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Thanks for the Piss, Collins.

Written By: - Date published: 11:41 am, April 26th, 2014 - 108 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, drugs, Judith Collins - Tags: , , ,

So, Collins has bowed to the alcohol lobby and backed off from introducing minimum alcohol pricing legislation.

If such a policy was enacted in an intelligent fashion, it would have little or no effect on the back pocket of a majority of people who drink, or on the majority of products sold.

On the basis that minimum pricing would not come in the form of a tax, and would therefore merely bump up the sale price of very cheap and nasty alcoholic concoctions, I can’t really see why anyone (other than the alcohol lobby seeking cheap and fast profit from shit products) would object.

Alcohol sold through pubs is already priced at a level that would exceed any minimum price per unit level. Most wines, beers and spirits sold at retail are also already above any minimum pricing level.

So, off the top of my head, it would seem that some loss leader wine discounts at supermarkets and cheap, bad quality RTDs / beer would be hit by such legislation.

Is that such a bad thing?

On any other drug, we’d be railing against ‘cut’ or poor quality product and seeking a way to ensure a degree of quality/purity that’d prevent bastards from pushing bullshit.

So, why settle for piss in lieu of alcohol?

108 comments on “Thanks for the Piss, Collins.”

  1. karol 1

    Well said, Bill.

    My post was more focused on the Oradiva conflict of interest with an added point about the way Collins slipped the alcohol pricing non-decision under the radar.

    But, clearly some commenters are more focused on either getting cheap piss, or supporting the cheap piss industry.

    • Paul 1.1

      Supermarkets
      Corrupt politicians
      Sport

    • adam 1.2

      The conection is whey alchole. Whey, that bloody anoying byproduct the industry is stuck with, which is really quite expensive to clean up – unless – oh wait, add sugar and get the dumb public to drink it.

      Add lots of bad whey puns –
      whey to go
      whey better than dumping it
      who would thought of that whey

      I’ll stop now, but the corruption is more deep than the price of milk.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Cheap vodka worked very well for the Soviets Autocracy.

    Unlike the African AIDS epidemic, however, Russia’s demographic wounds were self-inflicted: the culmination of centuries of bad governance through vodka politics. The exhaustive 2009 study in The Lancet concluded that, were it not for vodka, Russia’s mortality figures would look more like those of Western Europe instead of resembling war-torn areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Were it not for vodka, Russia could have at least escaped the gut-wrenching post-communist transitions of the 1990s with a healthier population—more like the Hungarians with their wine or the Czechs with their beer—instead of being mired in demographic decay.

    Consider Poland: a neighboring hard-drinking Slavic nation with its own storied vodka traditions. Poland also suffered the pain of post-communist transition. Yet while Yeltsin and Putin ignored the vodka epidemic in the 1990s and 2000s, Poland consistently increased excise taxes on the far more potent vodka as part of a concerted effort to migrate to safer, fermented wines and beers. Partly as a consequence, Poland has not suffered the same demographic calamity that has befallen Russia.

  3. So, Collins has bowed to the alcohol lobby and backed off from introducing minimum alcohol pricing legislation.

    Or to put it another way, she hasn’t bowed to the wowser lobby.

    …some loss leader wine discounts at supermarkets and cheap, bad quality RTDs / beer would be hit by such legislation.

    Is that such a bad thing?

    No, that’s not how it works. If you want the government to dictate supermarket prices, you have to explain why it’s a good thing – and not only a good thing, but such an awesomely good thing that we should go with the on-the-face-of-it really crap idea of having the government dictate supermarket prices.

    So, why settle for piss in lieu of alcohol?

    Because we’re not all middle-class people with generous disposable incomes. It’s no skin off my nose if shit drinks cost more, because I don’t buy them – these days. Back when I was flat broke before the end of every week, I made sure to buy the most alcohol for the lowest price when I went shopping for it, and I would have loved supermarkets loss-leading with shit drinks. Do we not have any broke people these days?

    • karol 3.1

      So while loss leading on alcohol, how does keeping the cost of necessities higher help those on low incomes?

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1

        If alcohol’s given a minimum price, household necessities automatically become cheaper?

        I mean, I’m not sure I agree with Psycho Milt’s point, but your reply doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          If I run a store and offer a loss leader, the idea is to get you in there and spending on other items that have been increased in price to cover my ‘loss’ on the bait.

          Bread used to be favourite. And always situated at the back of the shop so that you’d pass all the other tempters on your way to ‘saving’ money.

          • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.1.1.1

            But would the increase in alcohol necessarily lead to a reduction in price of other necessities? Or would the supermarkets just operate at the same level?

            I’d suspect it’s the latter considering the lack of competition. That’s why I doubt there’s a strong connection between the costs of necessities and the price of alcohol.

            • Bill 3.1.1.1.1.1

              True enough that the focus for loss leaders would shift. But at least one source of distortion in pricing would have been removed aye?

              Anyway. The point was that cheap alcohol isn’t cheap if the discount is transferred to other products – not that ending loss leading alcohol would reduce other prices.

              late edit – Also loss leaders are always</i. on popular products…alcohol, dairy, bread etc….so at least the focus would be food

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.2

        So while loss leading on alcohol, how does keeping the cost of necessities higher help those on low incomes?

