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Smokefree? Then Cut the Crap!

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, March 18th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: drugs, health, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Apparently the government is concerned for the general health of people in New Zealand. Apparently, an expression of this concern is the roll out of policy initiatives that will result in New Zealand being smoke free by 2025.

As a fairly heavy smoker of some years, I have no problem with the stated goal. In fact I welcome it. But here’s the thing – the government obviously doesn’t give a shit about the general health and well being of people in New Zealand.

Last July I wrote a post outlining a strategy that would go a long way towards the government achieving a smoke free New Zealand. I stand by what was said then given the information I had to hand.

Currently available Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) such as gum, patches or inhalers are bloody expensive (really, not much cheaper than smoking)  and just don’t address the many incidental pleasures and habits involved in smoking. In fact, they seem to only adequately address the desire of pharmaceutical companies to spin vast profits from selling overpriced sources of nicotine to nicotine addicts.

The long and the short of current government policies is to reward pharmaceutical manufacturers by pushing a captive market their way while financially punishing and socially vilifying the addicts who comprise that potential market.

A couple of weeks ago I sourced two electronic delivery units and enough nicotine to last well over a year at my currently high nicotine consumption rates. Taking everything into account (units, nicotine, carrier solution, postage etc)  costs work out at somewhere between $2 and $3 per week over the next year as opposed to the weekly $50 or $60 (and rising) of smoking or buying existent NRTs every week.

So here’s a system where all the attendant pleasures and habits formally associated with smoking remain; a system where the health concerns have been eliminated. And because the user is able to determine the dosage of nicotine, the amount of nicotine can be incrementally reduced to zero at a pace that suits the user.

And what has this government done? You guessed it. A system that has no known (and very likely will have no known) negative health effects that puts former smokers firmly in control of their nicotine use has been fucking well banned from retail sale.

The excuse is that nicotine is a medicine. (Except when it’s sold as tobacco of course.) Which is nice for the government’s ongoing take of tobacco tax and nice for pharmaceuticals looking to gouge the very people the government claims to be concerned about.

48 comments on “Smokefree? Then Cut the Crap!”

  1. Lightly 1

    interesting. have you got a link to the product online or a link to the ban?

  2. shorts 2

    I’ve a concern about the stated goal – why?

    For what purpose is a smoke free NZ so important?

    I don’t believe for a second this govt or any other gives a rats arse for my personal health except where in comes to the potential I may cost the taxpayers for health treatment I might not have needed if I didn’t smoke

    I am curious as to how you’re doing with electronic cigarettes, as its something I’ve been considering too

    • Bill 2.1

      I’ve no desire to smoke tobacco or cigarettes after 20 odd years of smoking. What more can I say? The addiction side of things is dealt with including those components of the addiction that are more to do with ritual etc.

    • bad12 2.2

      The revenue gathering Government using tobacco addiction as a means of such revenue gathering is further exposed,

      Strange isn’t it that this same Government has not banned ‘duty free’ cigarettes despite there being evidence of overseas travelers part funding there jaunts off of the back of a black market in the products brought through duty free,

      Yet banished is a nicotine replacement tool??? this apparent contradiction wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that it is the monied frequent flyers who are gaining the profits from on-selling duty free tobacco products and such monied folk are more likely to be National Party voters…

      • Mark 2.2.1

        Haha, that is about the most ridiculous conspiracy theory I have ever heard.. can I use it? No doubt all these Nact mate frequent flyer rich pricks are probably travelling back and forth over the tasman every day so they can make what.. $90 on a carton?? Fuck, I’m wetting myself.. is that you Wussel.. with a level of economic intelligence like that it must be..
        Oh, that was good.. but back to reality..

        I’m a heavily addicted smoker, have been for 30 years.. apparently the tax take from smokers far exceeds the cost to society, and subsidises a whole other bunch of health initiatives.. isn’t that a good thing in your eyes?

