebody please tell me this is a transitory epiphenomenon with no bearing on reality. Get it off my airwaves. Right now please.
    The great Rod Deane. Is this the man who given his head at a major corporation achieved a huge loss by boldly thrusting into Australia? And whose protege Gattung became famous for confessing that Telecom’s marketing schemes were devised to confuse the punters? Nice tight buns though apparently, biographer Bassett thinks he’s hot.
    “Telecom NZ has made a massive strategic mistake trying to merge an incumbent in New Zealand with a challenger in Australia. AAPT in 2000 was extremely successful but all the top people left and since then there has been reorganisation after reorganisation.”
    Agh Boag. What can one say? Perhaps Cactus Kate has said it already.

    ‘In summary I am a firm and erect believer that a National Party leader needs gonorrhea more than he needs a new or old Michelle Boag. Gonorrhea, as horrible as it looks on the internet, at least seems to have a cure. There is simply no cure for Michelle Boag.
    Boag’s history in politics is legendary and she has had one of the most colourful PR and political careers known in both “professions”. Unfortunately it is possibly not best practice in the PR profession to be in the paper more than your clients. And it is definitely not best practice in politics unless you are David P. Farrar to have a higher profile than the leader of the Party that you work for or belong to.’

     
     

    • ChrisH 8.1

      Jim Mora first came to my attention a few years ago when he was hosting “Jim’s music” in the afternoons. I used to listen to it when out on the road as part of my job. This was mostly stuff he’d been keen on when he was a Young Fogey as I recall, generally syrupy crooners from the 1950s even though he’s not that old. I came to dread going out on the road in the afternoons as a result. It’s personal !

      • Jim Nald 8.1.1

        I find that a CD player in the car provides a better option than RNZ in the afternoons when I’m driving. Jim Mora has recently been trying very hard to put it beyond doubt that he has been promoted beyond his abilities.

    • prism 8.2

      gnomic    You probably know that the nice sound of Wayne Mowat voice and music, can be heard late at night when he plays  past years music.   And Noelle McCarthy sounds like an actress putting on an Irish accent, over the top.   Is she actually Irish?  Jim Mora has been in radio from early days apparently.  I heard him mentioned recently – could have been on Jim Henderson’s past years show on Sunday night.

    • ross 8.3

      Yes! Jim Mora is awful. I remember when he was the moralising narrator for an NZ cop-style TV show which mostly focussed on busting unemployed rural north island maori families that were growing a bit of dope, probably just to put food on the table.
      He’s ruined RNZ afternoons for me and many others. He’s smug, boring and surreptitiously right-wing. Having Wayne Mowatt back would be terrific.
       
       

  9. Key selling off NZ 9

    National can go to hell. Key needs to leave.

  10. prism 10

    Yeah, at the end of the day, it’s inefficient to rearrange or even question one’s long-held beliefs which serve one well.  Rod Deane and Michelle Boag (who makes firm statements in a ringing voice – along the above lines), are not very interested in others and whether the status quo of society fits all of them.  Brian Edwards is another person like John Key with a high profile who had a ‘rather ordinary’ childhood.  I think he too was brought up by his Mum.  Brian seems politically ambivalent, leftish but with a right wing bias, so he can’t seem to drive straight.  I think of them as The Smug. The result of all this disdain from The Smug is that if ‘other’ people can’t fit, or be content with just existing in their niche in society, too bad, no change will be made except for criticism and tighter control.  Problem solving and creative thinking to advance others are required but we won’t get it from The Smug.

    Listening for the usual short time I allocate to Jim Mora recently,  I was amazed at Linda Clark’s supporting  the right of women in France to wear burqas.  (These are full body tents with a grill at the face.)   (Other coverings not extreme are the hijab, a headscarf and neck covering, also shayla or Al-amira which are two-piece head covering with the face showing.  There are others more enveloping, up to the burqa full body and head.) See link –  http://www.apologeticsindex.org/505-muslim-veils-hijab-burqa