        Leaving aside the question of whether it’s a supermarket’s job to help those on low incomes, there’s the question of what “help” means. Like I said, when I was broke I would have loved supermarkets loss-leading with alcohol, because I bought alcohol every week and hardly ever bought fruit or veg. I would have considered that to be helping me.

        However, if by “help those on low incomes” we mean “help those on low incomes buy the things that we think they should buy instead of what they want to buy,” then the government can stay out of it – Judith Collins is a Minister of the Crown, not our mother.

    • Bill 3.2

      Pscho, I was brought up in a country where a six year old could walk into the local sweetie shop and buy a can of shandy. I checked and am a bit amazed that it’s still the case (0.5% alcohol). I’m sure you can extrapolate and compare with RTDs, the idea of providing ‘tasters’ and actual gateway arguments.

      I’m also an enthusiastic drinker and definitely not one of those “middle-class people with generous disposable incomes”. I’m one of those “broke people” (There you go. We exist) who fully gets and lives by the ‘bang for buck’ mindset. But that doesn’t mean I fill up on woeful shite. And it often is woeful shite. If I’m seeking ‘bang for buck’ on beer, I want to be drinking beer and not some cheap and nasty shit filled with corn sugar and fuck knows what in the way of additives alongside bugger all alcohol that has me pissing all night all for the sake of a hang-over from hell the next day.

      Put another way, when I did other drugs, there were some very cheap options that would most certainly have satisfied any measure of getting ‘bang for buck’…eg, solvents. Never went anywhere near them though.

      • NZFemme 3.2.1

        Hmmm. Using the minimum pricing of $1.20 per standard unit of alcohol as the benchmark (as per the MoJ Report as reported in the Stuff article) no RTDs that I could find advertised today fall under that pricing. Example, the current April Specials for Thirsty Liquor:

        http://www.thirstyliquor.co.nz/Home/LiquorSpecials.aspx

        The only items which would be affected were the Black Heart Rum (1 Litre 37%) and the Seagers Gin (1 Litre 37%) – Incidentally, both are Independent Liquor Products, makers of the majority of RTDs (Woodstock, KGB, Cruiser, Cindy’s, Cody’s and a bunch of others)

        Note: I’m using the following calculations:

        Amount of drink in litres (Vol) x Percent by volume of alcohol (%) x Density of ethanol at room temperature (0.789) multiplied by $1.20

        e.g: Black Heart Rum 1 x 37 x .789 = 29.19 standard drinks x $1.20 = $35.03 (currently on sale for $30.99)

        Using that same calculation for a bottle of wine, (say 12.5% ABV)

        .750 x 12.5 x .789 = 7.39 standard drinks x $1.20 = $8.87

        That’s still a really cheap bottle of wine even for a supermarket.

        A 12 pack of 330ml 4% ABV Beer:

        3.96 x 4 x .789 = 12.5 standard drinks x $1.20 = $14.99

        So yeah, honestly? Introducing minimum alcohol prices per unit/standard drink at the levels the report suggested is probably going to have SFA effect.

        I can really only see this affecting cask wine in supermarkets, and super cheap spirits. It won’t touch RTD’s (God I hate agreeing with Collins – prove me wrong eh )

        • Bill 3.2.1.1

          Not too sure about your formula. The one I’m aware of is Minimum Price per Unit (MPU) x strength of alcohol (S) x volume (V) x 100.

          Don’t have a calculator to hand, but that would make a 12.5% bottle of wine $11.25 (120 x 12.5 x 0.75 x 100) as opposed to your $8.87….a price difference of $2.38 or somewhere in the region of 20% (I think)

          Numbers aren’t my strong point, so maybe some smarty pants with a calculator could double check that calculation ;-)

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            The ‘2 x 4 packs for $20′ deal on Woodstock would be below the legal minimum of $11.26 per 4 pack.

            The ‘White Label’ and ‘Shingle Peak’ also appear to be below any proposed legal min ($9 and $11 respectively)

            I agree the increases aren’t so significant per se, but they do kill off some of the advertising that’s built around those ‘psychological feel good’ factors that rely on staying below certain $ sums. eg…2 for $22.60 just doesn’t quite work the same from an advertising angle as 2 for $20.

            And flooding the market with sub $15 bottles of wine just lacks the (for some) appeal present in sub $10 bottles. Suddenly it feels as though you’re paying for it

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I agree the increases aren’t so significant per se, but they do kill off some of the advertising that’s built around those ‘psychological feel good’ factors

              Well, there’s an idea, just kill off alcohol advertising, full stop.

        • karol 3.2.1.2

          NZFemme, the review that Collins ignored was more focused on the long term impact of cheap alcohol. It has to do with encouraging binge drinking – pre-loading by young people before heading to a social event, etc. It takes into account the addictive capability of alcohol.

          It is a pretty comprehensive review, and looked at various options, particularly the relative impacts of setting a minimum price compared with raising the exise/taxes on alcohol – and also the impact on society via harmful drinking practices, the impacts on consumers, the industry, retailers, etc. There are pros and cons all round, but, the review concluded that both excise and minimum pricing or a mix of both would result in benefits to society – especially the reduction of harmful drinking.

          It does depend on how much tax is imposed. But, generally the excise option produces more tax revenue and is thus considered more beneficial to society. And the excise option is considered to generally reduce harmful drinking practices more across the board.

          Andrew Little is critical of the government response to the report and says:

          “The Ministry’s report actually said there are net benefits with minimum pricing for alcohol whether it’s done by regulating a minimum price or increasing excise duties.