        I have also tried (used) pretty much every illicit substance.. none of which have had anything like the addictive effect of nicotine on me.. except possibly pot when I was a teenager which I severely regret using then.

        I have the Greensmoke stuff.. not bad, especially on long flights (1 hour +), but there is nothing like that ritual of lighting up and smoking.

        But what should we do.. ban tobacco?.. tax it more?.. plain packaging?.. health initiatives?..

        • bad12 2.2.1.1

          Aw PG when are you going to drop the charade and revert back to the usual handle, yes the trying of all the illicit substances will explain nicely the apparent brain damage inherent in your comments,

          Scoff all you want, sports teams, rich pricks,little old granny’s, none of whom smoke all totter through ‘arrivals’ with the full compliment of duty free tobacco products and the frequent fliers are the worst of them all,

          Only a fool or a drug addled deranged retard would suggest that anyone indulges in the rigors of international travel on the basis of a trade in black market tobacco products, those that do indulge in the black market aspect of that travel simply do so on the basis of an incidental perk,

          For those that travel internationally on a weekly basis as part of their employment the perk of black market duty free tobacco products are a grand little earn,

          Funny how as the tax on tobacco products rose so did the uptake of duty free tobacco products…

        • tricledrown 2.2.1.2

          mark how does 1.2 billion in tax equal 6 billion in damages to the economy!
          The rest of us are subsidizing your slow sucky suicide!
          it would be more satisfying if just one cigarette did the job then you would have no complaints or addiction excuses!
          Its hypocritical that we prosecute people who indulge and push less dangerous drugs like heroine cocaine p etc and tobacco which kills hundreds times more people !

          • McFlock 2.2.1.2.1

            I have some doubts about an economic analysis that remembers excise tax but forgets fifteen or twenty odd years of zero pensions paid to half of smokers (at pre-excise levels, anyway).

            Particularly after you dropped the”suicide” zinger.

            • tricledrown 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Mc flock the govt inquiry into tobacco proved 4,700 people a year died from tobacco related deaths!
              Loss of income through time off work and early deaths and other related losses ie damage done to families by loosing family members early ,loosing the support of elders in the families of those who die early has a knock on effect that was proven to have serious economic effects for those left behind!
              That money that wasn,t paid out in pensions also had flow on effect(keynsian)in lowering economic activity!

              • McFlock

                Ah. So the pension bubble by 2050 is an economic bonus.
                And what about those people with no dependants, I wonder. And did that factor use average consumption by weight of tobacco at the time, or project decreasing consumption by smokers with increasing excise?

                It’s amazing what economics can come up with when the prevalent prejudice has a desired outcome. One only needs to look at the tories for that.

  3. ghostrider888 3

    True Article Bill; conventional NRT is potentially another medico / commercial scam. Alan Carr suggests cold turkey, however this is easier said… cos nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in the pharmacopea; Still, it is about prospective tax burden as shorts identifies, and a fair amount of authoritarianism imo; consider the cost of other Western life-style choice activities to the public purse. I don’t know, sport, work-related accidents, the effects of poverty come to mind for a start. Having faced the reaper a few times now, growing own tobacco for accompanying the odd cup of tea sounds attractive.
    Anyway, the future costs of the rate the locals consume booze and other recreational drugs is going to sting more imo; talked with a couple of profs. working in the field recently: Addiction is a growth industry baby!(still, inflicting ones smoke on children and others? not so cool Marlboro Man)

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Alan Carr suggests cold turkey, however this is easier said…

      I went cold turkey – in the end it was the only way I could give up. It was hard for the first week, during which time I had a couple of puffs on a couple, but after that the craving for smoking went away pretty quick.

  4. McFlock 4

    lol

    Although I have no intention of quitting, my sister and her husband used those successfully.

    I seem to recall that NZ1’s (I almost wrote “Winston’s”, but that might have led to confusion :) ) funded their kids <4 doctor visits in 1997 via a coincidental $300mil rise in tobacco excise. After that the nats kept hiking the excise to fund any old policy.