    I couldn’t believe this view from a woman who has had a prominent well-paid position which she achieved using determination and ability in a New Zealand that was once heavily male-dominated.  She blithely over-rode the achievements of feminists who have sacrificed their time, money and relationships to gain better opportunities for women, and to be treated as equals.  She ought to understand the amount of energy and disharmony at least, that is caused when women try to raise themselves from dependence and an inferior standing in a male society.
    Wearing such an obliterating garment as a burqa by women has been done as a mark of real fear and resignation. I think that now there is a sort of spurious glamour and mystique about it found amongst some women.  It indicates how pure and holy they are and makes them feel special.  But these attitudes reveal ignorance of the real sufferings of older women and the burqa is an outward mark of those.  For an understanding of the punitive and capricious male attitudes to women and their right to be free people can read Souad’s story – Burned Alive, by Souad. Probably at your near library.
    Burned Alive is the horrific true story of one womans escape from a honour killing inflicted upon her by members of her own family. My name is Sou…, Go to google search – burned alive souad book review

    • Carol 10.1

      Actually, I think you will find that many feminists support a woman’s right to wear a burqa if she so chooses.

    • ChrisH 10.2

      The Smug. I like it. A serious point, but also sounds like a grey Smog smothering everything.

  11. prism 11

    Well such feminists are confused about the contrast between freedom and rights and the carrying on of backward cultural practices.  I suppose you will tell me that feminists support genital mutilation for girls if their mothers want it and it is an accepted cultural practice in their society.   There has to be a philosophy of life and respect for others that is greater than what one group of feminists would  allow. God may be feminine but she isn’t necessarily going to annoint feminists as her peerless priests on earth.

    • Carol 11.1

      I think there’s a big difference between genital mutilation & wearing a burqa.  Recently I saw a debate between a Muslim woman and man (on “Frost Over the World”, I think?) in which the British woman, wearing a headscarf, supported the rights of women who choose to wear a burqa and not to be told by the state whether to wear it or not.  The guy (an Imman, I think) argued that there was nothing in the Koran saying women should wear a full face covering, and that such practices pre-dated Islam.  However, it was interesting the way the guy talked over the woman and kept trying to dictate to her what she should believe.
       
      Also, I have heard many Muslim women who defend the burqa, say that it allows a woman to feel free of male stares & feel more comfortable in public.
       
      But anyway, see the debates on the handmirror on the issue, here,
       
      where stargazer says:

      for some women, the burqa is about not being on show, not being available for public consumption as a sex object. i know most people disagree with the burqa as a solution to that particular problem, which is fine, but that’s how burqa-wearing women want to deal with it.

      and here, in which Julie says:

      Personally I don’t see how controlling the way women dress, even if it is apparently intended to liberate them, is a Good Thing. And I saw a comment somewhere (I think on Boganette’s twitter feed but not from her?) pointing out that stopping women from covering their faces in public is going to further restrict those affected, by requiring them to stay out of public spaces. Which will in turn severely undermine their ability to participate in society. To give just one example, how will they get to a polling booth to vote?

      I have seen other comments in a similar vein on feminist web sites.
       

      • Whiskers 11.1.1

        Woman would mainly wear the burqa because their husbands expect them too, because their husband’s mother had and grandmother had and same goes for the wife, her mother had and grandmother etc….
        So basically it is a part of their culture and is ingrained in their psyche.
        To keep the full face ‘burqa’ men and woman would claim that it is for religious purposes, even though this ‘rule’ apparently is not in the Koran, but being a “good” faithful wife would probably play an important role in the Koran! So therefore wearing a burqa can be passed off as “religious” because being a “good” faithful wife and promising faithfulness and obedience to the husband would be a very important part in the Koran.
        So if the husband expects his wife to wear a burqa then it could be passed off as a religious tradition (being a “good” wife etc.).

        What bothers me about the french government is they have no right to tell people what to wear, whether it is for religious purposes or not, if it has been traditional for a long time to where a “burqa’ then some “understanding” should be in place.
        Is it okay for the white man to tell a Muslim woman what to wear when the white man is subjectively viewing this dilemma from his perspective only?

        Yeah I know they (the French Government) would say it “suppresses” woman and they are helping them, as the ‘white folk’ may be a little more evolved with their understanding of equal rights and are doing a good thing helping these woman.
        But that doesn’t mean the ‘white folk’ should be allowed to butt their noses in to other cultures and implement new laws that they believe to be right, to a completely different ethnicity!