          “There is no question increasing the price and preventing discounting and loss leading reduces consumption.

          “Doing this in a targeted way aimed at products intended for young people, such as RTDs, and outlets that just want to move stock quickly, it would be possible to reduce consumption in those parts of the market where the risk of damage is greatest.

          Little is saying that increasing taxes is an indirect way of implementing minimum pricing.

          • Psycho Milt 3.2.1.2.1

            There are pros and cons all round, but, the review concluded that both excise and minimum pricing or a mix of both would result in benefits to society – especially the reduction of harmful drinking.

            I don’t doubt it would result in benefits to society. So what? Discouraging participation in sports, or euthanasia of the infirm elderly and the disabled would benefit society, but that doesn’t mean we should do it. Whether someone else gets drunk or not is none of our business.

        • Thanks for doing the math, NZFemme. I just had a look in my recycling bin and I’ve been drinking Rekorderlig cider, approx 1.6 standard drinks, purchased on special for $4.99 at the supermarket – well over the suggested minimum. Yet we’re meant to be worried about the RTDs which are more expensive and can only be purchased at liquor stores?

          • karol 3.2.1.3.1

            Andrew Little reckons there are ways of targeting RTDs.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 3.2.1.3.1.1

              My question is why target RTDs? I’ve not seen any convincing arguments for RTDs being the scourge which creates/sustains our binge drinking culture. As NZFemme says below, young drinkers are far more likely to split a bottle of vodka between them. It really does read to me like RTDs get assumed to be ‘young people’s drinks’ or ‘not proper alcoholic drinks’ and thus get scapegoated.

              Another irony about RTDs is that they get talked about like they’re all Vodka Cruisers – brightly coloured and sugary. In fact the ones I’ve seen most often – including being confiscated from young adults at the doors of nightclubs – are the bourbon-and-cola variety, which taste utterly vile even if you’re into that kind of thing.

          • NZFemme 3.2.1.3.2

            Rekorderlig.. yum. (I like the elderflower and lime, heh)

            Actually, I think Bill’s formula might be the correct one. I was using an industry formula to ascertain the standard units of alcohol by volume of container, alcohol %, and density at room temp, and multiplying that by the minimum price discussed in the Stuff article.

            BUT – RTD’s, in my opinion, are kind’a being painted as the most problematic – for young people and binge drinkers and I actually don’t agree with that perspective. I’ve worked in the alcohol industry for a wee while, first as a visual merchandiser for Independent Liquor, and now, part time as a Duty Manager in a local liquor store while I’m studying.

            Sales of RTD’s are not simply the purvey of the young new drinker. We sell more RTD’s than any other drink, and the store I work in has an older customer base for the most part. (30 +) During O weeks etc when we do see more of the student base, I’ve noticed they are actually more inclined to purchase straight spirits – vodka or bourbon typically, and split the cost between them. They’re also Brand aware – their more likely to buy the same brand whether it’s on sale or not – unlike our older customer base.

            Yup RTD’s are sweet. (So is rekorderlig! :) )But so are NZ Wines in comparison to their European counterparts. It’s well known in the wine industry that NZers have a sweet tooth, and our winemakers have taken note and produce accordingly for the NZ market.

            And it’s easy to forget this in the indignition that swirls around RTD’s but your gonna get a whole lot more pissed on a 12.5% bottle of wine, than the equivilant volume of RTD’s of which the highest industry percentage is 7%.

            • Bill 3.2.1.3.2.1

              So, having a think about all of this because the minimum unit price doesn’t really seem to stack up. And raising the $1.20 to (say) $2 or even $3 would potentially create all manner of inequity in terms of access to the drug.

              I suspect that NZ may well have higher prices on its cheap drinks (on a lower wage rate) than (say) the UK, where a 50p ($1) minimum price per unit has the whisky assn up in arms.

              So I’m wondering whether the alcoholic beverages industry is simply gouging the NZ public due to a lack of cross border competition, or whether tax and excise is far too high. As an example of price difference, a pint (568 ml) of real ale in the UK costs about $6 at today’s conversion rate, and that’s substantially cheaper than my experience of NZ pubs.

              That aside, I detest the marketing of RTD’s and the enormous profits generated by them, regardless of who consumes them and how much they consume. My reasoning for that is the same as it is for any other drug. I want, and we deserve, honest, uncut and unadulterated product. (That includes Rekordilig btw, that just might be the only ‘cider’ in the world made from spring water instead of apples!) And sure, maybe that just makes me an odd-ball purist in some eyes. But I would no more relish having access to cheap coke that was cut through with fillers than I do distilled or brewed alcohol that’s awash with liquid fillers, or that has misleading labeling attached. (Why is Rekordilig, for example, allowed to be called cider when it ain’t made from apple juice?) I’d be mightily pissed if such cheaper faux brews and distillations pushed genuine brews and distillations into unaffordable niche markets due to their cheaper production costs.

              As I said before, I’m not exactly the kind of person who’s against alcohol consumption. I despair, for example, at the abstinence approach that comes from the 12 Step Programme for those with acute alcohol and/or drugs problems. That sets too many people up to fail in my opinion and would be better geared towards harm minimisation and helping drug users get back to social modes of use wherever possible.