    But it was labour who hiked the fees while making quit therapies free for all.

    • Bill 4.1

      Maybe I’m happy enough to be addicted to nicotine too. Which doesn’t matter, because the health concerns were and are around smoking. And I don’t smoke.

      Meanwhile, the NRTs are not free in perpetuity. You get (maybe) two goes at patches that are paid for from the public purse, ie – the manufacturers get their full whack of dosh. And if the various gums and patches don’t work over the long haul, then you have to pay full (and grossly inflated) prices for whatever NRT your chemist can supply.

      But my question, aside from the stupidity of the ban, is to do with the justification of an inhaler consisting of the same ingredients as an e-cig costing between $50 and $60 and lasting maybe one or two weeks when an e-cig costs about $20, will last over 300 recharges (over a year) and an excess of a years supply of ingredients will cost less than $100 – including overseas P&P?

      I mean, both items are manufactured by companies out to make money. Yet the (arguably far less effective) pharmaceutical product is many, many times more expensive than the other.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I suppose that goes as to whether nicotine should be a controlled substance and the effect on supply restrictions in a capitalist medical health system – pharmac is socialist, but it only has so much negotiating power with the private enterprise suppliers.

        Personally I’d say that the obvious answer is no, NRT should be just as accessible as cigarettes themselves. Unless there’s some problem with either the e-cigarettes or the refill solution, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be.

        I CAN project motives onto separate but powerful players – big pharma of course wants people to ask their doctor to write a script so they can pay an exorbitant amount for a restricted product, and ASH have a real bee in their bonnet about things that allegedly “normalise” smoking. And the nacts are happy because it removes one avenue of escape that addicts have to stop smoking if they want too, thus ensuring sustained tax revenue from the increased excise levies the nacts impose to pretend they give a fuck about people. But that’s all cynical supposition, of course.

    • bad12 4.2

      Yes we have been here befor, from the Chairman of the ‘Quitline program’, 1st line of His annual report, if my memory serves me right the 2012 edition,

      ”Quitline reaches 9% of smokers”, from a study by a university professor who’s name escapes me right at this moment released about the same time, ”2% of those who try will be successful at quitting and within 12 months over 60% of that 2% will have started smoking the stuff again”,

      The evidence is there if you choose to dig it out, attempting to tax people away from the Nicotine Addiction does not lead to any great degree of cessation,

      Given that the largest cohort of those who do smoke are to be found in the lowest income brackets we have to then consider what is the effect of higher taxation upon these people who cannot quit the addiction,

      Obviously if you are on a low income then the only discretion in that income is usually to be found in the food budget, it then becomes apparent that such overt taxation will be as damaging to the health of those addicted to the product as the product is supposed to be…

  5. nthshoredoc 5

    Not sure why you think NRT is ‘bloody expensive’ it’s been subsidised in NZ for quite a while now and is only a rX fee or not even that if you have reached you rX limit for the year.

    • Bill 5.1

      I think it’s bloody expensive because I picked up an inhaler containing nicotine at a chemist to have a look and it was priced at over $50.

      • nthshoredoc 5.1.1

        If you’re dumb enough to buy NRT over the counter at the chemist it is expensive.

        You can get it next to free on Rx.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          Not sure what Rx or rX refers to (prescription?). But if you are saying that I could go to my doctor, pay my $40 or whatever for the visit and get (say) patches and just keep going back for years to get my supply of patches topped up, then that’s news to me.

          Is that what you are saying? That prescriptions can be repeated ad-infinitum?

          • nthshoredoc 5.1.1.1.1

            You can go through your GP but it’s cheaper still to go through one of the services like Quitline

            http://www.quit.org.nz/62/help-to-quit/nicotine-patches-gum-and-lozenges

            Good luck with trying to kick the habit.