        It’s like the Muslims telling the French people to stop wearing certain items of clothing that are traditional wear- like a suit.
        You can’t just go around telling people what they can and can’t wear. Even if Muslim woman are being suppressed let them sort that out for themselves.
        Let the Muslim woman make their own decisions, white woman may have evolved quickly in the past 100 years. The Muslim woman may take a little longer, but they will get there, they will, it may take a little longer but they will- fight for equal rights eventually, and they don’t need ‘pokey white folk’ telling them what to do in this supposedly ‘free’ world.
        And as a strong opinionated white woman myself I actually like veils, not the full-face veils, but I like how Muslim woman where scarfs over their heads, I think it looks gorgeous and feminine.

        • prism 11.1.1.1

          Whiskers – It’s like the Muslims telling the French people to stop wearing certain items of clothing that are traditional wear- like a suit.
          It isn’t.   And governments do have a right to set standards of dress on behalf of all of us.  It stops mad streakers from rushing out and frightening the horses for one!  And the comment is about burqas which are full body tents and niqabs which cover the face, not headgear like scarves and others which leave the face open.
          From Wikipedia – .. “Act prohibiting concealment of the face in public space”) is an act of parliament passed by the Senate of France on 14 September 2010, resulting in the ban on the wearing of face-covering headgear, including masks, helmets, balaclava, niqābs and other veils covering the face in public places, except under specified circumstances.[1] The ban also applies to the burqa, a full-body covering, if it covers the face.
          Another link with illustrations – http://www.france24.com/en/20110411-france-bans-muslim-full-face-veil-0

          • Whiskers 11.1.1.1.1

            Just read your Wikipedia reference.
             
            In ‘reality’ the French government wanted to get rid of the ‘burqa’ that is what it comes down too. All the other nonsense added on is ridiculous. So you cannot conceal your face in a public place, what about sunglasses are they banned too? Floppy hats? A woolly scarf covering the nose and mouth in winter? What about pollution, aren’t people allowed to protect their health with a protection mask?
            Helmets- we all know helmets are for motorcycles and not for the pavement, we all know types of masks are for handymen, doctors, scientists or skiers- not the pavement. Who walks down the street in a balaclava? Oh so your saying that the next guy who robs a bank WON’T wear a balaclava, yeah right?
             
            Wake up- it’s about the burqa!

            • Whiskers 11.1.1.1.1.1

               
              What about Halloween is that banned too? What about kids getting their face painted or wearing batman masks running around the streets. What about street parties, masquerades and parades (fancy dress)??? All in the public arena- are they banned too?
               
              This is about the ‘burqa’ for sure.

    • the sprout 11.2

      ‘genital mutilation’

      you mean like when boys are circumcised?

      • prism 11.2.1

        the sprout – Is that genuine enquiry or an attempt at semi-facetious comment?  If you really don’t know the difference between female genital mutilation and circumcision I suggest you look it up on google.

        • the sprout 11.2.1.1

          oh i know the difference alright, it’s just i can never understand why one cultural practice that’s still surprisingly common in western cultures isn’t also recognized as the genital mutilation it is.

  12. randal 12

    a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.
    Jim Mora is the problem.
    he is hired to make it all nice for middle new zealanders who fancy themselves as liberals or maybe even gasp intellectuals who need their prjudices topped up.
    ne never stop susing dishonest and disrespectful interrogatves either.
    pretty smarmy really.
    RNZ needs a good shake up.

  13. prism 13

    It’s amazingly easy to get right off topic.   I already did so from ChrisH’s focus when I referred to surprise at Linda Clark and her agreement of burqa wearing as coming from someone who has profited from feminist effort to raise women’s position and opportunities in society.  Then I unfortunately mentioned genital mutiliation (which is a very serious interference with a female’s body).  Now that has mutated into an argument about whether circumcision for males is the same.   This will teach me to keep to my point with no extra diversions in future.

  14. Thanks for this ChrisH. Very educative on the ‘rent’/land issue. That explains a lot about the virulence – as you point out – over protecting private property (especially land) rights.

    It’s always seemed strange to me at a gut level that we allow private ownership of land. A more ‘natural’ and less absolutist approach would be rights to land ‘use’. A market that rewarded use rather than just ownership of land would be one way but there are others too.

    Now I see where the Georgists fit into the picture and the argument over how increasing land values is a function of the presence of others. This is why and how the ‘old’ families in colonial societies come to dominate over time. They gain the full benefit of the value that accrues to land through no effort of their own – simply by being ‘first’ to stake their claim on a large hunk of land taken – often by force or prior to the establishment of a market in land – from the indigenous population.