              Meanwhile, if alcohol consumption habits are causing health problems for numbers of people in NZ, and taking the bottom end out of the market wouldn’t achieve anything for any of them, then….what? Or if the behaviour around alcohol is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise, then….what?

              • karol

                Some good points in there, Bill.

                I’m going by the conclusions of the alcohol pricing review, which is mainly aimed at minimising harm caused by alcohol to individuals and society. The evidence does point to pricing and/or excise as a good way to minimise social harm.

                Meanwhile, if alcohol consumption habits are causing health problems for numbers of people in NZ, and taking the bottom end out of the market wouldn’t achieve anything for any of them, then….what? Or if the behaviour around alcohol is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise, then….what?

                And, in the wider society, there does seem to be resisitance to accepting problem drining does cause a lot of harm – in contrast to regualr moral panics about drugs.

                BTW, some claim that RTDs were intiially designed to target women, as they tended to drink less than men. This 2013 report claims:

                There is strong evidence about the appeal of ready-to-drinks (RTDs) for young people, particularly young women. Young people, both female and male,are the most common consumers of RTDs, and those who drink them are more likely to be heavier drinkers than those who do not. In one study RTDs made up 70% of the alcohol intake of 14–17-year-old girls45. RTD consumers typically drank more in a session, and more often in a year than those who drank other spirits, beer or wine
                [...]
                Public disapproval of drunkenness is higher for women than for men. However, heavy drinking has become the social norm for many young women, with traditionally male drinking patterns setting the standard. Some young women perceive drinking as a sign and result of gender equality, as well as a way of resisting
                traditional constructions of femininity. RTDs and other products have been designed and marketed specifically to attract these female consumers

                However, this 2012 article claims that RTDs with higher alcohol content are most frequqntly consumed by male tradespeople.

                • Bill

                  The problem with a pricing solution in the form of higher taxes is that it absolutely limits access to the drug for those on given, lower incomes. And that’s a different outcome to merely lifting the price of ( and maybe killing off) the bottom (arguably skody) end of the market. Which is academic due to the already seemingly high cost of alcohol in NZ.

                  Raising prices across the board will, like with tobacco, merely hammer the poor and inflict all manner of further financial related stresses. I’m against that being applied to alcohol in the same way as I was, and remain, against it being applied to tobacco.

                  And alcohol…remembering a former teacher (now dead) who extracted alcohol from boot polish to satisfy his cravings…

                  Anyway, the question goes back to why we use alcohol and other drugs and why some of us use them excessively. Unless that is, we want to treat symptoms rather than the causes (assuming that there are underlying causes).

                  • karol

                    One of the underlying problems is to do with the logic of consumer society – the aim of businesses to encourage consumption via products that have addictive potential.

                    • Bill

                      Yeah, okay. But altered states betray a desire to escape reality, even just for a short while because, perhaps, it really is that bad. Now, what makes it so bad? And why do we accept or tolerate having a society that fucks so many of us up so much? Or, put another way, how do we get around the compulsion to conform to social norms that we know at some level to be damaging?

            • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3.2.2

              And it’s easy to forget this in the indignition that swirls around RTD’s but your gonna get a whole lot more pissed on a 12.5% bottle of wine, than the equivilant volume of RTD’s of which the highest industry percentage is 7%.

              Except that the combination of synthetic flavours, high sugar and high caffeine content is designed to keep RTD drinkers going through 2L to 3L worth in a night. You can’t drink that much wine (usually) in one evening, but you can do so relatively easily with RTDs.

              The food technologists who formulate the RTDs know exactly what they are doing.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.3.3

            One other thing about Rekorderlig “cider” – it’s not cider. It’s not fermented from fruit juice. It’s a flavoured RTD. And it is illegal for supermarkets to sell RTDs.

            • Melb 3.2.1.3.3.1

              I thought they already didn’t sell it.

            • Stephanie Rodgers 3.2.1.3.3.2

              Well you’d better start calling Crimestoppers then. :roll:

              • Colonial Viper

                Well you’d better start calling Crimestoppers then. :roll:

                I’m getting a feel for how seriously you take our alcohol laws.

                • You have no idea. But you are throwing around words like ‘illegal’ without backing up your statements, and despite a lot of evidence to the contrary.

                  (And no, before you even start, I’m not suggesting that supermarkets never break the law. I am however suggesting that when things are as readily available and prominently advertised as Rekorderlig cider is in supermarkets, it’s something the police would’ve caught on to a long time ago.)

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The product is an RTD. It is illegal for supermarkets to sell RTDs. Your casual attitude to this law breaking isn’t helping. Your assumption that ‘if it’s illegal surely someone else would have done something about it by now’ is problematic to say the least.

            • NZFemme 3.2.1.3.3.3

              And yet, it is sold in supermarkets. At least, some of the basic flavours are. (eg: pear, apple)

              One of the reasons RTD’s have been so heavily promoted in Liquor stores is because with beer, wine and cider being available so cheaply at supermarkets, Liquor stores couldn’t (and can’t) compete. RTD’s offer a point of difference to their consumers that allows the liquor stores to claw back some of their competitive advantage. Unless you live in Southland, in which case you can’t buy alcohol in supermarkets, and all the liquor stores are run buy community owned trusts. Profits get fed back in to the communities themselves.

              Incidentally, it’s interesting to note that the consumption amongst youth is actually decreasing according to the ministry of health.

              http://www.alcohol.org.nz/research-resources/nz-statistics/new-zealand-drinking-patterns

              The decrease was happening prior to liquor law changes over the past year.