            • Bill 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah -nah. The question was whether endless repeat scrips are possible? It’s a serious question given as how these government policies are basically driving the ‘captured’ tobacco industry customer base over to an equally captured or monopolised and far more heavily subsidised pharmaceutical market.

              As bad12 quotes at comment 4.2 – these NRT simply don’t work for the vast majority of smokers. But with tobacco prices going through the roof, many of the million or so smokers in NZ are being driven to using NRTs…that the pharmaceutical industry makes a killing on- courtesy of the public purse.

              Meanwhile, a cheap and effective alternative (that just happens to not be under the control of the pharmaceuticals) has been effectively banned.

              Meaning that both smokers and non-smokers are being duped and ripped off if those scripts are able to be endlessly repeated.

              • nthshoredoc

                The pharma industry in NZ doesn’t make much money out of NRT at all as it’s been tendered out by PHRMAC since around 2005.

                NRT approximately doubles the effectiveness of smoking cessation programmes although it’s still not flash at around the 6-7% range after six months – failing NRT you are best to ask your GP about buproprion or varenicline which gets success rates up to around 15% and 25% respectively.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Best to spend the money on prevention rather than cure

                  it’s a few millions of dollars p.a., at a guess, for big pharma

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Can you please answer the questions?

              Are NRTs available long term?

              Can you access prescriptions for them without having to see a doctor?

              What’s the maximum length of prescription time?

              • nthshoredoc

                Are NRTs available long term?

                Yes

                Can you access prescriptions for them without having to see a doctor?

                Yes

                What’s the maximum length of prescription time?

                12 weeks

                • Bill

                  So including the cost of an appointment, it’s possible to get 12 weeks of an NRT that has a reducing nicotine content (eg patches that progress from 20mg down to 5mg or whatever) And that costs roughly $200 per year at $40 + per doctor visit + prescription charge.

                  Alternatively, importing nicotine and an e-cig pack (two batteries, recharger etc) that allows you to control your nicotine dose costs (tops) $150 for more than a one year supply. And it doesn’t require dropping all of the ingrained habits associated with smoking.

                  Then we have the issue of public monies pointlessly subsidising the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.

                  In the current situation where the government is hell bent on penny pinching and where it also claims to have the health of the general populace at heart, why is it spending unnecessary money on strategies that have questionable results and literally assuring that more smokers become ill or die by blocking access to an affordable and safe alternative?

  6. just saying 6

    Bill,
    In your various links, I couldn’t find where you had sourced the product.
    I realise there are issues with publicising this. Could you perhaps email me with the info?
    This product could help my health and my budget.

    And if not…
    Bad12, I’ve been meaning to ask – what do you store your cured, finished tobacco in for the long term?
    [B- Done :) ]

    • bad12 6.1

      Lolz, we are getting way off topic here, but, i buy those big paper rubbish bags from the supermarket, cut them in half and staple the bottom of the half that has npo bottom in it givoing it a bottom and making two good sized thick paper bags,

      Once i have stripped out the middle rib of the leaves i grab bunches of dried leaves and give them a first cut, as fine as possible with one cut of the scissors and into the paper bags the cut stuff goes and from there into the hot water cupboard THIRD shelf up which allows the cut leaf to remain stable and doesn’t radically dry the stuff anymore than what it is,

      My hot water cylinder has been wrapped, so if yours aint, possibly the top shelf of the hot water cupboard would be better,

      From there i give handfuls of the stuff a second cutting on the table to make it fine enough to roll, the ready to smoke, the stuff then goes into those dutch biscuit tins which i have cut a thick piece of cardboard with which to line the bottom of the tin with, (cardboard and paper are good at stabilizing this and other smokable’s as they allow for the transmission of moisture back and forth),

      And finally i have another biscuit tin which i have a small amount of finely cut smokable tobacco in for rolling ciggys, (have found that this tin when opened and clposed during the day to get a rolly going will on the wetter days provoke the tobacco to get damp or dry depending upon the time of year so keeping little bits,(half a days smoking) in that tin means if it gets too damp or too dry there’s not much hassle in mixing it back into one of the tins of cut stuff,

      Hope that helps, lolz i had a great grow this year, in the ground at the start of November and all pulled by the end of January, cased and cut up and in the hot water cupboard now, i have a half rubbish bag to give the first cut,(which i was supposed to do today), and the leaves off of the 3 plants i kept in the ground longer for seeds drying in the shed…

      • just saying 6.1.1

        Thanks Bad12.
        Glad to hear you had a good year!