    As I said, at a gut level it has always seemed grotesque that, given private ownership of land, people therefore do not have a right to occupy any space on this privately owned planet earth when they are born.

    It just seems weird – and, I know, economists argue that without security of property rights the land won’t be productively used. Yet look at how much land is simply bought, no improvements made during ownership, and then sold.

  15. ChrisH 15

    Ta. It’s always seemed to me after I twigged to this round 1996 or so (after reading Henry George, a key step in the education of all good radicals once upon a time) that a proper understanding of rent is the aqua regia that dissolves all right wing chains. To which we might only add that the descendents of those who were first to diddle the Maori so often turn into the “Smug” (Prism comment 10):
    “Her daughter, reading in her room
    “A catalogue of dresses,
    “Can drive a tractor, goes to Training College,
    “Will vote on the side of the Bosses” (Baxter, Pig Island Letters)
    Prism includes Brian Edwards among the Smug but he had a hard early life, there are plenty more smug than Brian, even if he seems to have lost his critical edge lately.

    • ChrisH 15.1

      Or it might have been the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Once upon a time you couldn’t have stood for Labour without having read all this stuff and taken a test administered by Peter Fraser ;)

  16. gnomic 16

    Suppose I should I have included a “what would I know?” disclaimer. Somehow I feel sure RNZ must have some survey results showing that Jim M and the new format are the best thing since the pop-up toaster. And indeed the apparent flood of emails and texts (no doubt alas even tweets), and adulatory comments from the callers seems to show that many living among us are getting with the programme while a naysayer is likely an elitist grouch. Oh well. It’s interactivity innit, it’s new and modern so it must be good, am I right?
    For me the downgrading of the music content was one of the worst aspects of the new order. About the only redeeming feature is the occasional bit of live content, the rest is pretty dire. Not that I’m listening much. Still Wayne’s music lives late at night, but maybe it’s not quite the same as that hour of quality after lunch.
    The Smug. Not bad, something I meant to touch on. She’s a small country and it’s a small club of the commentariat, and by gosh, they are all pretty happy to be in the club, in the loop, on the circuit. Feel the love, it’s close to nauseating. Even that Bomber Bradbury doesn’t quite get it, he claims The Panel is the best hour on public broadcasting. Nah. Not really. Not even close. If I want meaningless opinionated topical babble I can listen to 1ZB, or heaven help us, 1ZM and the like. There is still a 1ZM somewhere out there? Could we have a who de smuggest contest? That Chris Trotter must be a front runner. Richard Griffin also a contender but I expect we won’t be hearing from him on The Panel in future. Or maybe we will in a brave new world of broadcasting? For me at any rate, the best of Radio NZ National is with Kim Hill, or Laidlaw, or with Bryan Crump in the evenings. Not forgetting the news of course, the best in the country.
    Perhaps get Hone Harawira or Sue Bradford on The Panel? What about Nandor, now the dreads are gone. Or is it necessary to live in Auckland, Wellington, or perhaps Christchurch to qualify for admission?
    I don’t think Mora is really the fundamental problem, he’s more of a symptom, after all he is just a creature of his producers, and beyond them the powers that be. But speaking of Jim, smarmy, that was the one word I was looking for, yes, smarmy.
    It’s all over the place this thread, a bit like the header article. Perhaps encourage more from this writer? There could be a thesis in it, or maybe there has been?
     
     
     
     
     

  17. prism 17

    Gnomic You seem to have been pondering late into the night/early morning 1.49 a.m.
    Your stream of consciousness, almost, post makes good points.  But Sue Bradford is already on the morning politics from the right and left with Kathryn Ryan Monday or Tuesday?  Sue is good. Knows her stuff, almost as good as Leila Harre who I really enjoyed.  And together Matthew Hooten and Sue seem to be able to make cogent intelligent points.  Where is Nandor by the way?
    Jim’s choice of panel seem the sort that he would invite to share a meal and an interesting political discussion with.  But deep thinking and passion argument for new  vistas of the polity would upset the digestive juices.  You will notice that when he announces his schedule in the morning, he never gives any information about the provenance of his panel.   It obviously doesn’t matter in these generic days where their expertise lies.   But adulation from the public is no doubt them reacting to the good old boy approach, a smile and wave effect coming over the radio waves.  People like Bomber Bradbury seem to have minds like a steel trap, they make quick decisions and then rigidly hold them still without any pesky pondering.
     

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    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • 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 | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    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
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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