              [B:- In response to Karol's observation, I've taken the liberty of unilaterally deleting the identifying email address from your handle. Hope that's okay by you.]

    • Bill 3.3

      Also in reply to psycho milt….bad product sometimes results from distilling and brewing. It’s just one of those hazards that comes with the territory. Funnily enough, with RTDs I can conceivably just pump shit product that would have been formally dumped because of its poor quality, in alongside a plethora of mixers that will mask the awfulness of the failed alcohol base and….potentially make more profit from the shit than what I would from good stuff. Then maybe, I’d be tempted to just focus on producing shit and ‘hiding’ it amongst a plethora of cheap flavourings. Now, that’s bang for buck, aye?

      • Psycho Milt 3.3.1

        Thing is, we’re still missing a step here: the one that bridges the gap between not liking liquor companies selling shit drinks or supermarkets loss-leading on alcohol, and a requirement for the government to act on your dislike. “I don’t like supermarkets loss-leading with shit drinks, therefore the government must do something to prevent it” is a non sequitur.

        • McFlock 3.3.1.1

          Not in a democracy, it’s not.

          Folk write articles like this, build popular support, and apply pressure to politicians to act. The fact that they want it is reason enough to consider it. Government serves the wishes ofthe people.

          You might bring up some unlikely counter-example to that principle, but I don’t think it really applies to the Hogarth-esque desires of supermarkets and booze barns.

          • Ergo Robertina 3.3.1.1.1

            Hogarth-esque desires? Hogarth was critiquing the harms of excessive drinking, not giving it his approbation.

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Really? Wow. That negates my entire comm- never mind.

              • Ergo Robertina

                I agreed with your comment. It doesn’t negate your argument to clarify Hogarth’s intentions.

          • Psycho Milt 3.3.1.1.2

            Folk write articles like this, build popular support, and apply pressure to politicians to act. The fact that they want it is reason enough to consider it. Government serves the wishes ofthe people.

            The fact that it might succeed doesn’t alter the fact it’s a non-sequitur. If enough people decide they don’t like Muslims and the government should bar immigration from Muslim-majority countries, the government might well do it but that doesn’t necessarily mean anyone involved has a good, logical reason why the government should do it.

            • Ergo Robertina 3.3.1.1.2.1

              What then is the role of government? You’re conflating reducing social harms of alcohol with governments enacting racist immigration policy, a strawman argument.

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.2.2

              But you said : “I don’t like supermarkets loss-leading with shit drinks, therefore the government must do something to prevent it” is a non sequitur.

              In a democracy, if enough people say “we don’t like X”, then it follows that the government must do X. Regardless of whether the principle is qualified with exceptions or moral imperatives, that is the main principle of democracy.

              And soma-piss isn’t in the same moral ballpark as religious equality.

              • RedLogix

                And soma-piss isn’t in the same moral ballpark as religious equality.

                Nicely put. While I am by nature a social liberal – I find this tendency to bundle all these disparate issues into one grey homogeneous ethical blob rather disturbing.

              • Populuxe1

                Only to a point. I’m with John Stewart Mill on rejecting arguments for strong paternalism, but soft paternalism – default laws for example – is ok. There’s also the matter of constitutional protections – if enough people say “we don’t like Jews”, “Homosexuality should be illegal”, “Women shouldn’t have the vote”, we exist within a framework of national and international principles and agreements that would hopefully prevent our government from acting on stupid populist bullshit.

                Leave my cheap booze alone thanks, life is shitty enough

                • “Women shouldn’t have the vote”

                  Reminds me – the eligible male voters of Switzerland rejected female suffrage in referenda until 1971. It was democracy as described by McFlock, but it wasn’t a good thing.

                  • McFlock

                    Yes, because a minimum price for alcohol is totes-like disenfranchising half the population… /sarc

                    Seriously, what’s the problem with government regulating prices of a substance in order to minimise social harm?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Indeed – but I think McFlock is talking about some airy fairy theoretical democracy rather than the nuts and bolds ad hocracy of the real world

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not the one equating prevention of using alcohol as a loss-leader with religious oppression.

              • You’re conflating reducing social harms of alcohol with governments enacting racist immigration policy, a strawman argument.

                I’m applying a principle. Principles are a good thing to have when you’re considering fucking with other people’s rights to enjoy their lives as they see fit.

                In a democracy, if enough people say “we don’t like X”, then it follows that the government must do X. Regardless of whether the principle is qualified with exceptions or moral imperatives, that is the main principle of democracy.

                So, if enough people decide they don’t like poofters, we make it illegal again and that’s democracy in action. Well, yes – but a democracy functioning merely as a tyranny of the majority is a pretty low-functioning one. In a less crap democracy, a government would look at requests for action against something people don’t like and say “tough shit” unless those people can come up with some logical, principled basis for that action. “I don’t like it” lacks either logic or principle.

                • McFlock

                  In a less crap democracy, a government would look at requests for action against something people don’t like and say “tough shit” unless those people can come up with some logical, principled basis for that action. “I don’t like it” lacks either logic or principle.

                  Other way around – in a less plummeting down an absurd slippery-slope argument because we’re talking about minimum prices for alcohol (not anything in the Human Rights Act) “crap” democracy, a government needs to find good reasons to not follow the will of the electorate.