        • bad12 6.1.1.1

          Welcome!!!, as an afterthought the reason i use multiple paper bags is the ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ analogy,

          i use 12 bags and next year all that’s left in them from this season,(lolz lot’s), can go into on full size rubbish sack and then reside on the next shelf up,

          My habits a whopping $100 a week at current prices so it’s all money in the bank as far as i am concerned,(saving up for when they get around to making growing ya own illegal),

          i havn’t bought any since the first week in December…

          • RJLC 6.1.1.1.1

            You go to a lot of trouble to enable a slow death or shortened lifespan for yourself.
            Such determination.
            Hats off.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              AS if non-tobacco related death n old age is any quicker.
              And yeah, there’s a calculated trade off of quality of life vs length. Frankly, the prospect of another fifty years in a society run by sanctimonious pricks drives me to drink as well as tobacco.

  7. Rich 7

    A “smokefree NZ’ isn’t going to happen by 2025, or anytime after that. The two holdout groups of the underclass and rebellious alternative culture types will prove very difficult to shift.

    I guess they’ll change the definition to something like 75% non-smoking, cigarettes banned in public, cigarettes only obtainable from a (huge, organised-crime run) black market or something like that.

    • Colonial Weka 7.1

      Or cigarettes on prescription (see Bill’s original post linked above).

      I can see the potential for the e-cigs to become trendy and desirable. NZ has been successful at changing attitudes towards smoking. I think there is a lot further we can go with this.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        And if e-cigs become trendy and desirable then smoking ends, aye? (And big pharma loses it’s publicly subsidised pay-cheque) Win/win I’d say.

        • bad12 7.1.1.1

          Lolz, i am willing to put money on it that the only ‘means’ of attempting this ‘smokefree NZ’ by anytime will be through taxation,

          i am so sure of this simply because i do not believe that those at the top of the food chain are after anything but some easy to get at tax monies from those who have no way of stopping the use of the product being taxed,

          It’s exhausting to keep repeating this,but, if ‘they’ were serious about dramatically reducing the amount of smokers in NZ ‘they’ would simply have had us all register as users of the product with our doctors over the period of 6 months to a year and at the cut off point only those with a doctors scrip would be able to purchase cigarettes,

          In doing that no-one presently under the age of 18 could register as an addict and thus use of the product legally bought would in the future die off as the present generation of smokers did,

          Either way, through taxation or the prescription method i describe above there would develop a small black market,(Lolz maybe a big one), but,way less tobacco than is being smoked today would be being consumed…

  8. Colonial Weka 8

    Reading the Herald link, ffs, could they not get an actual legal opinion from an actual legal expert? Medsafe say e-cigs are illegal (I’m guessing they are overstating the case), and the smoke-free trust people are saying they’re legal as long as the seller doesn’t make therapeutic claims.

    While I don’t believe that the nicotine in e-cigs is completely benign (all drugs have side effects), I definitely support the idea that people should be free to choose, and that choice should be affordable to all.

    Am curious about this from the medsafe dude

    “”Nicotine is a deadly poison and when intended for administration to humans it is a scheduled medicine,” said group manager Dr Stewart Jessamine.”

    Nothing to qualify that?

  9. Huginn 9


    Kim Hill interviews Richard Hurt, the director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Centre, visiting New Zealand for the Inaugural International Cancer Symposium organised by the University of Otago.
    (Duration: 32′16″)

    Dr Hill makes the point that there is considerable variation in our response to nicotine and that strategies to quit smoking have to be tailored to suit the individual.

