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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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  • Auckland Transport’s 30 Year Project List
    As part of the discussion on Alternative Transport Funding, which was launched yesterday, the Council also released a copy of Auckland Transport’s entire 30 year transport programme which includes the cost of projects and seemingly ranked according to some combination of criteria....
    Transport Blog | 29-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 30
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk EconomyInterest Rates and Inflation 1. ALASTAIR SCOTT (NationalWairarapa) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received on the economy, particularly on the direction of interest rates and inflation?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS...
    Its our future | 29-10
  • Storm surge: Hurricane Sandy
    On the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall, we are running an extract from a new book by Adam Sobel “Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future”. It’s a great read...
    Real Climate | 29-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • 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
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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