                  The electorate could decide to rename “Monday” “Fuckmylifeday” for no reason other than most people hate mondays – government should follow that, unless it can find a decent reason not to.

                  • Populuxe1

                    And again you’d be wrong – I refer you to the petition in the US to have Justin Bieber’s greencard revoked. No democratic government is actually under any obligation to act on something frivilous. Similarly the Death Star petition. The government is only obliged to consider the request. If, for example, it would only be a waste of resources or cause diplomatic problems or whatever, they are perfectly right to say no.

                    • McFlock

                      indeed.

                      But the principle is that unless there’s a good reason to not do it, it should be done.

                      Unlike milt, who argues that the electorate needs to justify itself to the government before anything gets done. Which is a funny idea of democracy, theoretical or otherwise.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I have yet to see any evidence of a democratic mandate for this in the first place. There hasn’t been a referendum.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, we’ve moved on from here into milt’s assertion that even if it had demonstrated majority support, the government should ignore it unless the majority comes up with a good reason to do it. In principle.

                      Basically, the diversion away from the fact that eliminating alcohol as a loss-leader would be a good idea. See article for reasons.

                  • It’s not a slippery-slope argument, it’s a basic principle – if you want your demands for government action against some group to be taken seriously, you should have an argument for that action that consists of something more than stamping your foot and declaring you don’t like it. That principle applies, regardless of whether the action under discussion is as trivial as depriving young Munter of a discount a business wants to offer him, or as serious as rounding up all the Jews and gassing them.

                    • McFlock

                      Not when the government answers to you. Which, in a democracy, is the people. In that case, the government needs a good reason to say “no”.

                      And it’s not a demand for action against any group. At the very least, it’s removing the privilege that supermarkets have over on-licences, who already have minimum price restraints to stop excessive consumption (try 50c shot promotions in a bar and see if you don’t get a visit).

                    • Not when the government answers to you. Which, in a democracy, is the people. In that case, the government needs a good reason to say “no”.

                      In the case under discussion, “supermarkets shouldn’t be allowed to loss-lead with product x,” the government has a choice of good reasons to say “no,” said reasons being, as the case may be, “what the supermarket charges for a product you’re not buying comes under the heading of None of Your Fucking Business Matey,” or “‘The supermarket isn’t charging me enough’ is not a legitimate complaint, Sunshine.” What’s missing is the reason the government might say say “yes.”

                    • McFlock

                      the government has a choice of good reasons to say “no,” said reasons being, as the case may be, “what the supermarket charges for a product you’re not buying comes under the heading of None of Your Fucking Business Matey,” or “‘The supermarket isn’t charging me enough’ is not a legitimate complaint, Sunshine.” What’s missing is the reason the government might say say “yes.”

                      Um – those reasons are bullshit.

                      And the reason the government might say “yes” – reduction in alcohol-ralted harm – has been explained to you repeatedly.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  ‘I’m applying a principle. Principles are a good thing to have when you’re considering fucking with other people’s rights to enjoy their lives as they see fit.’

                  You’re confusing freedom for individuals with freedom for corporate interests.
                  And the freedom of the former has to be constrained to a certain degree as the price of living in a civilised society.

                  • You’re confusing freedom for individuals with freedom for corporate interests.

                    Confusing them in what way? The proposal is that shoppers should be deprived of a discount that might otherwise be offered to them – the freedom of the individual is directly in play here.

                    And the freedom of the [individual] has to be constrained to a certain degree as the price of living in a civilised society.

                    That is a completely meaningless statement. The phrase “to a certain degree” is a blank canvas onto which you could chuck anything.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Because it gives freedom to corporate interests to profit from binge drinking.
                      Corporates have narrow objectives and motives, whereas individual freedom is a more nuanced and troubled concept.
                      The freedom to shop is only one freedom.
                      What about the freedom of taxpayers, road users, and others who are forced to pay for the resultant harms?
                      The drunks who smash themselves and others on the roads, or randomly attack people in the street?

                    • Because it gives freedom to corporate interests to profit from binge drinking.

                      I’m not sure if anyone’s told you this, but alcohol is a legal drug in this country. Profiting the from making and selling of alcoholic drinks is not a crime, or even an offence.

                      What about the freedom of taxpayers, road users, and others who are forced to pay for the resultant harms?

                      What about them? Are you saying it’s wrong to have a no-fault, public health system and emergency services? Should it all be user pays? After all, what about the freedom of those of us who aren’t fat who are forced to pay for diabetes treatment and stomach-stapling operations?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      The public health system has to serve other needs as well, and patients attending an emergency department would probably prefer to do so with fewer drunk patients and shorter waits for their own treatment.
                      And with some harm minimisation and fewer victims, the public health system will be better able to rehabilitate those who continue to have car crashes/head injuries etc as a result of excessive drinking.
                      Also, why are you privileging the freedom of supermarkets to cross subsidise and distort the market, which impinges on the viability of bars and clubs?

                    • RedLogix

                      I think you are confusing the ‘right to shop’ with ‘human rights’ Psycho.

                    • The public health system has to serve other needs as well, and patients attending an emergency department would probably prefer to do so with fewer drunk patients and shorter waits for their own treatment.

                      Sure. And there may well be patients who’d prefer the shorter wait for treatment they’d get if the ED didn’t have all these darkies, sportspeople, careless home handymen or bad drivers in it, but the health system doesn’t give a shit what a patient thinks about that and nor should it.