    He made the case for inhalers by arguing that nicotine isn’t the problem as much as all the other substances in the smoke. So nicotine delivered by inhaler is relatively benign.

    Most interesting, from a political pov, was his description of the evolution of the modern cigarette into a carefully engineered technology of ruthless exploitation that bears little little resemblance to the cigarettes that our grandparents smoked.

    It would be interesting to find out whether the tobacco lobby has had anything to do with this ban on nicotine inhalers.

  10. Huginn 10

    Here’s the link to the Kim Hill interview:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2463680/richard-hurt-big-tobacco-and-nicotine-dependence.as

    Sorry, I wasn’t able to insert it nicely into the previous post.

  11. millsy 11

    To be honest, Im getting rather uncomfortable with this whole ‘smokefree by 2025′ thing. Are we going to ban the sale of tobacco? Cant see that working out too well. The last time prohibition was tried on such a scale, we had nice chaps like Al Capone, and John Dillinger in the headlines….

    I dont like smoking, and I supported the contrversial law to ban smoking from bars (sky hasant fallen in yet, though a few nightclubs here have gone to the wall since that law was passed, including the iconic “Mill”, co-incidental, maybe), but I think things have gotten really far, with the plain packaging, the tax hikes, and the covering up of retail displays, not to mention councils banning smoking in bars, banning smoking in prisons (they would have been better off to make smoking a privilige that inmates had to earn), and now we hear that DHB’s want to sack staff who smoke, crazy.

    Seems to me that this is all about Tariana Turia’s desire to be bracketed with Apriana Ngata and Maui Pomare.

    The e-cigarettes sound interesting, and I think allowing their sale and distrubution is a good idea, better than going on at us about who naughty we are for lighting up. It will probably make them smoke even more…

  12. beatie 12

    I started smoking 30+ years ago. I’ve had periods of non-smoking, the longest lasting 8 years. I’ve tried the gum and the inhaler but found them both addictive. I tried the Alan Carr method and found it incredibly easy . Unfortunately it’s so easy with this method that I’ve start again thinking I’ll just read the book and bingo. At present I haven’t smoked for 3 months and don’t miss it. As I get older it is much harder on me physically and I simply can’t afford it even ‘tho I smoke rollies. Also it just so lovely to have my sense of smell back.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Which must mean your sense of taste also improves?

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        fuck I need to smoke more – got into the office this morning and was overwhelmed by a stench of what must have been spagbol’s misbegot cousin. Sheeeeit. Took a while for my nose to shut down.

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    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Child PovertyGovernment Priorities and Policies 1. Hon ANNETTE KING (Acting Deputy Leader – Labour) to the Deputy Prime Minister : Will he make reducing child poverty a Better Public Service target given the...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – On The Left Special!
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Video Against Poverty
    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Column – Gordon Campbell Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterdays leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.Gordon Campbell on Pharmac,...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • ECAN, Fed Farmers and Dairy NZ – Plotting to reduce water quality
    What does National’s resounding election win mean for our rivers? As we found in our review of the Government’s water quality framework, we have serious reasons to doubt their commitment to ‘maintain or improve our waterways’. Our concerns are growing...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • A new left-leaning blog
    I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blogsite catering for those who want something more than the fare currently being offered by left-leaning sites like The Daily Blog and The Standard....
    Imperator Fish | 20-10
  • Ebola and the criminal passivity of the Great Powers
    The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three Ebola-stricken West African nations, made urgent pleas for money, doctors and hospital beds.  The UN Ebola envoy said 20 times more was needed to counter the epidemic.  The U.S. director of...
    Redline | 20-10
  • New Zealand, ISIL, and suspicious behaviour
    The government has announced a review of how New Zealand might deal with foreign fighters in the future in response to what is happening currently in Iraq and Syria. There are some interesting titbits in the press release in terms...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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