                      Also, why are you privileging the freedom of supermarkets to cross subsidise and distort the market, which impinges on the viability of bars and clubs?

                      My argument “privileges” nothing. If bars and clubs want to use one thing they sell to cross-subsidise another thing they sell, good luck to them – anyone in a live band knows bars and clubs cross-subsidise.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘And there may well be patients who’d prefer … but the health system doesn’t give a shit what a patient thinks about that and nor should it.’

                      Yes, in direct on the ground service provision the system will triage according to need. However, just like citizens in a democracy, patients have the right to be attended by a health system that is not swamped by excess numbers of patients with alcohol related presentations when sensible harm minimisation measures could alleviate some of the pressure. And these calls often come from health professionals.

                      On the question of cross subsidisation, every business does this in some form, but it’s a question of market power, and unfair advantage.
                      That is why we have a commerce commission, or do you believe it to be a big-state draconian imposition too?

      • finbar 3.3.2

        RTDs are the equivalent of the much discussed man made Psyco drugs,Man made in chemical factories.Not in traditional old school breweries.Even the mix of cola or whatever are chemical concoctions.

        • Bill 3.3.2.1

          I’d be more than happy to see actual standards applied so that if you are selling (say) bourbon, gin or vodka, then it must be a container of bourbon, gin or vodka with no adulteration…bye bye RTDs :-)

          And legislate on ingredients so that gin is actually gin, and bourbon is actually bourbon etc.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 3.3.2.1.1

            Because the answer to young people (allegedly) buying pre-mixed bourbon-and-cola in a sixpack is to make them buy bourbon and cola separately … and mix them themselves, meaning the drinks are probably far stronger? What problem exactly are we fixing here, Bill? Because it sounds like the problem is ‘young people are drinking in ways I don’t find normal’.

            (I’ve looked online for ingredient lists for common RTDs and have failed. If you or finbar have any evidence of these drinks being ‘man made in chemical factories’ I’d be very interested to see it.)

            • Colonial Viper 3.3.2.1.1.1

              If you or finbar have any evidence of these drinks being ‘man made in chemical factories’ I’d be very interested to see it.)

              Please ask any qualified food technologist.

              The next question you should pose to said food technologist is – where is the food grade alcohol in these RTDs sourced from?

              What problem exactly are we fixing here, Bill? Because it sounds like the problem is ‘young people are drinking in ways I don’t find normal’.

              Where ‘not normal’ is drinking 10-20 standard drinks in a sitting.

              • Populuxe1

                Ethyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol – it’s just a molecule. Provided it’s dileted with something it’s all food grade

                • Colonial Viper

                  Ethyl alcohol is ethyl alcohol – it’s just a molecule. Provided it’s dileted with something it’s all food grade

                  Uh, no. Manufacturers do not buy these materials molecule by molecule.

                  In industrial quantities, you can’t get the levels of purity that you can with lab reagents, so your assumption is incorrect to start off with.

                  Ethyl alcohol can be purchased in bulk in various industrial grades, food grades and also pharmaceutical/lab reagent grades.

                • David H

                  “Provided it’s dileted with something it’s all food grade”

                  Diluted with Something? Really? Something? Some of this, some of that, some of the other.

                  Did you even read, what you had written?

              • I’m not the person making claims about the contents of these beverages, and despite this I’ve already tried to find evidence for them.

                And your assumptions about what’s a ‘normal’ level of drinking are assumptions which don’t even match your own statements upthread.

                10 standard drinks is just over 1 sixpack of, for example, Vodka Cruisers – and by your own unsubstantiated comment above, people are commonly drinking 2-3L a night, which is about 2 sixpacks … or 20 standard drinks.

                So is drinking 2-3L of RTDs a blight ravaging our young people, or is it ‘not normal’?

                • Colonial Viper

                  10 standard drinks is just over 1 sixpack of, for example, Vodka Cruisers – and by your own unsubstantiated comment above, people are commonly drinking 2-3L a night, which is about 2 sixpacks … or 20 standard drinks.

                  A vodka cruiser comes in at just 1.0 or 1.1 standard drinks because each bottle is only 275mL. I think you made the assumption that they are 330mL. So your statement that “10 standard drinks is just over 1 sixpack of, for example, Vodka Cruisers” is, politely, shite.

                  When was the last time you even had a Vodka cruiser FFS. Redo your math according to the facts and you’ll find out that my estimate is fairly spot on.

                  • Please don’t assume anything about me, Viper, it’s inevitably incorrect.

                    I googled “vodka cruiser standard drinks”. The statistic I found must have been for a different jurisdiction.

                    And the last time I had a Vodka Cruiser was last May, at a friend’s birthday party. How about you? Or are you too pure to sully your lips with the vile liquid?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK, so next time you have a drink, pause for a sec and take note of what it says on the bottle, the number of standard drinks is printed right there.

                  • NZFemme

                    Depends whether you’re buying cans or bottles. 7% (250ml) & 5 % (275ml)respectively.

                    12 Pack of cans would be 16.5 standard drinks. (1.38 units of alcohol per can at 7%)

                    6 pack would be 8 standard drinks.

                    • NZFemme

                      Meant to say too CV, during uni parties like the Hyde St Party here in Dunedin, glass isn’t allowed – so cans, casks, and kegs are the default. Cruisers, Cindy’s and KGB’s are the highest sellers, and the cans always run at 7% at 250ml – 2% higher than their glass counterparts.

            • Bill 3.3.2.1.1.2

              erm…I’m reckoning young people are drinking in much the same way I did when I was younger. I don’t really see that as a problem per se.

              As for the ingredients of RTD’s being ‘man made in chemical factories’ well, I didn’t make that claim. I think the closest I came to saying anything like that was in pointing out that cheap beers are often full of corn sugar (bad hangover city) and various additives, be they colourings or whatever.

              I think the answer to the rest of your comment is in the one I typed above before seeing this (3.2.1.3.2.1) @ 5.29

              • Naki Man

                The ethanol is made in a dairy factory not a chemical factory

                • Colonial Viper

                  A dairy factory IS a chemical factory. Unless you want to tell me which part of a dairy cow makes purified alcohol.

                  • Naki Man

                    It is just a bit misleading to say ethanol is made in a chemical factory when Fonterra call it a dairy factory.

                    • felix

                      Is it a factory that produces chemicals? I think it’s acceptable to call that a chemical factory.

                    • RedLogix

                      Over a decade ago Fonterra had more than 1000 different specified products it could make from milk.

                      Milk has been called ‘white crude’ – a modern dairy factory can be best thought of as very analogous to an oil refinery. Both use intensive process technologies to variously split the raw milk into it’s many components and then either further refine or re-combine into different products.

                      But it’s not wholly accurate to characterise either an oil refinery or a dairy refinery ‘chemical factories’. While some portion of those 1000 different milk derived products will involve gross chemical reactions – that is not what is at the core of what happens inside a typical Fonterra factory.

                      What goes on is more in the nature of separating, recombining, heating, evaporating, filtering, centrifuging, culturing and packaging – and while these do imply important changes to the structure of the milk – no-one in the industry thinks of them as a ‘chemical process’.

                      There isn’t a black and white line here – and I’m not sure of the details of exactly how Fonterra finally derive ethanol. At that point it might well be fairly termed a ‘chemical process’ – but that can’t be generalised back to everything happening inside a dairy factory.

                    • felix

                      Thanks RL.

            • David H 3.3.2.1.1.3

              @ Stephanie Try to break the problem down. Ie: to Bourbon: Alcohol, grains, sugars,the usual. And then Cola, and here is a link with enough ingredients to keep you happy for more than a while.

              https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=ingredient+list+cola&client=opera&hs=AIg&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=XoFbU7j-OYzKlAXM74CQAw&ved=0CG4QsAQ&biw=1093&bih=536&dpr=1.25

              • Colonial Viper

                People who aren’t knowledgeable about food and beverage formulation and manufacturing usually have a hard time understanding that many of the “ingredients” in these products are not foods of any kind and are frequently completely synthetic or highly artificially processed. Caramel colour for instance, a key agent in drinks like colas, has absolutely nothing to do with caramel that you might make in a saucepan.

        • NZFemme 3.3.2.2

          Umm, Finbar, you do realize that all ethanol is a neurotoxin right? Regardless of where it’s made – 18th copper still or 21st Century stainless steel?

  4. Bearded Git 4

    High taxes on alcohol have helped keep consumption low in Sweden. The taxes have been less effective than they might have been because of cross-border sales from other EU countries (see incredibly long link address below).

    Cross-border sales would not be an issue in NZ. It follows that raising alcohol taxes significantly is likely to be effective.

    https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgul.gu.se%2Fpublic%2Fpp%2Fpublic_courses%2Fcourse44889%2Fpublished%2F1302796242835%2FresourceId%2F16917418%2Fcontent%2F1a120e0f-4aab-4ab9-926f-930ba025555f%2FAlcohol%2520Tax%2520Sweden.pdf&ei=Mg9bU6WcEMSlkQX6yoDgCw&usg=AFQjCNFeKbx3VQ138iO8LJtXf-kgu99nng&sig2=ommXjvjkMydqVVLH1SCDog&bvm=bv.65397613,d.dGI

  5. Once was Tim 5

    “So, why settle for piss in lieu of alcohol?”
    We’re talking about Judith Collins right?
    The answer should be obvious – it’s to do with what the Frogs refer to as ‘nouveau riche’.
    It encompasses most of the modern-day Neshnool Pardy these days.
    The good thing is its destined for self-destruction. The only problem is WHEN – but watch them squeal like stuffed pigs when it does all come to grief

  6. captain hook 6

    anybody with a face like that would like as much cheap booze as they could get!
    tee hee.

  7. Melb 7

    I’ve seen everything now. Standard posters and commenters advocate for improving the bottom line of alcohol producers through enabling them all to charge a minimum price.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Newsflash: driving down volumes sold is not conducive to alcohol industry profits.

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        especially when it’s the supermarket that takes the loss of lower prices (“loss leader”), not the wholesaler.

      • Melb 7.1.2

        Newsflash: The Ministy of Justice reported stated that enacting the minimum pricing proposal would have added $130 million in profit for the alcohol industry.

        The volume sold would be lower, yes, but the prices sold at would be higher – with all of that price increase being pure margin directed to the bottom line of booze companies. Try thinking an idea through to it’s conclusion next time.

    • David H 7.2

      No Fuck Knuckle. Unlike you, we don’t like seeing what cheap booze is doing to our young and not so young.

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    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • 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
  • 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
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • 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
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